How can I teach hens to go to coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by s6bee, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I live in the suburbs and really can't have true free range birds. However, I'd like to see if I can teach the 5 hens I do have ( 9 wks. old ) to return to the coop when asked! Yeah I know, ha-ha! I won't be able to let them go all day, but maybe the last hour of daylight? Will that make them happy or will they resist the return to the coop and run away?
    If any one's done this, please pass along tips.

  2. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    If you are starting out with them in the coop yu should have no problems getting them to go back into the coop, just let them out an hour or so before bedtime, they may not even come out first time, till they realize going outside is fun. You can increase thier time out each time they go out so they will remember where home is.

    after rereading question:
    Are you wanting to be able to go out and call them back into the coop? Never tried it but you may be able to train them by bribing them with treats. shake can with treats and call them "here CHICK CHICK" or anything else just be consistent and when they come into coop give them the treat. Mine will come when I call like that or if they think I have a treat for them but I have never tried to get them all to go back into coop at same time. GOOD LUCK
  3. Nyna

    Nyna Songster

    Jul 3, 2007
    Western Montana
    They usually go back in on their own when it starts to get dark. [​IMG]
  4. lindseykoehler

    lindseykoehler In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2007
    Napa, California
    When my hens were younger, they didn't automatically go into their coop at night after "free ranging" in our urban backyard all day. They would roost on our picnic table or by the patio door. We'd have to put them into the coop ourselves. One day they just figured it out and now they go in every evening on their own. If you want to speed up the process, I agree with the treat-in-the-coop method. Bring something yummy into the coop while calling to the chickens. It doesn't take long before they'll run to you every time to see if you have a treat. What I do is stand in front of the coop door (sometimes they don't want to go in if I'm standing in the coop), put the treat inside the coop...and the hens will run right past me into the coop. Then I lock them up. This works really well if I'm leaving the house in the middle of the day and I want to get the hens back in the coop, safe and sound. Good luck!
  5. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I think I'll start this weekend when we can all sit outside with them for the first few days. I would only be able to give them about an hour at the end of the day. I have dogs and they aren't responding as much as I'd like, to my training them.
    We have a fenced in back yard ( 4ft. ) I guess if I let them free range though I may need to clip wings??

    Thanks for the advice
  6. I'm in the 'burbs, too. I find that after keeping my chicks in their new coop (which has an attached run) for two weeks or so and then letting them out, they go in on their own when it gets dark.

    Our free-range area is 6' stockade on 2 sides, garage on 1 side and 4' picket (spaced) on the long side that borders the yard that we use. They haven't gotten over it yet and they're 16 weeks old and love to get off the ground.

    I also notice that they all perk up when I call out to them even though I haven't spent NEARLY enough time with them to hand-tame them. So one time, I opened the top of the coop (which is how humans access it) and started talking/calling to them. They came a-runnin'!

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