First night in the coop!

prostar

Free Ranging
5 Years
Apr 23, 2015
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So we finished up the run and coop for the girls. They settled really well during the day after hubs and I carried them out (felt so strange I had to go in the garage for something and not hearing them cheep at me!) but as the sun set...oh they were not happy!!! They were freakin out, wouldn't go in the coop, I tried calling them in, bribing them in, nothing. You could hear them crying in the house! And their run is a hubs estimate of 80 or so feet.

Finally they wore themselves out and flopped in a corner of the run...chicken pile. Of course this just freaked me out having nightmares of some baddie snatching at them through the fencing. (I just lost one of my amuricanas yesterday to a hawk while she was free ranging in front of the house...so I'm a little paranoid) so went for reinforcements. Hubs helped me grab em and put em in the coop.

Gotta say, even Sam (my lone amuricana) and nacho and burrito (my red sexlinks) who are normally pretty skittish, were held and carried into the coop without complaint. So into a pile in the coop they're now sleeping. Hope they weather their first night alright, we'll see how long it takes them to get into the swing of things.
 

prostar

Free Ranging
5 Years
Apr 23, 2015
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Well I'll have to take the mutt for her before bed private time...so I'll give the girls a quick check then.

*night check edit* yep. The mutt had to check on them too. They're still in their coop. Yay!
 
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Clucksandgiggle

Chirping
5 Years
Dec 14, 2014
178
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76
Wisconsin
I'm a chicken newbie and this might be totally the wrong thing to do but....my babies also had a hard time after it got dark the first few nights in the coop. I put a solar light (like that line sidewalks) in there and that little bit of light helped greatly. Can chickens be afraid of the dark?? Now I take it out of the coop during the day and let it recharge and put it back in at night.
 

prostar

Free Ranging
5 Years
Apr 23, 2015
7,692
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Sunny SoCal
I should add. This morning I checked on them when letting the pup out for her early morning outing...they were starting to wake up, peek out, check things out.

Success! Let's see how tonight goes!
 

CoopedUpChicken

Chirping
May 20, 2015
98
13
53
Congrats! Some of mine were panicking in the dark too the first night. They were used to a red heat lamp light on 24/7. I had to bring a couple back in for 1 more night and the next night they had no choice - and they handled it like champs!

The next step was getting them to use their ramp (and not having to pick them up to put them on their roost). It took a few nights of helping them up.

Now, they all know the ramp and the roost and are okay with the dark. They are still figuring out that they need to go up and down the ramp according to their pecking order. It takes them a bit to get settled in - with some getting knocked off the roost until they figure out their lineup correctly.

I watched them come down the ramp the other morning one at a time - it was darling!
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
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Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
What you experienced is perfectly normal - chicks that are not raised by a broody hen do not have the benefit of having that mother hen teach them what to do, this includes "cooping up" at night. When we raise them by hand, it is up to us to teach them what we want them to know - your littles caught on nice and quick, but for future reference it is better to just be preemptive the first few nights they are given access to the run by moving them back into the coop at the time they should be going to roost. This can be needed even for birds who are "coop trained" by being confined to just the coop for several days before being given access to the run.
 

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