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How to teach chicks to use the ramp/ladder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eggspletive!, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. eggspletive!

    eggspletive! Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2009
    My three chicks are about 7 weeks old and are having trouble understanding the use of the ramp/ladder. Their door is about 4 feet up from the ground, so it is a longish ladder. Yesterday they just came out the door and then flew down to the ground, but today I left the door open all day long and they never left the coop once. I thought for sure they could be lured out with grapes, but no deal. Is there a trick to this I don't know?
     
  2. DIMBY

    DIMBY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Western Colorado
    Oh, wow, this takes me back. Ramp Training 101. There are some things they never tell you about and this is one of them. When my chicks were about 8 weeks old, I introduced them to their new henhouse (they grew up in my utility room). For two days (and two nights) they would not use the ramp, let alone go up to the hen house. I was so worried. So, the third evening I crawled into the run, sat down and gently lifted each and every one (had six at that time) into the hen house, repeating it each time they jumped down. By the second night, I had a crowd of my neighbors who were convinced I had lost my mind. But by Night 4, my babies got the idea and finally went up on their own and my neighbors lost their evening amusement.

    Until about a month later, when we had Roost Training 101.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    patience
     
  4. sassychiken

    sassychiken Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2009
    Coastal Bend
    Aaah! This is interesting. I just moved my two week old chicks into the "suite quarters" as opposed to their little rabbit cage. But the rabbit cage (while small) had a "ramp door" and I had urged them up and down the ramp until they were doing it themselves. Now the new suite (dog crate) has no ramp, just a door, but I turned the rabbit cage into a playpen (yes, a playpen, LOL) with dirt to poke around in. Once or twice a day they get to play in there and I make them use the ramp then too. I'm hoping this will help them down the road for the coop ramp. You think they will relate one ramp to another? [​IMG]
     
  5. eggspletive!

    eggspletive! Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2009
    Well, when I got home this afternoon they were all "downstairs," and then when I was visiting with them, one of them walked up the ramp and then flew back down again, so I thought they had figured it out. But then tonight I waited until well after dusk, thinking surely they'll go up by themselves, but no. They were huddled together pitifully in the corner. I guess we're making progress, though.
     
  6. lilchicken nuts

    lilchicken nuts New Egg

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    Jun 1, 2012
    Hello folks, Im/we are new here and its a pleasure to join this group. We are venturing into the world of chick raising. We are experienced in mature chicken keeping, but this is new. We got 6 chicks at 7 weeks, and 11 at abt 8 or 9 weeks. The younger chicks all use a ramp fine, yet the other 11 older ones huddle in a corner and dont go in the nite coop. I catch and put them in every night, and have for a week now. How do I teach them lol??????? We are used to 'oh its dusk lets go roost".........The ones that dont go in are Birchen Marans and other Marans and Barndevelders. Not that one breed is smarter than other breeds. But the Buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks figured it right out!
     
  7. angelavl

    angelavl Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2012
    Western Washington
    It took mine a few days to figure it out. I sprinkled some scratch on the ramp to tempt them. Now I'm turning a light on in their hen house at dusk and they usually go up right away to get warmed up (the weather has been rainy and gross out here the last couple of weeks). Then I turn it off before I go to bed. In a couple more weeks I'll try to see if they go up on their own w/o a lamp. We'll see what happens!?
     
  8. DIMBY

    DIMBY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Western Colorado
    Just wait until you have to initiate Perch Training 1.0[​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. songbird

    songbird Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2009
    New England
    Wow, this is baffling to me! I am raising my second group of chicks now, and both times, I have never had to teach them to use the ramp, nor teach them to use the perches. My ramp is not that high (meaning, their door is not that high - maybe that's the key) and when they hear me in the hen house, they scramble up the ramp and wait at the little door to get in.

    They have a natural tendency to perch (if I'm squatting down, they choose my head!) But when I first put them out in the hen house, I put some lower objects in to make it easier for the babies to hop up to the perches.

    I guess I've been lucky!
     
  10. HappyHenMama

    HappyHenMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had the same problem with my 6 babies. When they moved into their new coop they all huddled together on top of each other no less on a small concrete block. I would watch them and it was quite entertaining to see them pile on top of each other trying to be the ones on the bottom (for warmth I guess)...anyway, I would go in there and pick them up one by one and put them on their perch but I always had this one (a frizzel feathered cochin) that was a late bloomer. She was the last to learn how to walk up the ramp to get to her perch. Again, every night I would go in the coop and pick her up and put her on the perch with her sisters. Finally, one night I went in the coop and she had finally gotten up there by herself. I have to asume she used the ramp because she can't fly like her sisters due to the frizzel feathers. It took about a week for all of them to learn to take the ramp up to the perch. Love and patience were the key! [​IMG]
     

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