How do you corral your chicks?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 16, 2008
I know dumb question but I'm new at this and have 26 cute little fluffernutters depending on me. At 4 weeks, they're still in my bathroom cuz I really didn't know they'd grow this fast and the coop isn't finished yet! But when it is.....we fencing in area off the coop but I'd love for them to free range. But how do you get 'em back in the coop at night?

And for those who do allow their chickens to roam unprotected, do you lose many to hawks? I seem to be noticing alot of them circling our land lately as if they got notice that there's a bathtub full of treats in my house ! And has anyone successfully integrated chickens with spoiled rotten dogs and NOT had a massacre?

Thanks for any advice!
As far as getting them to go in at night.....I am sure that different people use different methods. My cousin always uses cracked corn to call them in when they are free ranging. But when they are in their run, they all just go inside when it starts to get dark. They seem to know that it is bedtime.
You won't need to do anything to get them to go in at night, even for free rangers. To be perfectly safe, leave them in the coop for a day or two at first. Then let them out in the morning, to their run or to free range and they will automatically go back in at sunset. No snacks needed. But the real problem is on a day when you know you are not going to be home at sunset to lock em up. Trying to corral chicken that are used to going in when they are good and ready is hilarious enough to win the $10,000 on America's funniest home videos. I am NOT joking about that LOL!!

We allow ours to free range and haven't lost any to predators YET, by the grace of God alone. We are in the process though of building a run, cuz I just don't feel like running out of luck in this area.
An Amishman told me to keep them locked inside the coop for 3 weeks. that's all they need to associate it with home. Chickens like habits -- such as roosting in the same spot each night.

Don't let them anywhere near hawks until they're 3/4 grown.

Whatever you do, don't bother trying to "herd" free-rangers into the coop. They'll just go in on their own around twilight. I have one straggler who goes in much later after the others, just before the sun goes down. By by dark, they're all in there.
Yes, my sweeties go to bed like little angels at sunset. They are not free range, but in a large fenced yard. However, we had a severe thunderstorm a few days ago. There was intense lightening, loud crashing thunder, rain, etc. But noooooooooo, it wasn't sunset. They flat out REFUSED to go in their house!!!! BRATS!!!!

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