Getting chicks in the Coop at night

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Marinefam2053, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Marinefam2053

    Marinefam2053 In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2019
    Deep South East
    Hey chicken lovers!
    Now that my older hens have been put in the coop, only 1 of the last 3 night have they gone in the coop at night without any encouragement. Is there a trick, secret, etc to get them in the coop without having to handle them? Not that we mind, I love holding my girls, but I just want it to be a stress free event.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How old are birds?
    Are there younger birds too?
    Did you leave them confined to coop only for several days to 'home' them to coop?
    Pics of coop and run, inside and out, always help.

    Oh, and...Welcome to BYC! @Marinefam2053
    Where in this world are you located?
    Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
  3. Mybackyardpeepers

    Mybackyardpeepers Crowing

    Mar 22, 2019
    Treats and just plain throwing them in there.
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    Other things to consider:
    How much space is there in the coop and on the roost bar, and how many chickens do you have?
    Is there adequate light inside the coop so they can see to make their way onto the bar?
    Is there good ventilation in the coop (so it's not stuffy) and if yes, is any of it causing drafts into the roost area?
    starri33 and Chelsa'sChicks like this.
  5. trumpeting_angel

    trumpeting_angel Crowing

    Feb 6, 2019
    Also, how hot did it get? If your temperature is anything like ours has been, they might have been seeking cooler spots. When mine get confused, I make sure they have enough light to find their way in. They’re blind in the dark. Mine don’t like to go in until late. Party girls!

    The above-mentioned treats do work well - scratch grains and meal worms. Just enough to get them to come running!
    starri33 likes this.
  6. Chelsa'sChicks

    Chelsa'sChicks Songster

    Aug 16, 2017
    As long as your flock is all getting along.. I just put mine all in at night by hand a few nights in a row and shut the door. After that they all went in on their own before dusk.

    *Editing to say it does help if you keep them in the coop for a few days in a row so they understand this is where we sleep.. once that is established they will be independent about bedtime.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  7. AmyJane725

    AmyJane725 Crowing

    Feb 22, 2019
    Western WA
    When I first moved my babies out to the coop I kept them shut in there for 5 days. After that I hooked up the automatic chicken door so they could come and go as they pleased. (They refused to leave the coop until I added some dowels to their ramp, but I digress). After they started coming out they just had to learn what time the coop shuts down for the night. Took them about 4 days for all of them to make it in before closing, but now they're flawless. :)
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Chickens are creatures of habit. If they get used to sleeping in one spot they have a strong instinct to return to that spot at bedtime. There are things that can interfere with this as others have mentioned: roost space, can they see to go to the roost, can they get up to and down from the roost, age or age differences can play a part.

    You need to get them in the habit of sleeping in the coop. Sometimes locking them in the coop only for a week or more will do that but that doesn't always work for me. I usually have to move them from the run into the coop to help them get the message. I don't have that issue with my coop on the ground but I always have it with my elevated coop. I wait until dark and they have settled down for the night, that makes the easy to catch.

    Or you can try luring them into the coop before they settle down and lock the door. If you do this I'm not sure how you know that they will go in on their own.
  9. Ilovechickens119

    Ilovechickens119 In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2019
    Hi there!
    I used to have the same problem!
    You can do numerous things to get them in at night. A good trick is shining a torch into their home as chickens are attracted to the light.
    If that doesn’t work, what I occasionally have to do is leave them out another half an hour/hour and come back and put them in bed later. There is no way they will be out in the pitch black so if they are not in when you go to shut them up at night, just leave them out and come back later. Hope this helps!!
  10. Marinefam2053

    Marinefam2053 In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2019
    Deep South East
    Thank you all! Great news, we came home well after dark last night and found them all in the coop nestled in. Now to get them to actually roost on the bars, lol. For now they just huddle together, except for my Rhode Island, she was sleeping right in the middle of the coop. I know they aren’t cold, as we are keeping up with 80-90° temps throughout the night here in the south! Just happy to say they are dry with all of our tropical weather.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: