Getting chickens to go into the coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by paklucas, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. paklucas

    paklucas Out Of The Brooder

    May 9, 2010
    I live in MN. and have a A-frame coop and run, although I let my 2 girls out during the day while I am there. We are new at this and through these summer months have had a three walled coop. We now are gettting ready from the girls to start laying and for colder weather so we finished the laying box and put the last wall on the coop with a door in it . The coop is a foot and a half off the ground so they have more space to run and to be dry.

    I can't get the girls to go into the coop. There is a ramp and a perch in the door way and 5 inches of Aspen bedding with oyster shell and more perches inside. I have tried putting their food in the coop instead of the run. But they can't figure out that that is where it is. I have tried coaxing them by holding there favorite foods in my hand in the doorway (I reach in through my maintenance door). They are curious but not buying it yet. So I end up feeding them in the run the next day.

    They are beginning to make what appears to be a nesting place under the coop. Any suggestions?

  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Put them IN the coop and keep them there, locked up for a few days. Honest.

    That helps them set it in their minds that 'this is where we sleep, where it's the most safe, where we eat, where we lay eggs someday.'

    Then let them out, and watch how they'll probably go back in by themselves just about dusk.
  3. paklucas

    paklucas Out Of The Brooder

    May 9, 2010
  4. debeaked

    debeaked Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2010
    Moody, Texas
    Here is what worked for me. I put a small photoelectric night light inside the coop. When it gets dark, the light turns on and the hens are attracted to the light. They go in every evening without failure.
  5. Orchid

    Orchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    When I moved my four chickens from their brooder to their tractor this summer, I kept them in the coop for 48 hours before opening the door to the run. Then I couldn't get them out of the coop. [​IMG] When they finally went out into the run, I worried that I'd have to put them up at bedtime, but they trooped up the ramp and settled on their roost at dusk. They just need to establish "home" in their bitty little brains!
  6. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2010
    I went throug the same problem. Never thought I'd ever get them into the coop. Took a few nights, but finally figured out a way. Treats, treats, treats. Go out several times a day, with treats. Every time they see you, they'll think you have food. When my girls see me, they just about run each other over thinking I have food. I thought they would never sleep in their coop. Be patient, and they go in. But I know how stressful it is trying to get them to all go in.
  7. animalbaby4everandalwyz

    animalbaby4everandalwyz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2009
    West Tennessee
    The way i get all of my "babies" to go up is i leave them in there original coop for about a week and a half or less... i have about 7 or 8 different pens with different chickens and ducks and what i started doing after about 4 days is i started to let one pen out and if they went up then i would let another one and so on and so forth...

    my ducks can be tricky... i feed them in there coop and they go up...i kinda yell for them and shake the bucket and they got use to that and now when i yell for them they go up and expect food i still feed them just not as much ... so you just have to get them into a routeen and work with them...

    Good Luck
  8. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    Hee hee - I had the same thing happen with my meaties, except that they were in the chicken house for several days before I let them out in the run...and they still didn't want to go in at night. Some went in, but at 9 pm I was out there in the almost-dark, catching 5 week old meaties, stuffing them through the doors one at a time. Fortunately, they were flustered enough about being caught that they didn't come back out while I was there, while I was off catching the next bird! That first night, I had to catch about 18 out of the thirty and put them inside, the second night, a dozen, then only the last one or two needed encouragement. By the fourth night, they were going in by themselves.
  9. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    Last week was the first week our peepers were in their coop. We had to catch them and put them in the coop at night. My brother "chickensat" for us last weekend, and he had to put them up in the evenings. What he didn't realize until he put about the 8th chicken in the coop was that they were flying back out! [​IMG]

    Starting Monday night the peepers have gone up in the coop all by themselves around dusk. It is awesome!!

    Hope your peeps figure it out soon!

  10. jomercer

    jomercer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I only had to handle my 4 the first evening before they figured out they needed to go into their hutch when it got dark.

    One night I forgot to take the perches from the run, and they decided to settle outside the hutch. But once I lifted them off and removed the perches, the girls trooped into their hutch on their own.

    They also tried to roost on top of the hutch once, but the plastic sloped surface was too slick and they soon retired to the inside.

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