First night outside...will they know to go in the coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by greysandy, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. greysandy

    greysandy Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    39
    Feb 20, 2008
    Anaheim, CA
    The chicks are 4 weeks old and I put the chickens outside in their new coop and fenced in yard today. I have a light in the coop for extra warmth. The coop is about 18" off the ground with a nice ramp up into it. I put them in the coop and they walked down the ramp to get into the yard. I’m worried that they aren’t going to go into the coop at night to keep warm. I tried to herd them into it a few minutes ago using a broom but their yard is in my citrus trees and there is no room to walk in it. I guess I just have to keep checking on them and if they don’t go in it, I will try herding them again or toss some cardboard boxes out there for them to sleep in. I'm in California and it's getting down to about 59 degrees at night.

    Here's a picture of them from last night in the brooder:[​IMG]
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    3,788
    12
    221
    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    As soon as the sun goes down they should (key word is 'should' here) all go directly back into the coop for the night. If they don't, then you need to somehow get them back into the coop and don't let them out for several days or a week.

    Start now giving them treats and calling to them using the same words each time. They'll quickly learn to come running when you call so that in the future if you need them inside or wherever you can easily get them where you want them.
     
  3. mamaboyd

    mamaboyd Chillin' With My Peeps

    803
    0
    149
    Jun 6, 2007
    Kendal.Ontario,Canada
    Mine would come running as soon as they saw or heard their food being put in the trays, than I would quickly close up the coop door. Try some treats like Chirpy mentioned, hopefully they will go back to the coop for you. Best of luck! [​IMG]
     
  4. nccountrygirl

    nccountrygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2007
    Sanford N.C.
    I have the problem you fear. Mine won't go into the coop at night so we are having to put them in every night. We let them out of the coop for the first time Wed. and Wed., Thurs, Fri, Sat, and tonight is the same thing. Some of them run up and down the ramp and some just can't get it yet. Good luck with yours..
     
  5. ChickNLittle

    ChickNLittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    465
    1
    141
    Mar 22, 2008
    Folkston, Georgia
    When you let them out of the coop are you letting them walk themselves out into the yard, or are you putting them in the yard? Just wondering as I found if I open the coop door and let them come out by themselves, they went in at night. If that does not work, you need to keep them in the coop for about a week or two and make sure you feed them inside the coop. That should keep them coming back inside. [​IMG]
     
  6. nccountrygirl

    nccountrygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2007
    Sanford N.C.
    We had them in the coop for a week before we let them out and left the food in the coop. We work 2nd shift and they were in a pile when we got home at 11:00PM and about to starve to death. We have let them walk out on their own from day one but alas they have not got it yet. Mine are 8,9 and 10 week olds so I'm sure soon it will click.
     
  7. mamaboyd

    mamaboyd Chillin' With My Peeps

    803
    0
    149
    Jun 6, 2007
    Kendal.Ontario,Canada
    Whenever any of ours don't want to go in the coop, we either schoo them in with the pitch fork or pick them up and put them in. Sometimes there is a bit of chasing around to herd them in [​IMG]
     
  8. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    Right before dark if they are not in, pick them up and place them right at door entrance and they should go in. keep their food and water inside and they will learn. The first night I had to do that, then after that they started going in themselves. My RIR's are one month today.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    greysandy,
    Our chickens are very spoiled in this California weather! They won't freeze by any means, but I know why you'd want them to go in the coop. Do you have any type of fencing, like a run?
    I've heard of people locking their girls up in their coop for a few days, but you're probably set up the same way as I- a small coop with a bigger run, since our weather permits it. If that's the case, you don't want to lock them up like that.
    You're probably going to have to do what ibpboo suggested- Getting them at bed time and putting them in the coop. Make it inviting to them by putting in food and water, along with some nice pine shavings and perches.
     
  10. greysandy

    greysandy Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    39
    Feb 20, 2008
    Anaheim, CA
    Thanks for all the suggestions! I went out there a while ago and they were all piled up outside the door, but my two older chicks (7 weeks old) were inside the coop. I think they may have chased the younger ones out. It was fairly easy for me to scoop up all the chicks and put them inside the door of the coop, so that's what I did. I might just leave them inside the coop tomorrow during the day so they get used to it. There are plenty of windows for me to open for them and lots of roost space.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by