Getting them in the coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by leroychick, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. leroychick

    leroychick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Alabama
    How do you teach your chickens to go into the coop at night? My chicks are 5-6 weeks old. They fly out and walk down the ladder in the morning when I open the door but can't seem to figure out how to get back inside at night. I try to coax them up the ladder with treats but they grab the treat and then run back into the run. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    My adult layers are all "self-loading" into the coop EVERY night. All I ever have to do is close the door behind them. But my Silkies..... OMG - they drive me nuts because they refuse to go in the coop. They willingly sit out in the cold/wind/rain instead of climbing the ramp...

    I am hoping someone gives you some advice on how to "train" your chicks, because I need to know, too. I posted the same question a few days ago and haven't gotten any responses...
     
  3. Kilsharion

    Kilsharion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    When I first put them in the coop, I train them to go inside. When the sun goes down, you just pop them through the door. It's their instinct to go into their roost at night - you just have to teach them where that is. Three or four times is the most it generally takes before they start picking up on it. And, if you have a ramp up to the door, they have to figure out that they have to go up the ramp to get through that particular door. Just like you have to show day olds where the water is...you have to show your chicks where their roost is. They pick up on it pretty darn fast.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know of anything except bribery. Maybe remove the food and put a special treat on the coop floor. Some people lock the birds in the coop for a few days, but I'm just not going to do this.

    I never had this problem, but then I keep the only food and water in the coop, so they are used to going in and out throughout the day, and they only have a gentle ramp to negotiate, not a ladder. Maybe do this with food and water for a few days. If your coop is small, this might be messy, you might have to use small dishes and remove your regular feeder and waterer.....
     
  5. Salo0009

    Salo0009 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
    You may have to herd them in or physically pick them up and put them inside the coop. Once they learn this is their home and a safe place for them to roost, they will go in on their own. Be patient!
     
  6. leroychick

    leroychick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Alabama
    Thanks for your advice. I called it a ladder but it is really a ramp. My sex links go up and down the ramp no problem. The wyandottes can't seem to figure it out, but none of them go up the ramp at night to roost.
     
  7. Kilsharion

    Kilsharion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Ah, see, I have very steep ramps and their food, water, grit and oyster shells are all outside. Their 'coops' are really just glorified roosts and nesting boxes. So, it takes some training, especially when they are young and have never been in a coop.

    I've found treats don't work well at all for me because the girls will grab their treat and run with it to get away from the other girls (chicken hockey). If you just literally pick them up, move them in the path they should be taking and pop them inside (at dusk, mind you, when they are settling down for the night), they will get the idea. It doesn't take too long for them to pick up on it.
     
  8. Drapery Mary

    Drapery Mary Out Of The Brooder

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    I have two light brahmas that I moved into a new coop yesterday with a ramp or ladder that is fairly steep. I went out after I saw my other birds were up for the night to check on them and there they were huddled on the ground in the corner of their run. I just picked them up and stuck them through the door. This morning when I went out to feed and water, they wouldn't come out on there own either! Hmmm I had to get them out. Hopefully today they will figure it out on their own.

    If you get a secret trick that works be sure to let me know.
     
  9. leroychick

    leroychick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Alabama
    After days of picking the chickens up and putting them in the coop at dusk they have finally figured out that its ok to go up and down the ramp. They still don't go in the coop on their own but tonight we were able to coax them in with raisins ( their favorite treat). I was at the back door calling them and as soon as my friendliest chicken heard my voice she came running. Then the others followed suit. We got 5 out of 6 in the coop this way. The lone one was in the run still just squawking 'cause she was left all alone. She is the littlest so I'm sure she was afraid. I finally scooped her up and got her in with the others and then treated her with a raisin. She grabbed it and ran.
    ( they also seemed to recognized the red bag of raisins. I don't if they see color or not or if they can just smell the raisins or recognize the crinkle of the bag but they come running!)
    we are new to chicken raising so we just go by trial and error. Since most animals seem to learn by repetition and reward we figured we would go with that.
     
  10. garyk1398

    garyk1398 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2012
    Omaha, Ne
    I wonder if a series of smal porch like platforms would work versus a ramp?
     

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