how to train chickens to return to new coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by john in wa, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. john in wa

    john in wa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my chickens have been free range and was able to come and go as they pleased from one of my barns. i have built a new coop. locked them in for a month and when i let them out they all returned to the barn to roost. how long should i keep them in the new coop before they start calling it home. thanks
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Sounds like they are already homed in on the barn. Usually a month will do it, especially if there is feed and water in it. You'll have to get new chickens I suppose.... Then you'll have some for the barn and some for your new coop!
     
  3. john in wa

    john in wa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sounds like i may need to keep them in the coop full time..
     
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    [​IMG] Close the barn door and put them in the coop for a few days. give them some treats. Treats will get you everywhere.
     
  5. wow , would of thought a month would of done the trick , thats how i have always done it . Maybe try again locking them up for awhile and retrying .
    Maybe you can try feeding some right before dark in the pen you want them to stay in , after they all follow you , lock them in and do that for awhile and see if it works.
    Hope that might help .

    Fay
     
  6. A.J.'s

    A.J.'s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just can't imagine how, after a month they dont prefer it.. they should have forgotten all about the old place by now.. gosh... i just cant imagine why.. unless there is danger there..
     
  7. loverOFchickens

    loverOFchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know about moving chickens but I just have the food bucket and call them when it is time to go in.
    They know my call and come running from everywhere. I sprinkle a little food on the ground every few feet.
    Could you train them to come for food?[​IMG]
     
  8. scarter

    scarter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have this problem occasionally. Our little cross beak girl will roost high in the pole barn on sometimes. They all LOVE to lay their eggs in the pole barn hay also. Oh and dig holes in the pole barn and dust bathe is a daily thing. They started out in the pole barn but have a great coop with nest boxes. Ours do go back to their coop at night at this point in their lives. I'm hoping they train the new chicks when it's time.

    I'd leave them in there longer and then only let them out for an hour or two before dusk so they can't wander far or think about the other barn for a while. Treat in the coop also. I also throw a handful of scratch right outside the door on occasion. Just enough for them to be able to get up and not attract preditors.
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I combined a flock of pullets with hens. I had them in different coops and I wanted to put them all in one coop. So I kind of face what you are facing in trying to get them out of the barn and into their coop. Even though they had free access to each others coop they tended to use the one they grew up in. Every evening for a month I would put some scratch/seeds/grain mix and sprinkle it in the feed and on the floor of the coop that I wanted them in. I had two coops with adjacent runs each with access to their fenced in yard. I put a second pop door into the hen's house so when I eventually put them all together the pullets would have another door to use if needed. Also I had nest boxes in both coops. I decided to switch them around and put the pullets in the hen's house and the hens in the pullet's coop. I shut the runs off from each other and the yard so they only had access to the coops and runs I put them in. I didn't lock them in the coop. I left the pop doors open to the run for that coop. They could go at free will into their run but not the other run or the other coop or their yard for a week. I continued with the treats in the coops in the evenings trying to keep the ritual of evening treats in the coop so they would go in for the treats. After the switch for a week I opened the gates to the runs and yard. I let them all range together. For the next week I let them choose which coop to roost in and most except for 2/3 birds roosted in the hen's house. After a week of free choice coops I shut the pop door on the pullets coop. Now they either had to roost in the hen’s house or in the run. They do have a ladder in their run. They all roost together with very little bickering now. There are pictures on my BYC Page.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009

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