How to get chickens to return to the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lowcountrypoultry, Jul 26, 2008.


    Im so stressed right now, and very time crunched.

    So I was begging on separating my run into 5 separate pens, my chickens don't seem to like the 3 acres we have here so they took off went through the hog wire and are in my neighbors back yard!

    Sometimes 1 or 2 would go over there and now there is 10 over there. I chase them out, but they just run back in.

    There bellies are full so they won't come to food, and I cant put them back in the pen until its done.

    This makes me stressed [​IMG]

    Just for future reference, what are some good ways to get chickens to come back at night with out food?

    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. scrapmom5

    scrapmom5 Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    I kept my chickens locked into their house/pen for two weeks without letting them out. After that I would let them free range and they come back at dusk on their own. If I need to introduce a new member of the flock I would repeat the scenario. It has always worked for me. They quickly get the idea of where their home is.
  3. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    Try leaving them locked in their coop for a week. Go in there to feed them regularly of course but let them know that is their place.

    Then you might want to fence off a small area just right around the coop so they can come in and out on their own.... just in that area. (net on top or something so they can't fly out)

    Then make the fenced in space wider with time. When you go in that fenced in space to herd them into their coop box at night you will be teaching them to be herded. I just go behind them and they kind of walk in front of me. A rake or paintroller on a pole or something like that directing their movements to turn right or left with a slight push from behind.

    Sounds like they are not ready to be loose though because it is not established in their minds where is their own space. The neighbors might have some eye catching folliage, plants or grass too . I dont ever think it is a good idea to have them loose with no protection from predators. Maybe look into putting some fencing up on Tposts and a net on top. That seems an easy way to quickly enclose a space
    Good luck.
  4. chicksinthemachine

    chicksinthemachine Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    A dog pen works great, put a few treats in and once one discovers they want in it.
  5. spook

    spook Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    North Central Florida
    Only allow your chicks to have a small contained area at the door in which you will be tucking them in at. They need to know where home is, where you find food day in and day out. After a few weeks of that, allow them to wander in the evening so they learn when you call them that its bed time. Also, if you only feed them out of a "yellow" bucket, like I do, they associate that with yum yums and come each time you wiggle that handle. good luck!
  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Is something chasing them out of your yard? 3-acres is a lot of territory that they should be happy with. Is your neighbor feeding them?

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