Hen house vacant

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ernie and Donna, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Ernie and Donna

    Ernie and Donna Hatching

    Dec 14, 2010
    I have just completed construction of our hen house and fenced-in run for our chickens. The chicks are now 3+ months old and moved into the coop from the brooder about 2 weeks ago. Here’s the problem, they will not go into the henhouse at night (there is nest boxes, warm clean hay and roosting perches. But they just huddle on the corner on the ground at night. Unless I put them in the coop and close the door they spend the night on the ground. Worried I’ll have to be picking eggs up off the ground. Any ideas or will they just go inside as they grow older. Thanks
  2. Pinky

    Pinky Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    I would keep them in the coop for a week. That way they will know where to go at night. You can put some golf balls or plastic easter eggs in their nests boxes to let them know where to lay.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If they have not been weaned off brooder lighting for "bed time", they will be scared of the dark coop and won't know to go inside before it gets dark. You'll just have to put them in the coop every night or lock them in till they "get it". It can take a week or two.
  4. Ernie and Donna

    Ernie and Donna Hatching

    Dec 14, 2010
    Thanks I thought they might have to be trained, I guess I'll go chicken chasing around sunset for the next few weeks. Thanks again!
  5. happyhappy

    happyhappy Chirping

    May 24, 2010
    Napa, CA
    Our 7 pullets had to be trained from their small cage into the coop we put a box with the light in there till the got to big and too hot at night! Then we built them a low perch to get used to roosting maybe one foot off the floor. from there they went to a higher roost and so on. We all need to learn!

    Now they fight over the windows up top! It's funny to watch some go to bed and hour early just to get that spot LOL! [​IMG]
  6. frankenchick

    frankenchick Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Benton Twp., Michigan
    I had a routine with my first batch of chicks, the only ones I hand-raised. Every evening, just as it was starting to get dark, I would shake a bucket of treats and lead the girls into the coop. I would also sing to them (the same song every night, can't recall why I chose the one I did). After about 4 days, they would come w/o the treats, just the song. After a week, they were going in all by themselves.

    Those hens are 4 y/o; every now and then I'll sing for them and they still turn and troop into the coop. They're the only ones that respond, so I know it's a memory thing. Smart girls!
  7. Ernie and Donna

    Ernie and Donna Hatching

    Dec 14, 2010
    Thanks all - I moved the chicks by hand into the coop for 3 nights - to my surprise went to round them up last night and all but three where in the house! I figure the 3 will catch on.
  8. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    It sounds like yours are catching on. I locked mine up in the coop for two weeks straight & then let them out & hour are two before dusk & they went back no problem. If I need them to go in the coop at a certain time I can open up the trash can next to the coop which is full of BOSS & they all come immediately. One thing a chicken knows is where the food is.

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