How do I get my chickens to go in the coop before nightfall?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by vinniepoch, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. vinniepoch

    vinniepoch Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Mt. Shasta, CA
    We're new to chicken farming, and still learning that we have to reorder our lives around our chickens. We needed to leave the house early (well before the sun went down) for Easter dinner, and were faced with the question of how to get the chickens (8 weeks old) to go back in the coop. We ended up grabbing them one at a time and putting them back in the coop, but that won't be an option once their run is bigger (and so are they). So how do you get chickens to go back into the coop when you want them to?
     
  2. bethandjoeync

    bethandjoeync Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Iron Station, NC
    we got our hens when they were over 7 months old, so they had to get to know us. what we did was give them their treats in the coop, and very quickly they learned when we went into the coop they got good stuff! and even when we don't have any treats they run into the coop when I go out to check for eggs. repitition is key. they love treats and will learn you in the coop= yummy in the tummy! good luck
     
  3. vinniepoch

    vinniepoch Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Mt. Shasta, CA
    thanks for the advice about getting the chickens into the house. what types of treats do you give your girls?
     
  4. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    give them some scratch - but carry it out to the coop and shake the bucket and sing "chick chick chick" so they can learn to come when the special treats come out.

    also - turn a light on IN the coop so they will go toward the light
     
  5. stephenkeener

    stephenkeener Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2009
    Ellijay,GA
    Just leave the door open. Once they are old enough to roost they go to it when it gets dark. You will probally have a few get confused the first few times just keep an eye on them when it gets dark and if they are roosting in the wrong location relocate them. Soon they will all go in and all you have to do is remember to get up off the couch and go close the door.
     
  6. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    It's all actually real easy, without any effort at all.

    Here is the formula that works, time and time again...no matter what the breed is.

    First, you have to realize that the flock will come home to roost before dark, taking their time, spending every available moment, before going in.

    Nothing is more sressful to the flock, than an impatient flock owner that thinks it's time to go in.....they know when it's time!

    Keep your flock locked up in the coop fo a minimum of 2 weeks so....they know it's home....then start by leaving them them out a few hours before sunset on a decent day....one by one they will go home before dark.

    Folks freak out, and think they won't go in...then they start chasing them around, creating a stressful event for the flock and you chasing them....leave them alone til dark....if then, they don't go in changes in shooing them along can be made, however patience is the key here!

    They will show you patience like you never knew! [​IMG]

    ~ bigzio
     
  7. stephenkeener

    stephenkeener Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2009
    Ellijay,GA
    Man you are so much better at explaining things than I am.
     
  8. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2009
    Vermont
    If my girls have to go in before dark (e.g. if I have someplace to be and won't be around to shut them up at dark) I get a can half full of cracked corn (their favorite treat) in a can and call them (chick-chick-chikENS) until they all come to me, then run to the coop shaking the can and they all run after me. I scatter the corn on the coop floor, they attack the corn and I shut the door as fast as possible. Works like a charm! (As long as they know what is in the can and come when you call them).
     
  9. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    I've never really worried about getting to the coop right at dark and shutting them in. Mine go in when it's dark. Sometimes we are gone for various reasons when it gets dark. I just go out and shut the coop when I get home. Sometimes it's 10 or 11 p.m. I've never had a problem. Lately though, I've added some preditor proofing to the run and don't go out and shut the coop any more. My chickens don't free range though. They are locked up in their run.
     
  10. philhyde

    philhyde Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    I've noticed that our young ones go in before the older ones. Don't know if it's age or habit. But trust in that once they know the coop is home, they WILL go in!
     

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