Must I get them from the run to the coop at night?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by _SouthAfrican_, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. _SouthAfrican_

    _SouthAfrican_ Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Jul 25, 2008
    SE Mass
    I'm new at the chicken thing - our chicks are 8 weeks old. We just finished the coop yesterday and put them in it. Last night I had a hang of a time trying to get them from the run, through the chicken door, and into the coop to close them up for the night. As one went in, another escaped!

    The run is attached to the coop, and the only way to get from the coop to the run and vice versa is through the chicken door.

    I guess my questions are:
    1) Do I have to move them from the run to the coop every night?
    2) Does this have to be done by a certain time in the evening?

    I know for certain that we have red-tailed hawks, fisher cats, foxes, coyotes etc. The run and the coop are both secure and closed on all sides, including the top.

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  2. Becaco

    Becaco Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    0
    119
    Mar 31, 2008
    I have always left mine inside the coop for a few days, then turned them out. Most times they will go into the coop without any trouble.

    We have a few 4 months old ones that like to get in the trees. We have shooed them out of the trees enough that now they see us most of them get down and go inside.

    It also helps if you have a long stick to herd them.
     
  3. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    guess my questions are:
    1) Do I have to move them from the run to the coop every night?

    Well, do you want them to be safe from preditors? It is up to you, how well you designed the coop and if you plan on allowing them to rule the roost. If they do not have a momma bird, then shouldn't you be their mother? Toss them in some grain, very small peices of bread to encourage them to come in for treats and close their door.


    2) Does this have to be done by a certain time in the evening?

    My chickens have learned that they get a treat every evening before bed...I toss the remainder of their treats onto the chicken house floor and scoot them in for the night.

    Only you know the preditors in your area, what shape your house is in and the climate. I taught my birds with a yellow bucket, bang on the side as I come out the door towards the pen, then they know they'll recieve cut up fruit or cucumbers along with 1 slice of bread each night. Cold weather they get scratch (with corn) or I'll give my adults oat and wheat seed that I get from the local organics store (human consumption type).
    Good luck and sorry to answer your questions with questions, but only you have the answer, we all do things differently.
     
  4. _SouthAfrican_

    _SouthAfrican_ Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Jul 25, 2008
    SE Mass
    I think the answers to your questions are obvious [​IMG] Yes I want them to be safe from predators.

    So that answers my questions! [​IMG]

    Off to find a bucket to fill with treats and bang on the side as I approach the coop [​IMG]

    Thank you!
     
  5. Rhett&SarahsMom

    Rhett&SarahsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    they will eventually "get it"
    Mine now put themselves in at around 7ish every night.

    At first it was like watching a comedy. My 5 year old daughter and I "herding" 6 chickens back through the door and closing it before one or two dashed back out. Yeah, good thing no one here has a video camera
     
  6. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    Mine were in their coop for a full two weeks before I let them out (it's plenty big, 10x10', with plenty of roosts and windows). Once I let them out they returned to the coop themselves each night at dusk and put themselves to bed - absolutely no treats or cajoling by me at all.
     
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    35,112
    121
    458
    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    i also had this worry..[​IMG]..but now mine go in right at dark time..all by themselves...[​IMG]...but for a few weeks we had to chase them in every night...i think they will catch on...good luck, Wendy
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    No treats required...they will just go in when it gets dark. You know that old saying "A chicken always comes home to roost."? If they are in a run, the only logical choice for their instinctive need for a safe sleep, is in the coop. Just give them a chance to find that out for themselves.

    It always puzzles me why folks don't just let their birds put themselves in the coop and then go and shut the door. All this herding and treat giving is fine if you have to put them in, in the daytime, but most birds know where to go at night. [​IMG]
     
  9. _SouthAfrican_

    _SouthAfrican_ Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Jul 25, 2008
    SE Mass
    You are SOOO right! Last night was their first night in the coop and we physically put them in the coop.

    Tonight, I put the kids to bed, and when I looked out at the run, they were all in the coop! So I mosey'd on out there and closed the door!

    Easy as pie. [​IMG]
     
  10. Brinda

    Brinda Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Aug 16, 2008
    Campbellsburg, KY
    Quote:It took two weeks before mine caught on. I went to shut the door around 11pm, and they were all huddled together UNDER the coop rather than in it, so I had to pick them up and put them in. So, it's not always automatic. Now, they go in on their own, and I just go shut the door.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by