How do I get my darn chickens into their portable run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by msjones, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. msjones

    msjones Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 1, 2009
    Seattle
    [​IMG]
    We have a tiny coop/run, so we just built a portable run/tractor (with no henhouse -- just a pen) so they could have some space around the yard. (They really can't be out and about unless we're watching them -- we have coons and neighbor dogs.)

    Question: If I put the door/entrance on the side of the portable run, can I train them to go in there?

    They're still getting used to us (we got them a week ago), so picking them up and moving them in is no quick task.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    [​IMG] from KS,

    IMO I doubt you can 'train' them to go from a coop to a pen. Once let out they are going anywhere. Unless you throw treats in there and they go after it. Just do a few treats at a time til they all go in the pen. You gotta be smarter than they are.[​IMG]
    Good luck
     
  3. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Use scratch....where you throw it...they will follow! [​IMG]
     
  4. luvchicks8

    luvchicks8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    new Hampshire
    I agree feed them all there treats in there even there feed.
     
  5. LesGan

    LesGan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2008
    Columbiana, Alabama
    I use lightweight plastic netting and plastic elec fence poles with stakes on the end to construct a portable passageway from chicken house out to the grazing area. Easy to move....great versatility. Good luck.
     
  6. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Use scratch, but in addition to using scratch, teach them the word "treats" or whatever word you want to use to get them to pay attention to the food. I can walk one of my chickens down the sidewalk. I let her peck a treat out of the tin every 8-10 feet, and shake it as I walk. I put the scratch in old aluminum pie plates, because it makes a good shaking noise so the chickens know I have treats.
     
  7. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    If you only have a few hens, it is remarkably easy to teach them to go into a crate, then carry/cart the crate to where you want them. Just put treats in a dish, and the dish in the crate. You might have to herd them a bit a first, but after the first couple of times, they go in like clockwork. They come to expect the routine, and eventually you don't even need any treats.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:The easiest thing is to make matching doorways so you can "dock" the portable run onto the side of the coop or fixed run, then lure them in there with treats, shut the door and off you go.

    That way they would never be loose.

    Alternatively you can reach in and pick them up and put them into the portable unit.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  9. msjones

    msjones Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Aug 1, 2009
    Seattle
    Quote:The easiest thing is to make matching doorways so you can "dock" the portable run onto the side of the coop or fixed run, then lure them in there with treats, shut the door and off you go.

    That way they would never be loose.

    Alternatively you can reach in and pick them up and put them into the portable unit.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat

    I wish we had thought of that before we built the pen. But it's big (8'x3') and bottomless. Live and learn, right?
     
  10. msjones

    msjones Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 1, 2009
    Seattle
    Thanks, everyone.

    The girls already do come running to me for treats, so I'm going to try the always-put-the-treats-in-the-pen approach and see how it works. They do seem quite gullible, so I'm guessing they'll fall for it pretty quickly. [​IMG]

    Do I need to have their regular food and water out in the pen if I want to keep them in it for hours at a time? Or just their water? The idea is for them to be able to dig around in the yard rather than just their tiny coop/run. They seem to be finding plenty of bugs out in the yard -- is that enough food until they go 'home' again? (We're complete newbies -- can you tell?)

    I wish they could just free-range, but we see coons here even during the day sometimes.
     

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