how do I get the flock up the chicken ladder into the coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by f100mike, May 14, 2009.

  1. f100mike

    f100mike New Egg

    May 14, 2009
    Hey yall, finished up my chicken tractor about two weeks ago, and moved our then six week old Bantams into it. We got the day old chicks, and they had been inside in a huge cardboard box since they were two days old, so they had never seen outside, much less any other type of environment, and we had no other birds, so no older chickens to show them the ropes. The tractor consists of a 4 by 4 coop with nesting boxes & roost, and a 6 by 5 outside run. The run is accessed by chicken ladder from an opening in one end of the floor of the coop. Ladder has steps that are about 5 inches apart. WHen I moved them, we put them in the outdoor run first, and they all just sat there for about ten minutes without moving, they were either scared to death or just completely sensory overloaded, but after about 15 minutes they began to assimilate, and are comfortable in the run now. Later that day, I placed three of the birds into the coop, and left three in the run, thinking they might figure out the ladder on their own. THe next morning, there were still three up, three down, but the ones in the coop did finally come down. The next evening, I moved them all into the coop. When I got home that evening, they were in the run, but they are roosting in a corner of the run, and don't go up into the coop. Since I really don't want them laying and roosting continually out of the coop, I'd like to hear how I might train these birds to roost in the coop at night. Suggestions?
  2. highcountrychickens

    highcountrychickens Head Rooster Jouster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Jackson Hole
    So funny, I just went through the same thing.

    I tried a lot of things, but found the thing that worked was to have a light in the henhouse and sort of 'bustle' them in by pushing their fuzzy butts up the ladder (ramp) at the same time every evening, and have treats waiting for them. The light is on a timer that turns on at 6:30pm and off at 9, encouraging them to go inside. It took a bit of time, and all but one seem to have figured it out - I find her snoozing high on some outdoor nesting boxes every night. Every crowd has it's dissent [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  3. whippet128

    whippet128 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2009
    I had the dame problems with my black javas. It took three nights of putting them away when the older chickens went in there coup. Then they got the hint. Just keep trying they learn fast.
  4. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    We put ours up in the coop manually the first night. But the second night they headed up by themselves right at dusk. No problems going up, but some fear of coming down. For a couple days we brought them down, but knowing that they had to learn to do this on their own, we just waited them out one morning and they came down on their own.

    I suspect they jump down - but no matter, they now come down on their own. Yay!
  5. Leah-yes I know I'm crazy

    Leah-yes I know I'm crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2008
    Skidway Lake, MI
    If you can place their food on the ladder in a line going up it might motivate them to try it out.

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