How to get my 6 week olds back in the coop?!?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by big mami, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. big mami

    big mami Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2009
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Hey everyone - my 40 Barred Rock "babies" are getting rather big - feathered out at 6 weeks old. The weather here is fine so I'm letting them out during the day. My problem is getting them back in. We're too nervous to let them stay out until dusk, so we have to convince them to go in when they'd rather not. We bring a treat into the coop and call, and all but maybe half a dozen come in. Then we close all the doors and my husband and I run around like a slapstick comedy getting the holdouts in one by one. We can't leave the door open while we get the last ones, because the others will start to come back out. They're getting faster and therefore harder and harder to catch!
    I guess my question is: should I keep up this exhausting routine or let them stay out until dusk? Or does anyone have any tricks that work for getting chickens in before dusk? [​IMG]
     
  2. Apyl

    Apyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2012
    Necedah, Wi
    I have 24 7 week olds. They've been in the coop now since 2 1/2weeks old. I now free range and have been doing it for about 2 full weeks now. Before that I fenced off their run and when I was teaching them to go back in I would have to herd them in. After doing that a few weeks now they go in at dusk when I go outside and call to them. They need to learn thats where you want them to go. So at the begining our going to have herd them towards to coop until they get the idea.
     
  3. WI FarmChick

    WI FarmChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2012
    Wisconsin
    I don't know about getting them into the coop before dusk. Dusk is when they naturally go to the coop. So that might be hard to do.

    when I put our 5 week old's out, They would stand huddled out side the pop door too scared to go in. So...I put a small night light in the coop and they went right in, no problem. would turn it off after everyone was settled in. The light helped them not be scared to go into the building...the coop was a dark hole so it frightened them.

    why are you wanting them to go to the coop before dusk?
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    They will go in at dusk . Just let them. I was afraid too the first few times.
     
  5. big mami

    big mami Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2009
    Santa Cruz, CA
    We're afraid to leave them out because they're not full-sized yet and we have no top to their run. It's about a 1/3 acre fenced in with a hot wire around the top. Plus we ran quite a bit of (non-electric) wire from the coop to the nearest fencing to deter hawks near the coop. The chicks mostly stay near the coop at this point. I guess I should just take the plunge and let them stay out later, so they can go in by themselves. It sure would make my life easier!!!
     
  6. WI FarmChick

    WI FarmChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2012
    Wisconsin
    Yes It would....[​IMG]
     
  7. Apyl

    Apyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2012
    Necedah, Wi
    They'll be fine outside without a top. Mine free range and are 7 weeks old. I haven't lost one yet and I live in the woods. In our area we have hawks, eagles, owls, coyotes, cougars, black bear, wolf, fishers, ect. And those are just what us or the neighbors have confirmed in the area.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  8. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    west virginia
    I gelt your concern, predators are hungry and starting to zero in on meals now. I hung a net over my chick pen since the hawks cruise over twice a day and recently took a small hen and the roo that was with her. I ue food as a bribe, hey like to tank up before bedtime, unfortunately that is dusk,and your teenagers want to stay up, continue to encourage them to return to the coop toeat at the same time every day with treats inside, persistence for early roosting will pay of with fewer predator attacks
     

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