Have coop--chickens won't travel!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by onafixedincome, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. onafixedincome

    onafixedincome Songster

    Oct 10, 2009
    Okay...so I finally got around to doing a real coop (of sorts) for the chooks, and the roof went on, the perches are in, the food is there...and they don't like it, won't go in it by choice, and vacate as soon as it's light enough to leave when I move them in after dark. [​IMG]

    A friend said to keep them closed in the coop (it's appx 8x16x7 feet, roofed and wired in) for two weeks...is she right? Do I need to put them in 'jail' until they get used to the new digs?

    Many thanks, guys!
  2. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    Yes. Lock them in for a week or two and they will realize that it is home. Chickens are naturally suspicious of any change and need to learn that the new coop wont eat them! You should see mine carry on when I put down new litter in their coop. They peer inside the coop from the ramp and absolutely avoid going in until the bravest one goes in first and determines that all is safe. Silly chickens.
  3. AK Michelle

    AK Michelle Bad Girl of the North

    Mar 17, 2009
    Palmer, Alaska
    Mine are in jail now, it's been a week so they have a few more days left [​IMG] hopefully they have forgotten all about that other coop [​IMG]
  4. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Do they roost there at night? Lay eggs thers? If so, don't worry, if not, lock down for a few days.
  5. jbourget

    jbourget Songster

    Apr 4, 2008
    yup lock them in there a while they will come to enjoy it. i had some chickens would rather sit out in the rain and cold on a bench rail of the picnic table..........when they had a heat lamp and a nice coop to go in but hey they are bird brains what can you expect
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    yep I hated that part but they did figure it out after a week or so.
  7. Newwell

    Newwell Chirping

    [​IMG] Last night I was about ready to pull my hair out. I had to crawl under the coop (20 inches high & I'm NOT small) to get my 8-6 week olds out of the corner & into the coop. They squawked & raised holy Hannah when I made them stay in. I had read on BYC to keep them in "lock down" for several days, so I did that last Friday PM - Monday AM. I thought that would do the trick. NOPE!!!!
    After I had a few hairs less on my head, I did a search on BYC for some advice. Followed the advice & [​IMG] they all went into the coop tonight on their own. Hopefully this is going to be their habit now. [​IMG] I am going to continue doing the following for the next 2 weeks or so:

    1. I took them their AM treats & gave it to them IN the coop before I let them out. Their favorite is scrambled eggs, plain yogurt, raw broccoli, & half-stale cornbread. I rang a bell on my way out the door & called "Treat time". Good thing the neighbors live quite a ways away.

    2. I left all of their feed IN the coop, so if they wanted to eat they had to go back inside. (Thanks BYCers!!!)

    3. Around noon I did the same thing with just cornbread. Rang the bell, opened the coop door & 5 of them ran up the ramp into the coop. The other 3 missed out on most of the treats. I went to the run area, rang the bell, said "Treat Time", & gave them what little was left.

    4. I installed a cheapie push LED closet light in the coop. (I didn't know that chickens were afraid of the dark...they can't see. Thanks BYCers!!!)

    5. We let them out to free range around 4 PM (recommended by BYCers). About 5:30, I turned on the light in the coop, rang the bell, said "Treat Time", & EVERY ONE of them ran back into the run, up the ramp into the coop for treats. (If anyone ever says that chickens are dumb, I would beg to differ. 2 bell ringings & they had the sound down.) After treats, only one of them ventured back out to the run, but returned after about 2 minutes of being alone.

    6. I left the pop door open for another 1/2 hour just to see what they would do & no one made another appearance. So I locked the door with no objections from the babes. They seemed happy to be in for the night.

    7. 7:30 PM I went out to make my final head count & check up on them. There they were all sleep in the corner. (They don't know enough to use the roost to sleep on yet. Oh well, one thing at a time.)

    So tonight I'm celebrating!!!! [​IMG]
  8. Time-Out

    Time-Out Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    The Peak District, UK
    I didn't lock mine in for any days. I'd feel awful. I just disloated my shoulder every night reaching underneath the furthest, darkest corner, often grabbing what I could (tail feather, leg...) and dragging them out to shove them in the coop. I think it took 4 nights of doing that before they got the message that ACTUALLY, it's rather nice and snug in the coop! Much better than the cold concrete floor!

    Now, even if I leave them to free range around the garden, by 6pm, they're all in the coop, cheeping softly for me to close the door [​IMG]
  9. Newwell

    Newwell Chirping

    [​IMG] Oh I felt bad locking them up for 3 days, but people who had chickens for a long time said to do it, so I did it. The one night of crawling around under the coop in the damp & dark did me in. I was VERY frustrated as my DH & I had just spent many days making them a nice big tractor coop with all the amenities (except the light...dumb on my part.)
  10. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Just one time I would love to [​IMG] under the cage when my wife came out and said here babies I have a treat for you and when she reached under to coop (this my part) I either fill her hand with a couple of bugs or SCREAM Boo!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] That would get her!!

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