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How do you train the chickens to go into coop at night?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fshinggrl, May 5, 2009.

  1. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Songster

    May 1, 2009
    the edge of insanity
    I read somewhere here that you should train them to return the to coop (building) at night. I guess I thought that was kind of a given, that they would want to go in there. My chicks are still in the house right now but will be going out soon. Is this something that I have to train them to do? (If so, how?) or will it be instinctual. I plan on having them in the coop for a few days before releasing them outside (good idea?) Thanks!
    Hopefully all these EE's & Wyndottes are pullets!

  2. Big dreams

    Big dreams Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    I think it depends, some just go in others not so much, what I do is make it nice and light in the coop in the evening as they will not want to go into the dark, then once they are all in and settled I turn off the light. Only a few times have I had to go and pick a couple of them up and carry them in.... [​IMG]
  3. bethandjoeync

    bethandjoeync Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    Iron Station, NC
    I would keep them in the coop without outdoor play for about 4 or 5 days. this way they know that this place is home and we sleep here. also you can give them their treats inside the coop, that will also help them realize when you call them you bring good things to them. we did this with our older girls and after a week of getting treats, they come when i call and go right to roost when the sun starts going down.
  4. Ryu

    Ryu Songster

    Jan 6, 2009
    We keep them closed in the hen house for a few weeks so they become really comfortable in there, then open the door in the mornings and wait till they come back to roost. You might have to shoo a straggler in the first couple day. Ours are usually all on the roost 30-45minutes before sundown.

    Our hen house has two doors and a partition we can take down and put back up when we are bringing new girls in. The younger birds tend to do what the older birds do so that makes it easier as well.

    With guineas we kept them in the coop for 6 weeks. I guess they need about twice the time to settle into a coop than a chicken.

    Good luck!
  5. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    I recommend doing what the others suggested. That is how mine learned the fastest. We had a couple of rainy days anyway so for me timing worked out just right.
  6. rsmcclure

    rsmcclure In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2012
    We train our birds by locking them into the coop for two days. We check the food and water and make sure it is available inside the coop. Locking them up for two days reinforces home.

    After two days we let them out and see how many return at the end of the day. You might have a few who are lost and need a gentle reminder to return home.

    If you can seperate the stragglers and lock them in the coop for two more days that should do it. Otherwise locking the entire flock up for two more days won't hurt them.

    With the babies, usually they follow the bigger birds. Our coop, the babies cant enter the coop until they are large enough to jump up a foot. We provide a cinder block to help them up to the ramp to enter the coop. The babies also need a small ramp to get out of the coop as well.
  7. 10xmama

    10xmama Songster

    May 14, 2011
    So glad you asked this ... I just put mine into their coop/run last week. Due to the weather, they were locked in their coop for a couple of days .. then on Sunday the sun finally came out and I let them into the run ... the first night they didn't go back into the coop. I hand placed them back in. I then decided to put the brooder light into the coop and turn it on in the early evening. That worked very well. They all went in on their own. But the next evening I had four stragglers ... they were chirping up a storm trying to call for their sisters ... but I had to place them into the coop again. Tonight we had our handy man finishing up some details on the coop so they were too worked up and I hand placed them into the coop again. Hopefully tomorrow ... they will do it on their own... the light in the coop definitely helped them realize that's where they needed to go.

  8. critterwhisper

    critterwhisper Chirping

    Jan 14, 2013
    My girls go out first thing before work,then when it starts to get dark i turn their light on,and they start heading inside to the roosts. I do a quick head count,shut the light,and lock up. We had a bad flood a couple weeks ago so having my horse and a neighbors horse shacking in their run area,they were shut up for a couple days,so that might have helped.
  9. RoseMarie1

    RoseMarie1 Songster

    Mar 31, 2013
    My Coop
    I have 15 Rhode Island reds and 23 black Australorps and Sex links. I have let them out to free range twice now and they mostly go back into their pen but some of them get confused. I think I will also try the light inside the pen because they want to push it and stay outside as long as the can. My dark and their dark is 2 different things. PLUS I need to take me out a flash light when I plan on doing this so I will have a light to get back to the house with because I like seeing where I am putting my feet. When I finally got them all in the pen it's so dark I can't see out there. Their pen is a good distance from our house, we live in the country. Anyway I have to be out there with them at all times because we have 3 cats that LOVE to eat birds and since my babies are only 6 weeks old and 8 weeks old I can't leave them alone yet. Anyway I want to let them out more but the yellow flies are also carrying me off out there while I wait and watch for them. I do plan on letting them free range for awhile tomorrow evening and am going to try the light inside to help them know where they need to go and see if they all will go inside on their own this time.
  10. ChickStarter13

    ChickStarter13 In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2013
    my chick is a baby, only a couple weeks, I'm raising her to show, so she gets some special attention. I take her out of her cage, and when I am ready to put her up, I put her in the cage and say "cage up", I'm hoping that in a few weeks she will get in on her own when I say the phrase. Hope that helped and good luck to you!

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