Moving their roost from outside to inside

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Steve B, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. Steve B

    Steve B Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    This is the first winter for my four chickens (Golden Wyandotte (2), Aracauna, and a Black Australorp). They had a roosting area in the outdoor (completely protected) run. They've been using this - but, as it is getting colder I'd like them to move to the roost in their new chicken house I built for them. They have chosen to stay on the outside roost even though it was raining heavily and pretty cold a few nights ago. I took down their favorite roost last night and they moved to another outdoor roost.

    The indoor roosting option is a 2 x 4 on the side and about 4' high. It's in a nice draft free section of their well-ventilated house.

    My question is - should I take down all their outdoor roosting options, or will they be smart enough to move inside as it gets colder?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'd suggest:

    1. Locking them in the coop as night approaches for a week or so until they are trained to use the roost you want them to or,

    2. Every night, physically move them from their outside roost to their inside roost until they figure it out.

    I doubt they will make the move on their own. Chickens are creatures of habit and seem to hate change.

    Good Luck!
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I totally agree with Ridge. They will continue to look for outside options unless you take away all of those options and lock em in till they decide to do it your way.
  4. Keri78

    Keri78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2009
    When I changed up all of my chickie tractors and switched them all around, I locked them up for one much as I like to have them free-range...I was totally over doing the "chicken run" game every night!!!(lol) So after one week of lockdown, everyone knew which tractor was theirs and I haven't had any issues since. When nighttime comes they automatically return to their coops and I just go lock up. Hope this helps, Keri
  5. Steve B

    Steve B Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    Well, I took down their other outdoor option - the sun is going down and they are just standing around outside (locked in the run area - after free-ranging all day). Hopefully, they'll go inside the coop and take advantage of the roosts.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If they don't go inside, put them in there yourself and shut the pop door. Keep this up several evenings straight and I'll bet they learn where to go!
  7. Steve B

    Steve B Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    I think I'm going to have to do that. It's been dark for a couple hours and they are all huddled on the ramp to the pop door. There's barely enough room for them there.

    I haven't handled them in a long time (since they were chicks about 6 months ago) - I hope I don't freak them out by picking them up.
  8. WisconsinGardenChick

    WisconsinGardenChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Quote:Try luring them in with light and food if you're having trouble picking them up. (They're quick, especially if they're not used to being picked up.) I learned this trick from people here earlier in the year. Take away their feed an hour or two before bedtime, then let them see you putting it in their coop. Put a light on long enough to lure them in the first few nights. Mine learned in just three nights. If you're interested, you can read more about my experience here:

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  9. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

    Jul 15, 2009
    King and Queen Co, Va
    I had the same problem with a batch of BR's. I had to physically put them inside on the roosts for 3 nights before they clued in.
  10. Steve B

    Steve B Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    I thought I'd give an update. We picked them up and moved them into the coop and locked them in there all night. They sat on the floor right by the pop door where we put them. The next night, this is where they went on their own and continued sitting on the floor for several nights. Tonight I had my son go in and physically put them on the roost. I checked on them an hour after and they were still there. I would have thought they would have figured it out on their own!

    Hopefully, they will go back to the roost tomorow.

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