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

JonRigby2005

In the Brooder
Aug 31, 2020
18
25
34
It is pretty high. They cannot get onto it. I guess I thought it was supposed to be high and that they would grow into it. Should I lower the roosting bars, or build a ramp up to them?
 

thepick4uchicks

Songster
May 23, 2020
982
1,624
143
Mississippi
There is no Light in the coop. Should I put a light in and have it turn off maybe an hour after sunset? And, lock them back up in the coop for a 3-5 days?
How old are your chicks? Do you have a roost set up in the coop also that is reachable for them yet? Had they learned to roost inside before you brought them outside? And what part of the world do you live? If it’s extremely hot still it seems like locking them inside the coop for five days in hot weather is rough.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
86,215
102,127
1,727
SW Michigan
My Coop
It's hard to tell from a photo, but is that roost bar really high off the ground? Can they get up onto it?
I thought so too.

Is that black thing the nests covered up...and the roost is just above it?

It is pretty high. They cannot get onto it. I guess I thought it was supposed to be high and that they would grow into it. Should I lower the roosting bars, or build a ramp up to them?
Ramp might work, thing is they'll try to fly down and may hit the wall in the other side.

Here's some tips on heights:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/coop-stack-up-how-high-stuff-works-well.73427/
 

JonRigby2005

In the Brooder
Aug 31, 2020
18
25
34
They are about 7 weeks old. The small little roosting bar on the floor is what they had in their brooder, but I haven't seen them use it since moving out to the coop. Yes the black is the covered nesting boxes, and yes the roosting bar is just above it. I am in central Florida and it is still very hot. The coop has a vent in the back and a window on the front which I've been leaving open at night for air to flow through. I also have a 12" oscillating fan mounted in the coop.

I have their food and water outside of the coop. Should I also keep food and water in the coop?
 
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rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,194
22,574
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
They are about 7 weeks old. The small little roosting bar on the floor is what they had in their brooder, but I haven't seen them use it since moving out to the coop. Yes the black is the covered nesting boxes, and yes the roosting bar is just above it. I am in central Florida and it is still very hot. The coop has a vent in the back and a window on the front which I've been leaving open at night for air to flow through. I also have a 12" oscillating fan mounted in the coop.

I have their food and water outside of the coop. Should I also keep food and water in the coop?
Ah, Florida... then for starters I'd open up a lot more ventilation, like the entire wall facing into the coop.

I'd also lower the roosts - the birds probably could get up there, but coming off of them would be tricky at that height. Like the one on the left, I'd move to about halfway between floor and where it currently sits, and the other one, same thing, about halfway down.

As you have a hot climate I would not lock the birds in for any period of time, you'll just need to train them to go in by manually luring or putting them in until they finally get on board with it.

As far as food and water, put it where it makes sense to you - I keep water outside, food inside because I want to keep water out of my dry coop, and want to keep food dry and protected from rain. However if you are planning to have water strictly outside the coop, the birds must be let out each morning before it gets hot, or you're risking dehydration from them not being able to access it.
 

WindingRoad

Songster
Nov 21, 2018
1,276
2,319
233
Maine
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?
Go out BEFORE it is totally dark. Put them on the roost and roost them in the same spot (each bird) every night. As soon as you get them on the roost lock up. Might take a couple of days for them to go in or a week even. Birds develop habits pretty quickly.
 

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