How to get them to sleep in the coop on their own?

JonRigby2005

In the Brooder
Aug 31, 2020
18
25
34
Before moving my chicks from in the house to the coop outside, I read that I should lock them in the coop for the first two nights so they know that that is where they are supposed to sleep. I did this, but it certainly didn't work. Every night they all huddle together on the ground in the run. We have to get them and put them in the coop every night. Is there a way to train them to go in the coop at night for bed time?
 

One Lucky Momma

Chicken Kisser
Premium Feather Member
Apr 25, 2020
450
1,356
196
Madison Co, NC
Is there enough light inside the coop?

We had to use lights for a few nights. Since no electricity in the coop I ran a couple of small battery powered strings for the couple of hours around roosting time, then turned them off after everyone got settled.

This probably went on for about a week. No problems since, tho I kind of miss the lights. Looked like a party in there.
 

KarynVA

Songster
May 29, 2020
189
455
113
SW Virginia
I kept mine locked in for 5 days and they went in on their own the first night they were let out to play in the run. They went in about 15 minutes after official sunset.
 

KarynVA

Songster
May 29, 2020
189
455
113
SW Virginia
I suggest you keep them locked in the coop for 4-5 days and don't worry about a light while they are stuck inside. Then, let them out a couple hours before sunset and see if they go inside on their own. If they still don't go inside on their own after being locked in for that amount of time, try putting a light inside the coop to draw them to it after dark.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,212
22,583
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Photos of your coop would be very helpful to troubleshoot. A coop that's too small, too stuffy/poorly ventilated, too dark, etc. is not appealing and they won't want to use it regardless of you locking them in. I personally like keeping things simple - no lights (as I have ample natural lighting), easy-for-chickens entry (low pop door with steps), amply ventilation that stays open.
 

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