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***HELP****Training them to go into the coop at night and use a ladder?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mommabice, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2012
    Mississippi
    My Coop
    Okay, my seven week old girls just moved out to their coop/run. Today was the first day that I let them out into the run. It took them about 30 min to decide they would fly out of the coop and down into the run. The bravest girl was the first out and the others followed not long after.

    However, and the end of the day, they did not know that they needed to go back in. This means that I got to chase them down and put them in the coop one by one. I tried to at least put them on the top rung of the ladder and make them jump up into the coop door.

    How do you train them to A) use the ladder, and B) go into the coop in the evening.

    Some other info: The coop is two feet off the ground and the ladder is at a 30-45 degree angle. The rungs are about 4 inches apart (the ladder is a wide board with the square rungs attached to it).

    Edited to add:

    Okay, they are *STILL* not going in at night, and I know they can go up the ladder. I have watched several of them go up the ladder and get the treats that I leave on the rungs (to get them to use the ladder). Tonight I left them out until it was dark. I went outside, and they are all roosting on the end of the coop (where we have a platform to hang the water and what not off of). Help! They are eight weeks old and have been out in the coop for about a week. They were kept in the coop for several days before they went into the run. I *really* need them to go in the coop at night without me having to help them. I thought this was instinct?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  2. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

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    Jun 3, 2011
    Em's Dungeon
    Leave them in the coop without letting them free range for a week, at the end of the week when you let them out don't help them down and they will have to use the latter, it may take a while but they will get the idea. at night they should go right to sleep in thier coop, if they don't, post back here and I will try to give you some more help.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  3. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

    83
    1
    43
    Jan 22, 2012
    Mississippi
    My Coop
    They have been in the coop for about a week without going out (we had the coop done but had not finished the run yet). Still keep them in another week? (Are they grounded? lol)
     
  4. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

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    Jun 3, 2011
    Em's Dungeon
    hmm, how long did you wait before you decided to manually put them in? sometimes during daylight savings the hens don't go in untill 7/8. if you did wait untill then and they still didn't go in, then perhaps you could put a light in the coop to attract them to go in at night? or you could just put them in manually for a couple of days and they will get the idea that they are supposed to go in by themselves at night.
     
  5. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

    83
    1
    43
    Jan 22, 2012
    Mississippi
    My Coop
    Very good point...I didn't wait long. A rain storm was coming and I had to get them in before the down pour. I was afraid if I didn't put them in they would huddle under the coop during the rain, and then it would be dark and I would have to go in the mud to put them in the coop. Weather permitting, I will give them until dusk to go in tomorrow. :) Thanks! I didn't even think about the fact that they would wait till it was dark...after all they didn't know a storm was brewing.
     
  6. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

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    Em's Dungeon
    Great! keep me posted!
     
  7. devora

    devora Chillin' With My Peeps

    When are you letting them out? The first time I let mine out I do it half an hour before sunset. Then I gradually increase the time they get to stay out.

    If they are out all day it's not unreasonable that they would forget where/how to go. Happens to me all the time.
     
  8. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

    83
    1
    43
    Jan 22, 2012
    Mississippi
    My Coop
    Lol. They are out all day. My hubby let them out before he went to work. I am going to see if they go in on their own tonight at dusk. [​IMG] This is only the second day of being out in the run...so they are new at this. He did tell me that they remembered how to get out of the coop this morning right away. Yesterday it took them almost an hour to come out of the coop.
     
  9. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

    83
    1
    43
    Jan 22, 2012
    Mississippi
    My Coop
    Okay, last night at dusk I went out and they were all huddled under the coop and they were crying! They sounded so pitiful. I had to gather them up again and put them in the coop. I am trying to get them to hop up at least the top rung on the ladder, but most won't. What cracks me up is several of them jump on the ramp to roost during the day, but they don't know it goes into the coop.
     
  10. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

    5,422
    11
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    Jun 3, 2011
    Em's Dungeon
    poor little babies :(
     

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