How do I get them to sleep in the coop?

needmorechickens!

Songster
11 Years
Jul 2, 2008
1,559
11
161
West TN
My chickens (got them in March) have always just roosted in the run on a couple of corner braces at waist level....I have been reading the "Pest and Predators" thread and realize that I should get them in the coop and lock them up at night.

If I catch them every night and put them in the coop, will they eventually start going in there on their own?
Do you think I should remove the corner braces so they will not have a place to roost in the run?

~Rebecca
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
239
421
SW Arkansas
Taking down the roosts may help or try this: Can you temporarily run an extension cord to the coop to power a small light? Turn it on at dusk. Chickens will naturally move towards the light. After they are all settled in you can turn the light off. They'll squawk for a few minutes, but they'll get over it. After awhile they'll form the habit of going into the coop at night and you can stop with the light routine.
 

shelleyd2008

the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
23,381
96
351
Adair Co., KY
You could try luring them in there with treats, then locking them up. Eventually they should go there on their own. Or wait till later in the day to feed them, then lock them up.
 

rebbetzin

Songster
11 Years
Apr 4, 2008
1,299
11
204
Tucson AZ
My baby chicks, ages 3 weeks, and 2 weeks old, put themselves in the coop at night as soon as it gets dark. I guess I should be happy they have done this since the second night I had them.

My husband wonders why I bother going out and shutting the coop door at night, but I feel they are much safer in the coop, just in case some preditor is able to get in the run.
 

ThePamperedPullet

Songster
11 Years
Oct 4, 2008
2,337
28
181
North Central Florida
When we introduce new chooks to the flock it takes them a few days to get used to going to the cage at night. We wait till most of the flock is in the cage and see where the newbies are wanting to roost. We wait till it gets a bit darker and then we place them on the ground and shoo them towards the cage area. A couple nights of this and they find their spot in the pecking and roosting order and then they will all go there on their own. The darker it gets, the less they can see, so you have to do it just after the others get half way settled. They have to be able to see where they are going. They will pick their own place to roost.
 

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