How do I get them back into the hutch?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by goddesses, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. goddesses

    goddesses In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2008
    I have 8 - 4 week old wyandotts ready for their coop. I understand they need to be in the coop for at least 48 hours before their first venture out, so they know where "home" is. I also get that we have to supervise their free ranging for sometime.

    So, how long do they need to be watched (how old)? And how do they know when to come back into the coop, or will we need to herd them in each evening. We are training our border collie for this job, but....

    These goddesses have 1.5 acres of mowed grass and another 4 of high grass area to roam.


    Mother Goddess:yiipchick
  2. Karlachix

    Karlachix Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    My friend told me (I've also read it) that it's a good idea to let them out an hour or so before dusk the first few times so that they won't have ranged very far by the time they're ready to turn in for the night.
  3. Linda in San Diego

    Linda in San Diego Songster

    May 11, 2008
    San Diego
    My coop is attached to a closed run. The first week we herded the Delightful Dozen into the coop as the sun was setting. After that they have put themselves to bed every night. They now get a couple of hours to roam the fenced in yard and they head to the run and into the coop shortly after sunset. So far no problems.

    If you don't have a closed run, the idea of giving them short evenings out to get used to the bedtime routine sounds like a good idea.
  4. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Quote:We have ten seven-week-old blue Orpingtons and two Welsh corgis, Siegmund and Sieglinde. Siegmund loves herding the chicks and looking after them; Sieglinde could not care less than what she does. Anne left the coop door open today while she got them some greens from the garden; when she got back to the coop, seven of them were out wandering around. She got them all in the coop except one who wanted to run everywhere and hide. I came out, Anne told me what happened and that she could not find the runaway chicken. Siegmund had helped me yesterday when I let them out to sun in the yard. I called him out of the house and said, "Siegmund, find the chicken." He went into the overgrowth area, found it, and shooed it out to where we could get. He got a very BIG dog biscuit bone. What a good boy!
    It really helps a herding breed to have a job, and it's hard to beat a border collie. We used to have one. You'll soon see that he'll love herding your chickens for you; just keep letting him know how proud you are of him; he'll be glad to round 'em up and head 'em out at any time for you.

    EDIT: In all fairness to Sieglinde, she really wanted/wants to help but Siegmund wouldn't/won't let her. He's been selfish with the chicks ever since they hatched.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  5. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    [​IMG] bravo Joe Bryant on the dogs herding! I keep my chooks inside the coop for a couple weeks and then leave the door open for them to venture out on their own. All mine free range and everyone comes back to the coop at dusk. Even the newbies since they have been inside the "brooder room" for a couple weeks or more inside the coop. They know where home is.
  6. goddesses

    goddesses In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2008
    Thank you all - this is so reassuring.

    The border collie wants to pick them up! We also have a greyhound lab mix, who will of course chase them (but not to the coop).

    This is the best web site.

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