How to train them to go into coop

ladychick328

Chirping
Feb 19, 2018
49
60
89
East Texas (Longview area)
Im not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but i took 7 of our girls out to the coop this past weekend (They are all about 7 weeks old). We have a raised coop with rabbit wire on the bottom for open concept. There are not any windows in the coop, only the coop door (that stays closed and then the door they come in and out of. Well, their door is an automatic door since we dont live on the property yet and we are about 30 minutes from out property. The auto door shuts at dark (light sensitive...not timer) and raises at light. The past two nights, we have had to put the girls in the coop to go to bed. At 7:30 it is starting to get dark but since it is lighter outside than in the coop they wont go in there and they just all huddle up by the fence instead. My fear is that they are going to get left out side of the coop, i have everything predator proofed and we have a great pyranese dog that protects the area around the coop but how to you coax them into going into the coop to roost before the door shuts?
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,299
701
Central PA

Chasingcars

Songster
Sep 15, 2017
139
203
122
Derbyshire , England
It’s going against nature...I don’t think you will train chickens to go inside when it’s lighter outside..they are genetically programmed to stay in the safest area which is where it’s lightest as their eyesight is so poor at dusk..they’ll stay outside until it’sthe same outside and inside then they’ll choose to be inside as it’s safer .. so yes there is a chance they will get locked outside with your current system .
You’ll have the override their natural instinct and simply shut them in when you’re there...by shooing them in or as suggested earlier ..throwing their fav treat in there.
It will be easier once you live there as you can wait until they are naturally ready to perch for the night which is what they’ll do..but not until they’re ready
 

Chasingcars

Songster
Sep 15, 2017
139
203
122
Derbyshire , England
Mine are so odd! They took themselves to bed from the first day, and will quite often stay in the coop if they dont fancy coming out today!

But that because they have a choice...this is a situation where the owner wants them in the coop when it’s still lighter outside ...I have two hens go to bed earlier than the rest ...then it’s a few here and there when they are ready...they all go in eventually but to get them all in when it’s light outside I’d have to manually shut them in ...
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,211
491
Long Beach, WA
First of all, a wire floor in a coop isn't a good idea. It's just asking for bumblefoot infections. How much ventilation is in the coop, above roosting height? And keep in mind, they are babies. And they don't have any adults to show them what to do. You may just have to keep putting them into the coop till they start doing it on their own.
 

obicat

Songster
Mar 4, 2018
156
201
146
Northampton, UK
But that because they have a choice...this is a situation where the owner wants them in the coop when it’s still lighter outside ...I have two hens go to bed earlier than the rest ...then it’s a few here and there when they are ready...they all go in eventually but to get them all in when it’s light outside I’d have to manually shut them in ...

These two take themselves in before its even dusk, and quite often earlier afternoon time if its not nice weather even though the run is covered. They are a pair of little odd balls!
 

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