how do you get the hens in the coop at night?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hotpeppercat11, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. hotpeppercat11

    hotpeppercat11 Hatching

    Sep 13, 2008
    We just got our first chickens. we put them in the coop for 24 hours and then let them out. We were told that they would naturally come into the coop at night but it just took my daughters an hour to get them all in.
    So,, at what time should we expect the chickens to go in? and how can we make it easier than running all over the yard to corral them?
    Thanks for any help.
  2. SunAngel

    SunAngel Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Chambersburg, Pa.
    If I leave the chickens alone they usually are in their coop and perching by 8:30 at the latest. Mine are usually in their run though, but I would think even free rangers would do the same. A few of mine go in about an hour before the others and claim their perching spots.

    I've noticed since its started getting darker earlier now that they start to head in about 7:30'ish.
  3. Mine go to their respective coops on their own.
    The first night, maybe two I had to show them where to go, now they are all in their coops roosting by 8:00p.m.
  4. Crazy_Chicken_Lady

    Crazy_Chicken_Lady In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2008
    The Empire State
    I kept mine in their coop for a week, then after I let them out, I got them in the habit every night at the exact same time of coming in with a treat for a week. Now like clock work they come in at the exact same time for going on 2 1/2 years.
  5. deborah

    deborah Songster

    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    It's 8:45PM here in Michigan. We closed the coop up about 15 minutes ago. They were all on their perches.

    The only time we've ever had to chase them was if we knew we were going to be gone at dusk and wanted to get them in early.

    Once dusk comes, they go in on their own. Good Luck.
  6. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    I've always been told to keep them locked in the coop for 1-2 weeks when you first get them. Shorter than that and they don't establish it as home and a safe place to roost. They are more likely to go looking for trees or other places to roost. After that they should start going back to their coop at night. Occasionally though it seems some people have to shoo there's in for a few nights until they get the idea.
  7. I never had to lock mine up, I think you should just try shooing them in for a few nights first before locking them in.
    If their food and water is in there and where its getting colder at night, it shouldn't take that much to get them use to the idea.
    I found too, that if I could get the roosters in first or really whichever ones you can get your hands on the rest will usually get the idea.
  8. LuckysMom

    LuckysMom Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    South Carolina
    I usually let mine out of the coop around 6 p.m. Then I put fresh feed in when I'm ready for them to go back in. As soon as one finds the food and starts cackling, the others usually come right in the coop. I go behind any stragglers and get them moving in that direction and they go on in.
    Good luck with your new flock. [​IMG]
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Be patient and let them find their own time to go to bed, then calmly shut the door.

    No treats, no herding them, no anxiety....just quiet chickens going to roost and peaceful chuckles and purrs while they settle in. Its sooooo relaxing that way... <sits in a yoga pose, meditating with eyes closed and mysterious Eastern music tinkling in the background>

    If some of them get confused, again, calmly lift them from their chosen place of roosting, place them on the roosts in the coop and shut the door. In the dark they are very easy to handle. Return to calm meditation.... [​IMG]
  10. n2h20

    n2h20 Songster

    May 7, 2008
    Pasadena Ca
    mine go in as soon as dusk hits. if your girls are new to the coop i would suggest leaving them in there for a few days so they get to know thats home....
    when mine were younger and i want to get them in earlier,,, i just "shoo" them" with a stick,,,, and they just go in...

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