How do I get them back to the hen house?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by in2chickens, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. in2chickens

    in2chickens In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2009
    Norco, CA
    I have 7 laying hens who recently started roosting on a fence in our yard. They all use to sleep in the hen house at night. I have one hen who went broody about the same time. She is in there all of the time. They are going in there to lay thier eggs, but just wont go in at night. I need some suggestions to get them back in there for thier own safety.
  2. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    I used hen scratch to develope a habit of their going in at night................ throwing it in their coop and calling them.
    It appears you need to retrain them
    Good luck.
  3. CathyRN

    CathyRN In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2010
    Sevier County, TN
    How old are your hens and how have you trained them with the coop? I have 9 pullets that are about 18 weeks old. At about 8 weeks I put them out in the coop full time, kept them inside the coop and didn't free range them for a while. The coop is roomy, with nesting boxes and roosting bars, a large run...etc....but I kept them in there for a while. I'd lock them up in the nesting/ roosting area at night (which is an enclosed area but part of the coop).....then I would let them out in the morning to walk around the coop run only. Once they got really "comfortable" with the coop I'd let them out for about an hour a day, just before sundown.

    Summer sundown for us is like at first I'd let them out at 8:30, then a week later 7:30, etc.....I'd wait until sundown and then check on them. Sure enough, by sundown they were all doing their "round up chant" and walking back towards the coop, they'd go in themselves, walk up into the nesting area and 9:30 all the girls were I'd just close them up.[​IMG]

    Maybe for you if your coop is big enough and if you have a run, you can keep them in there a while and just let them out like I did, an hour at a time, just prior to sundown, and slowly increase their free ranging time. This way, they never get too far from the coop......and by sundown most chickens are uncomfortable being outside far from the coop anyway so they come in. If possible you may need to retrain your birds to consider the coop as the "homebase" and their comfort at night they naturally return. Also, you may have to wait until actual sundown to allow birds the optimum amt of time to return to the coop, as most of my birds wait until the very last ounce of sunlight and then "turn in" for the evening. [​IMG]

    I once knew a person who hung a fake racoon from her fence to prevent her birds from roosting up there....but I thought that was kinda mean ...LOL ! Anyway, they more comfortable they get in their coup the more they will use it as a "homebase"...Good Luck. [​IMG]

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