How do I get the girls to go up the ramp at night?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FlyingtheCoop, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. FlyingtheCoop

    FlyingtheCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    This is only night number two in their new coop, (ark style) but I need to know if there are any tricks or tips for getting them to "put themselves to bed." So far they just stand in the corner of the run and screech as it gets dark. They aren't trying to use the ramp yet. So far I have just been "tossing" them up there myself after a while, but they aren't learning from that; however, I can't just let them screech themselves silly either. HELP [​IMG].
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    It just takes time. You've basically got to go out there every evening and put them in the coop until one day, to your surprise, you'll go out to check and they'll be in the coop! TA-DAAAA! Make sue you're letting them come out of the coop (and down the ramp) on their own in the morning.

    I think it took my last batch about five days to figure it out. [​IMG]
     
  3. Tomhusker

    Tomhusker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I keep them in the coop for a week or so before letting them out. Then I open the door for them but let them go out when they are ready. Leave the food in the coop if you have room, that way they get used to going inside for it.

    Then towards evening, I turn on a light in the coop. I actually hang a shop light in one of the windows since I don't have electricity. You may have to put them in for a night or two, but wait until dark to make sure they will not go in. They will catch on pretty quick. My Jersey Giants actually went in on their own the first time. My BR's took a few tries and the LavOrps were a one time help and done.
     
  4. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put a couple of solar garden lights in the coop about a half hour before sunset. When it gets dark outside, it is lighter in the coop and they go right in. Of course they were 4 weeks old or a little older. I only had to put them in (physically shoo them into the coop) the first couple of nights.
     
  5. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    My Coop
  6. birdicus7

    birdicus7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Tomhusker, keep them inside for about a week and let them get used to the new home. They will get familiar with it and will have no trouble. It always helps to have a little light inside they don't like to go into something dark.
     
  7. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually it was your article (I read it a while back) that led me to use the solar lights. A belated thanks.

    Quote:
     
  8. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Quote:
    You're a doll! It's always my pleasure to further the chicken addiction of others... muwhahahahahaha!!!
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    That light idea is pure genius!

    My coop has a huge sliding glass door, so light isn't really a problem for my youngsters. But my little ones, now just shy of eight weeks, are still a bit frightened of the ten older ones, and the nightly squabble for roosting spots doesn't reassure them any. I still need to lend my support and occasionally referee should there be a persistent bully. Moving chicks into a coop without any older ones is simple - you shut them in for a week until they learn it's home. But with older hens and pullets, this technique won't work. It was a puzzle I was having trouble solving and I asked for ideas on this forum, but got zip.

    What I ended up doing was this:

    I introduced the youngest three to the coop just a little over a week ago. They had already been spending their days in the pen in their own little enclosure, safe from the big bullies. Just three days prior to the big move, I put them into the brooder in the mornings for several hours, locking the big ones out. Then I would open the pop holes and show them how to get out. They would make a bee-line for their enclosure, which they can get into, but the big girls can't.

    On the day of The Big Move, I put them into the brooder three hours before the others roosted, letting them roost first. Then I let the others inside. It took a lot of refereeing for a few nights, but this worked to get them used to the coop as home and as the place they sleep at night.

    Now, just one week later, they choose to allow all the others to finish their roosting and then they go in and find an empty spot on the perch for the three of them. They are eager to go into the coop at night, but having to fight their fear of the scary older ones is their big challenge. They're a plucky trio, two Buff Brahmas led by a bold little Ameraucana, who plows the way. I'm so proud of them!
     
  10. FlyingtheCoop

    FlyingtheCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Thank you for all of the advice. Tonight, the girls just walked up the ramp and off to bed. I didn't get to/have to try anything. I even had our solar light all charged up and ready. They are about five and a half weeks by the way.
     

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