Getting my girls in at night

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rparrny, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. rparrny

    rparrny Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought I posted this in the morning but when I checked back for a response I couldn't find the post so forgive me if this is a repeat. I am new to the forum, my name is Rivka and I have just received 4 gingernut rangers about 16-20 weeks and I am brooding 6 RIR they are probably 6 weeks old and have only a few remnants of their chick fluff.
    Because the older girls had a 3 day travel to the post office, rather than put them into the coop, I let them in the small run (I have an eglu cube) to eat and drink. I had to physically put them in at dusk on Friday night and again last night. I see they are settling in the nesting boxes when in the coop...at this point should I leave them in the coop with food and water for a week if they won't go in tonight? I have a fenced off area for them (an old grass paddock from my teenage years when we had horses) and planned on free ranging them at least to some extent but I don't dare try yet. Any suggestions on how I can do better?

    Love this site BTW!
    Thanks
    Rivka
     
  2. Rachel96

    Rachel96 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My suggestion is to keep them just in the coop for a few days without free-ranging them and then see if they return at night - the coop should be marked in their brains as 'home' by then, so they'll want to return there.

    If they aren't and they're sleeping somewhere else, go out while it's still light enough to see but dark enough for them to be alseep and not fight back, and move them to where they're meant to be. After a week or so they should work out where they're meant to be sleeping and start sleeping there. Sometimes it only takes a few days.

    I'm in the process of 'bedtime-training' my newest pullet at the moment. Admittedly, the coop isn't very good and it will be improved in a couple of weeks - I'm fencing off a section of land so that they can free range. I think New Girl's problem is the fact that she grew up properly free-ranging in a massive paddock and now she's stuck in a little coop.

    Well, good luck,
    from Rachel.
     
  3. rparrny

    rparrny Out Of The Brooder

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    Rachel,

    Thank you so much for the lightening speed reply! I am hoping tonight they will head for the coop but if not I will put their food and water in and leave them in for a few days. The cube run is very small and I figured the coop at night would be a no brainer for them...then again...what do I know? lol

    Rivka
     
  4. jomoncon

    jomoncon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keeping them in the coop for a few days will be a big help. If they won't go in voluntarily after that, throw in a handful of "chicken crack" - mealworms either fresh or dried. They'll go anywhere for mealworms!
     
  5. rparrny

    rparrny Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay so today is the second day in the coop and I got home from work and went out to check them and look what I found!!!![​IMG]
     
  6. tweetysvoice

    tweetysvoice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Yayyy!!! Congrats!

    I've found that having a small light in the coop that I turn on right before dusk will draw my chicks into the coop almost immediately! They like that it's lighter in there than outside since chickens can't see well at night. Some people have mentioned using a click light, but I just bought a small $5 LED lantern from walmart that runs on batteries and it works great! After a few days, we went out last night and they were already in the coop on their own! Good luck!
     
  7. rparrny

    rparrny Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I was so excited to get my first eggs! The girls were waiting at the door of the coop like they wanted out...I felt bad but it was too close to dusk to let them out. Tomorrow morning I will let them out in the small attached pen with the cube and see what happens at dusk. I think I will try that light trick and pop by Walmart on my way home. I think I will also start training them with the meal worms. I know they say the cube will hold 10 medium hens but it looks way too small for me...think I may have to get another one for the chicks...I can't wait to get them out of the house...I'm tracking wood shavings everywhere! I have the chicks trained though...every morning I change the shavings and use to have to take them out one by one and put them in a second cage so I could clean the first one...now they just come out one at a time and march right over to the other cage...when I'm done, the march right back to the clean one...what a riot!
     
  8. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL, and people say chickens are stupid. I find them amazingly smart for an animal with such a tiny brain. I put my chicks in the coop from the brooder and leave them in for a few days, then I open the pop door into the run so they can come out and get some fresh air after 3 or 4 days inside. I go out just after dusk every night and either put them in the coop, takes a week or so for them to firmly get it, and pretty soon all I have to do is close the pop door for the night, tthey've already gone to bed.
     
  9. rparrny

    rparrny Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, thanks to all for all the good advice. After 3 days in the coop I let them out and they now go in on their own. Thanks for the advice about the meal worm training. I put meal worms in a can and rattle it around before I feed it to them, they now know the sound and today I let them out to free range for about an hour. When I saw two of the girls go in the coop (maybe to lay eggs) I shook the can and got the other two to go in the run with no problems! I get three eggs a day...small but pure perfection!
    Thank you all so much for the invaluable advice!

    Rivka
     
  10. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha mine know the sound of the meal worm bag as well! It's so funny to see them running up from all directions!
     

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