First Timer Here, Do I Put My Chicks "To Bed" At Night?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NeonMoonlight, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. NeonMoonlight

    NeonMoonlight Just Hatched

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    Hi Everyone!

    We have 3 ISA Reds and 3 Barred Rock 7 week old chicks who have now been upgraded to their permanent coop that is set up temporarily in our garage. They have the entire annex to run around in and we keep the upper room where they will eventually roost open all the time, but they don't seem to really be interested in going up there much yet. They hop up the stairs and peek inside but usually just turn around and either fly, or hop down. Their food and water is underneath the roosting room, inside the annex, do they need it upstairs where they will be sleeping? Should I be putting them up there at night so they know that is where they sleep?
    Am I doing this totally wrong?[​IMG] I am just very happy that after having these girls (and 1 roo) for a month they are still alive and speaking to me.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! TIA!!!
     
  2. Grub Digger

    Grub Digger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens are afraid of the dark, if their run has more light they'll stay in the run. To help them build the habit of going to sleep in the coop, you're going to have to pick them up and put them to bed a couple of nights to a week. If you put a light in the coop that gives them more incentive to go to bed. My guineas are still babies about going to bed in the dark, they have a 99 cent solar light that I set out to charge in the morning and stick in their coop for them at dusk. I also do this for my baby chicks.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Colorado Rockies
    Grub Digger is right. A light is going to help matters since it will allow your chicks to see where they're going. They really aren't much different from human toddlers that believe monsters may be hiding in the dark waiting to eat them.

    Also, chicks, having a bird brain, do not understand the coop is the same place they've been in before since it looks different to them from down in the run. This is why you need to go through the exercise of gently coaxing them through the coop entrance for a few nights to get them used to the idea of going inside at night from the run.

    No, do not put food and water in the coop. They do not need it during the night since they are sleeping. It just invites a big mess and is totally unnecessary.
     
  4. Bluegrassmama

    Bluegrassmama Out Of The Brooder

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    I was wondering the same thing. My babies are 4 weeks old and been outside for a week or so. I have been putting them to bed in their coop every night but left them out tonight in hopes they would go on their own. I waited until after dark and went out to check on them and there they were huddled on the ground in a corner of the run. I guess my birds aren't very bright? I put them back in the coop. Hopefully, they get the hang of it soon. Good luck!
     
  5. NeonMoonlight

    NeonMoonlight Just Hatched

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    Thank you all so much! As it is nearly midnight and I do not have any sort of light in the coop, I'm going to leave them be for now. Tomorrow I will start being a better mother hen! I'm hoping it will be warm and dry enough tomorrow again to take them out on a field trip to our garden as well. It is fenced in and I was working in it yesterday and they loved being out!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
     
  6. Bluegrassmama

    Bluegrassmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2009
    My babies went into their coop on their own tonight!! I'm so excited lol
     
  7. NeonMoonlight

    NeonMoonlight Just Hatched

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    Happy to hear, Bluegrass!!! I put mine to bed last night and just opened the coop this morning to find them all peeping away! I hung some Christmas lights near a window of the coop yesterday to give them a nightlight, but they all huddled near the window instead of roosting. I guess at almost 8 weeks now they are still babies, even though they look more and more like big chickens every day!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. jasonvanorder

    jasonvanorder Out Of The Brooder

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    I had to pick mine up and put them to bed at night for about 2 weeks. My issue is they were just like toddlers. They went to bed when they were ready not me. I would try to get them in the coop right around dusk. Well it was a never ending battle of grab one put her in the coop and then grab another just to have the first one fly out. It had to be pitch dark out before they would stay in there when I put them in. Now that they have been out there for about a month once dusk hits they all shuffle in and hop on the roost for the night. All I have to do is shut the door if I remember.
     

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