Could ramp be too steep for 6 wo pullets?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dan Davis, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Dan Davis

    Dan Davis Hatching

    Nov 20, 2017
    We rebuilt our coop, and started over with a new flock of RIR & Cinnamon Queen. We introduced the flock to the coop last Monday, kept them inside with heat lamp until Thursday. Then introduced them to the run, and moved them back into the coop overnight. Easter Sunday, we wanted to see if they would go back into their coop by themselves, they didn't/won't.

    So, I am contemplating 2 questions, is the ramp too steep? Or, should I keep teaching them to sleep in the coop for another week or so?
  2. Melky

    Melky Spring has sprung!

    Jul 23, 2018
    Edgewood, KY
    My Coop
    Without knowing how steep the ramp is hard to say. It usually just takes awhile to learn. I threw chicken crumble eggs n the ramp and it a little in a cup in the coop or dried mealworms so they wouldn’t get bored and would learn to go up the ramp themselves if didn’t just handed them into the coop and once one goes up they all do it. Just persistence goes a long way in teaching pullets how to navigate coop via ramp.:welcome
    Maugwa and ChickenCanoe like this.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    It is best to lock the chickens in the coop for a few days so they don't have a choice but to sleep in there. That creates a habit of where it is safe to sleep.
    Are there cleats on the ramp to keep them from sliding backwards when trying to climb?
    How high above ground is the chicken door?
    If they decide they want to go in, they can even fly in there, you just have to create that desire to get inside.
  4. Dan Davis

    Dan Davis Hatching

    Nov 20, 2017
    The coop is 2' above ground, and the ramp is approximately 4' long with several cleats already.

    I will try the mealworm remedy, and add a few more cleats. Let's hope this works.

    Thanks for the advice.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Need pics to give advice on steepness.
    Even if ramp is navigable, young chicks often don't readily go up into coop at dusk.
    I use a battery operated puck light in coop, turn on an hour before roost time, then turn off when you lock up after dark.
  6. WhoDatChick

    WhoDatChick Free Ranging

    Sep 6, 2018
    Nawlins, Louisiana
    What has worked for me is.. going out every evening and putting them in yourself.. after a week or two of doing this wait and see if they go in on their own.. they will. That way you do not have to lock them inside the coop...
    starri33 likes this.
  7. mixedbreeds

    mixedbreeds Songster

    I had some young ones that did the same thing with a new ramp. I put no skid tape in between the cleats and presto they were zooming up and down the ramp.
  8. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    A pic would help to see what your set up is like. Does your coop have windows for light?
    starri33 likes this.
  9. Maugwa

    Maugwa Chirping

    Jul 1, 2018
    Goshen County, Wyoming
    A four foot ramp that rises 2' is a 22 1/2⁰. Mines steeper than that it is 4' and goes up to 30" and no problems ever. I agree with the few days in the coup, I even took it further than that though. By about 3 weeks, the brooder tub in my office was getting crowded and smelly even cleaned daily, and there was noise pollution while I was on the phone doing contractor stuff. The Coup was a lot larger, but it was still cold out some days, and most nights. AND I hadn't finished the run yet. But I took them to the coup anyway with a heat lamp at three weeks. I had some 4' high 2x4 wire, and a few electric fence posts (rods), and I'd made about an 8' diameter circular pen I just moved new spots in the yard each day that it was warm enough to be out, and put them in and out by hand. I also had a furring strip and a tarp ovet half this play pen for shade. When it was cold, they didn't get out. It took longer than I expected to get their run finished, (weather and other obligations) about another 3 weeks. But they were real used to the coup by then, They had been in there the last half of their six week lives, for the most part. It took them an hour or so to decide to come down the ramp the first time, but I kept their chick feeder up in the coup for a couple more weeks, and when they saw me coming, they'd all run up the ramp and be waiting for me to open my door to the coup for food before I got there. I later added two 4x4x16" block under the bottom end of the ramp which made it not quite as steep, but I didn't do it for the steepness, I did it to get the bottom end of the wood ramp off the ground to keep it dry.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  10. "Keep it dry"? Do you have the coop in a swamp? Just asking.

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