How long to keep chickens penned up in coop before opening it up

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Carol.in.WV, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Carol.in.WV

    Carol.in.WV Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2009
    Pendleton County, WV
    Our 35 chickens have been free-ranging since they went outside as chicks. We finally got the coop together and managed to put 20 bantams in it (mostly the girls and 4 boys). We are trying to get 3 Japanese out of the apple tree with no success so far, and have small coops for the others to sleep in but want to get them to sleep in the stall. Our coop is about 8'x10' and seems to be enough room for the 20 in there with the exception of an alpha bantam cochin cockerel.

    I want to open the door (no pop door yet) and let them range during the day but I want to make sure they come back at night. I would hate to spend another night climbing the ladder up the tree (there were 11 roosting there, now down to 3) and don't want to clip wings because the "fliers" like to roost up high (we put a roost up about 7' and another on the other side about 4' but some of the birds wanted to be higher and started roosting on the 2x4 above the windows so we added another roost up high above the windows.

    My question is will they go back in tonight if I leave the door open all day? They have been penned up since about the day after Thanksgiving.
     
  2. tazcat70

    tazcat70 I must be crazy!

    Probably. You could also give them a treat in there right as it is getting dark to give them the added incentive.
     
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I like to keep them in at least a week before letting them out for the first time.

    .....Alan.
     
  4. Carol.in.WV

    Carol.in.WV Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2009
    Pendleton County, WV
    Thanks for the input. It has been about 12 days so I left the door open when I when up to clean it out. Right now the sun is shinning and it is fairly mild, but tonight's forcast is for rain/snow and winds of 20 to 30 with gusts of up to 40mph. Hopefully the rain will come at dusk and help them decide to go back in and maybe the ones we couldn't catch to put in will find it. We'll wait and see. I can also bribe them with their favorite treat, butter cookies which I know is not good for them, but they go nuts over them!
     

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