Getting chicks to sleep in the coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fischerzacdc, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. fischerzacdc

    fischerzacdc New Egg

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    My family is new to raising chicks...actually, it's more of just me =P.

    I built a Harriet's House style coop with an attached run, and got 6 little baby chicks!
    On the first night, all six slept in the coop, and all was well, until the second day came around and they discovered how to use their run. After finding the grassy area, they decided they would rather sleep down there instead, and this morning I came out to only two of them still being alive [​IMG]. I'm 99% sure that it was a raccoon, because those seem to be rather abundant in my area, and I think that getting the chicks to sleep in the coop would keep them safe from raccoons for sure, seeing as they can't get insidr the coop, just reach through the chicken wire.
    How do I get the chicks to want to go up into their coop at night? It's very clean, has two beams for roosting, and hay and food and water. Do I need to put a light up there to turn on at night? Pleaseee help..it sucked watching my little sister cry this morning since the raccoon took all of her favorite chicks for dinner [​IMG]
     
  2. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    It takes them a little while to get used to things!! You either need to leave them locked up for a week or so, or every evening go out there and put them in the coop. They will get the hang of it!
     
  3. KFox

    KFox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I kept mine locked up for 6 wks brooding in the coop. When I let them out, they preferred sleeping outside. I would gather them up and put them in the coop but they would try to get back out and get stressed out. I got a 15w light bulb and put it in the coop. That helped. They like to go in there now. I also bought a solar light for $7 at Lowe's. It's tiny. I screwed it about the doorway (it's really a window) back into the coop. When the light would come on, I'd put them away. Now, the light comes on and they put themselves to bed. I just close the window/door and fold up the ramp. I put my ramp on a hinge to keep the critters away.

    I'm sure there will be several people that offer better ideas. My coop is close to the house and I only have 14 so it doesn't bother me to go out each evening and secure mine.
     
  4. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    So sorry for your loss. [​IMG] I had to physically bring/chase my chicks in the coop then shut the door, so they couldn't get out and predators can not get in. After about a week, they bring themselves in and I only need to shut the coop door.

    If you don't have a door closing the coop, cover the opening with ply wood until they go in on their own.
     
  5. Keltara

    Keltara Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's hard to lose a baby let alone several! We are new to chickens this spring as well. We lost one of our pullets because our coop wasn't secure enough. I suspect a raccoon got her. It is Fort Knox now though. I started putting our girls to bed each night by placing them in their coop and locking them in. Eventually I started going out to put them to bed to find that they had put themselves to bed. I would just then close and lock up their door and know that they were going to be safe for the night. Make sure that they are securely locked in the coop at night because the run will not be safe (as you learned [​IMG]). Eventually, they'll get the idea and you too will go out to put them to bed to find out they are already there. We hand raised our chickens so catching them wasn't too hard at bed time. They come when we call them [​IMG].
     
  6. fischerzacdc

    fischerzacdc New Egg

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Thank you guys...I just fear the two that remaind (silver-laced wyandottes), will hate me forever now [​IMG]. Even after just a few days, they were so comfortable with me, would run to me, eat out of my hand, and what not. After cleaning up the destruction, my two remaining chicks won't even get within 10 feet of me [​IMG]. I will keep them securely locked up in the coop from now on at night. This sucks [​IMG]
     
  7. Keltara

    Keltara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:A special treat that we give our chickens is plain yogurt and rolled oats. We have this tiny little yellow bowl that we feed it to them in. Try to win them back with treats. It may take a few attempts for them to actually figure out that you have something good for them to eat, but once they figure it out, they'll see that bowl (which ever you choose), and relate it to "special treat". I'm sure they are super traumatized because they were there to see their nest mates killed. They will come around. Just be patient and let them see a lot of you and your little sister, even if they don't come up to you for the time being. Keep offering special treats.
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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011

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