My Chickens STILL Won't Go In *UPDATE*

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Laurajean, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    They are about 12 weeks old, Bantams, and they just got put out into their new run/coop about a week ago. Their hen house is inside the run. I let them out of the hen house in the morning and they spent the day in the run, but I can't figure out how to get them to go back into the hen house at night. People have told me they "automatically go back in at dusk" but not mine. They pile up the corner out in the run. I have to wait until it's well after dark (they're calmer then) and pick them up one by one and stick them in their hen house.

    Any suggestions on how to get them to catch on to the concept that they should be going inside at night? I talked to one person who said to leave them inside the hen house for several days, but it' not that big and in this heat it doesn't seem like a safe idea to me. What else can I do?

    UPDATE: Please see my newest post, #18.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    How many do you have and how big is the coop? Does it have good ventilation? If it is too small and they are overcrowded and hot they won't want to go in there.
  3. GoldenCometLady

    GoldenCometLady Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Walker, West Virginia
    They will finally get the knack of going in on their own.
    Try putting on a little nightlight so they can see to go in
    Just for a few nights. This is what I had to do with mine.
  4. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Quote:I have 7 Bantams, (5 Silkies, a D'Uccle & a Cochin). The hen house itself is 4 feet by 4 feet square, and about 5 feet tall. It has two vents (hardware cloth) about 6 inches long each under the front overhang, and then one long one the entire width of the back overhang, which is 4 feet.
  5. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Where are you putting the nightlight, inside the hen house or at the ramp, or where? I thought they would go in a dusk, but before it's too dark to see. I've been watching them, and they pile up in the run for the night long before it's even totally dark. Seems like that's when they should be going into the house, right?
  6. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    When mine rehomed to the coop/run, I just locked them in the run the first couple days. Once I let them loose to the run, they seemed to know the coop was the good place to be when it was scary or night time.

    Now that they have been in the coop/run for a few weeks, when I let them out free range, they range for an hour or two, and automatically go back to the run/coop for siesta.

    I would use different methods to cool the coop down, depending on your location, there may be a time they will have to be coop bound. I used a big fan with a wet towel in front of the door to make a swamp cooler, and make sure I had excellent ventilation (left the big south door open, and we added ventilation across the whole top north wall). A lot of my chooks decided to stay in the coop when it was disgustingly hot because it was still better in there than in the shade.
  7. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Songster

    Apr 23, 2010
    I've heard you're supposed to keep them locked in the coop for the first few days before you let them into the run, that's what I did and mine always go back into the coop when they're scared or when it starts to get dark.

    You might just try locking them in for a couple days.
  8. Ms~Silkie~Girl

    Ms~Silkie~Girl Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    New York STATE
    Give them some time, they'll figure it out. [​IMG]
  9. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

    Aug 5, 2008
    They are just young and still trying to get used to the new living space. Keep putting them in by hand every night and eventually they will go in by themselves. It may take a couple weeks but just be patient.
  10. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Any time I have gotten new birds or changed birds to a different coop, I had to physically place them in the coop for a few nights until they got the idea that this is home.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by