Is it natural nature for the chickens to come into the coop at night?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JSC, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. JSC

    JSC In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2008
    Union, Mo.
    Do they naturally want to come in from the run at dark or do you have to "train" them by feeding them in the coop at that time? Our 8 and 9 week olds have been in their new coop for almost a week now but the run will be done in a day or two if the weather holds up.
  2. amanda_dedi

    amanda_dedi In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2008
    When we first got chickens, we kept them in the coop for a few weeks, then we let them free roam. At night they came back because they knew it was safe and there was food and water.
  3. Cassandra

    Cassandra Ranger Rick

    Oct 27, 2007
    Southwest Mississippi
    WHen I first got my chickens, I kept them in a covered run. It had a shelter for them, but no "house." When I finally finished getting my pen/coop built, I moved them all to it late one afternoon. They had never even seen a chicken house before. At dark, they one by one started going into the coop and hopping onto the roosts. I stayed out with them until they had all made their way in. So, it took them about four hours to figure out what to do.

    If I am not mistaken, though, what they like is to roost up high. (usually) So, I think maybe it was not the "inside" that they were looking for, but the high place to sleep.

    But you will get more experienced opinions than mine. [​IMG]

  4. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    Yep, they come in on their own at night. And yes, my girls squabble over the highest perches. I have staggered roosts, so they can hop down from the highest to the next, and make their way down. They're not very graceful when they jump down, and can hurt themselves if it's too high. [​IMG]
  5. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    yes if you lock them in their coop 2 or 3wks they learn its when you let them out.theyll go in an roost at nite.
  6. farm_mom

    farm_mom Songster

    Mar 11, 2008
    My chicks usually need a day or two to get used to coming in. Sometimes I have to catch them and put them in, or I turn on the light in the coop when it gets dark. They'll "go to the light"as it were. [​IMG]
  7. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    After 2 days of not being really sure what to do, my 4 weekers now are up in their doghouse coop before the sun is all the way down.
  8. SillyChick

    SillyChick Songster

    Dec 15, 2007
    My chickens do that too! When it's night time and I turn on the lights in the coop they will march towards the coop and perch on the roosts. They probably thought of the coop as a place of refuge and comfort; a somewhat sanctuary. In a week or two in the coop the chickens might be able to go to the coop by themselves at night.

    Good luck!
  9. jmk3482

    jmk3482 In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2007
    Troy, MO
    I think it has to do with the fact that they prefer to roost at night rather than laying on the ground. If they have access to a roost, that's where they'll go at night. Plus if they know there is food, water and a place out of the wind, they'll go there.
  10. Portia

    Portia Songster

    Feb 29, 2008
    South Central PA
    I have been putting my girls in my fenced garden area during the day and back in their brooder at night while I finished up their coop. I'd leave the transport box in the garden on its side so they could use it as shelter. The first time I left them out at dusk they all started loudly peeping to come in and when I didn't bring them in right away they all went into the box. Now when it gets dark they all run into the box if I haven't brought them in yet. I'm finishing the run around the coop now, so we'll see how well the adjust to 'coming in at night' with their coop versus just a box.

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