Getting chickens to go to bed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by zaapoole, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. zaapoole

    zaapoole Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2016
    Hi everyone

    I hatched six baby chickens and they are now nearly 11 weeks old! Time has gone so quickly.. :jumpy

    We moved them outside a couple of weeks ago to the outside coop with our other chickens that we have already had for about three years now.

    However five of the chicks don't seem to want to go to bed at night. We have a big chicken coop that has an electric door that closes by night - it is light sensor door so closes at about 10 o clock in the evening around now in the summer (I live in the uk), so they have plenty of time to go in, but instead they sit on top of the roof all piled on top of each other to keep warm! :idunno(Apart from one which always goes in but sits in the nesting box :/ ) They have been slightly getting pecked by the adults so maybe this is why they don't want to go in, but it has been more than a week now and they just don't seem to be getting the hang of it!

    I did have a thought that they may be going in and maybe being pecked and then coming back out again.

    Also it's not the problem of the house being too small as it's quite a large one that can easily fit all of them in there.

    It's not really a problem just that I am going away in a week so it would be good to get it sorted or else it would have to be the responsibility of the person who comes to feed them once or twice a day to wait at night and then out them in by hand each night!

    Any suggestions or tips as too how to teach them to go in each night would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!
    :cd
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    First thing you need to do is to watch at roosting time to see what's going on. It may confirm your suspicions that the chicks are being bullied, and you will then need to mitigate that.

    Once you clear up any bullying problem, then you may need to teach the chicks to go inside at night by luring them inside with a treat. If you wait until nearly dark, and the older chickens have settled in, it's easy to get inside the coop with and flashlight and call them in.

    I find that they learn faster this way than when you pick them up and stuff them inside. It only takes a couple nights and they've mastered it.
     
  3. zaapoole

    zaapoole Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2016
    Thanks for you reply.

    Today unfortunately I found a load of red mite inside the chicken house but not on the chickens. I have thoroughly disinfected the house and powdered the chickens but I was wondering whether this could also be a reason why they don't want to go in at night? Hopefully tonight will be better for them!!
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Oh yes, indeed! Mites aren't usually on the chickens until night comes, so you won't see them until after the chickens roost. Then the mites are crawling up the chickens' legs sucking the blood out of them. Some people say the chickens will stand on the perch and lift their legs up, trying to avoid the mites crawling up their legs. It must be hideous for the poor chickens.

    I recently discovered lice on my chickens. I got the permethrin powder and gave them a couple treatments, then I heard about an even better product which I ordered. It's supposed to be much more effective, treats the premises as well as the chickens and has no egg withdrawal period. The drawback is that it costs $150 for eight ounces, but that small bottle will last for several years and treat many square feet of coops and runs and chickens. It's called Elector Premise Pest Control. The great thing about it is it gets rid of the eggs, too, which the permethrin didn't. It's less messy than the powder, too. I mixed it in a quart bottle of water and sprayed it on the chickens.
     

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