Half-grown's won't go to bed.

Etakeh

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 29, 2009
54
22
91
Oregon
I have 6 established ladies who sleep in the coop at night, no problem. Ok, one of them perches on top as if she's standing guard, but she's a big girl, so I don't worry about her.

I got two babies this year, and at about 2 months old, they refuse to go to sleep in the coop or even the run. They want to sleep on a half-full bag of DE on the potting shelf.

I don't close my ladies in at night, it hasn't ever been necessary in the 3 years I've had them (I live in town and have 6 cats that have run off anything that might have been a problem). But I do worry a bit about the little ones being out there on their own.

The last few nights, I've waited until dark and carried them into their roost, and they stay there - but how can I make them go there on their own?
 

Fierlin1182

powered-flight
8 Years
Aug 26, 2011
17,155
309
348
If you continue carrying them in every night for a while, they should get the hang of it. What about moving the bag they like to sleep on it there? What helped us get our chicks into the coop was having their brooder in there with them for a while :lol:
Good luck!
 

featherfriendlyinIowa52

Chirping
8 Years
Aug 15, 2011
101
2
91
NW Iowa
I have the same problem but with 18-20 of different breeds. Half of mine won't go in the coop. They huddle by the run and if I left them out would be racoon playtoys. I was crawling into the run (it's only 2 ft high) every night pushing cardboard ahead of me (I'm 60 and 50 lbs overweight..oh bother) and putting them to bed but yesterday, in the middle of the afternoon my Yorkies were out and when they saw the chickens in the run, did what Yorkies do (ran around the run barking with alot of tail-wagging) and all the chickens couldn't get into the coop fast enough! So, last night and tonight I just sent my Yorkies out to herd them in. I'm hoping a couple more nights of this and ALL the chickens will prefer the coop! Either that, or I'll have a bunch of stroke victims on my hands.
 

Etakeh

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 29, 2009
54
22
91
Oregon
If you continue carrying them in every night for a while, they should get the hang of it. What about moving the bag they like to sleep on it there? What helped us get our chicks into the coop was having their brooder in there with them for a while

Good luck!
Yup, I'll keep carrying them. I could move the bag...but I can see the older ladies tearing it apart to dust-bathe. And the brooder (large dog house bottom) is in there! They spent their 2nd month of life in that, but now they are being all independent and stuff.
 

hecatesmoon

Songster
7 Years
May 15, 2012
149
32
103
MO chicken keeper since 4/2012
I was given some older chicks and had them protected with a little cage they could get in and out of to protect them from the adult chickens. The cage was outside the main coop. Each night I would check on them and they would be waiting inside the cage and I would close them in. Then I guess they were at least accepted enough by the adults that I went out one night to close them in their little cage, and they were up on the roost with the big girls with no help from me. They have been roosting with them ever since though they still stay further down the roost from the adults. Maybe the adults just haven't accepted them enough yet? Also, when I got my adult birds, I guess they decided they didn't like my set up so they were in part of the coop, but not on the roost so I just put a roost where they seemed to want it, and they are happy. I'm new with chickens so I am not the best adviser so just some inexperienced ideas. Maybe they aren't happy with the set up? I am figuring out they are creatures of habit though so if you put them up every night they will probably get it. I've read other posts from people with that problem, and it seems to work eventually for most.
 

applefalls

Songster
10 Years
Feb 25, 2009
238
6
111
Cockeysville, MD
I agree with the posts suggesting that you carry them to the roost each night. Another option is to leave them cooped up for two or three days straight. They'll dislike being cooped up, but they'll learn that the coop is their home and they will go back to it every night--without your help.
 

Izzymoon

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
332
17
118
My Coop
I am on night 1 outside too. They turn 6 weeks tomorrow. 2 of them have figured out how to go upstairs, but I am worried about the rest. I put one of their brooder sticks on the ground so even if they don't go upstairs they have something other than the cold ground to roost on, I'll take that out in the morning. *nervous*
 
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Rock Home Isle

Songster
7 Years
Apr 25, 2012
2,146
222
188
Northern Frontrange of Colorado
I'm in the same boat...I have to round mine up every night. They won't go in the coop on their own. My solution will be to pen them up for a few days with food and water inside the coop...then they should start to go in at dark. Haven't totally gotten there yet...the neighbor kids enjoy coming over and helping to round up the flock.
 

Izzymoon

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
332
17
118
My Coop
I put a flashlight in, and stuffed them all in there lol...they went from screaming to happy cheeping
 
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