Getting the Chicks in Bed at Night...Help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tlundell, May 23, 2016.

  1. tlundell

    tlundell New Egg

    Dec 22, 2015
    Los Gatos, CA (Bay Area)
    Our 14 chicks just moved from brooder to run about a week ago, but show no interest in heading up the ramp to bed at night. Instead, they huddle together in a corner of the run and my wife and I have to chase and grab them to put them inside. Have tried putting a light in the coop, sprinkling meal worms on a trail up the ramp, reducing their space in the run....nothing works yet. Have not tried leaving them in the coop for a few days (a suggestion I've seen), but it would seem that would make them like the coop even less. Advice anyone? Thanks.
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I think they need a bit more time to get used to the coop and using the ramp. Young chicks like huddling together on the floor and staying where they feel comfortable at night. Keep encouraging them by putting, or luring, them into the coop in the evenings. They'll learn.
  3. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Have you taught your chicks to come to you yet? This is something I do very early on in the first week using treats. The chicks learn to associate treats with a verbal and/or a visual cue. It's very useful for the rest of their lives. Spend a half hour today teaching them this lesson.

    Try to avoid chasing the chicks and stuffing them into the coop. As you've discovered, it's really counterproductive.

    Instead, wait until the chicks are grouping together, getting ready for bed, uttering their soft trilling and whistling noises. This signals they really would love to find a safe place with cover to sleep.

    Then, after you've taught the chicks to come to you, and the lesson is learned very quickly, get inside the coop and entice them in showing them the visual cue (carton of worms) calling to them using the verbal cue.

    Be patient. They won't all run to you at once. It takes one bold and greedy chick and then the others will follow. Of course there will be one lone, skeptical holdout you may need to physically prod through the door.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by