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My chickens won't go into the coop at dusk on their own

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dumbcluck, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. dumbcluck

    dumbcluck Hatching

    Jan 2, 2009
    south central ky
    Every evening I have to bribe them to get them to go in. I have 5 and 3 of them will go up the walkway and after I get them in I have to catch the other 2. I've had them since they were 3 days old, no mama to show them, they are now 10weeks and have been out in the coop/run for 2 weeks. Any ideas?

  2. Highlander

    Highlander Tartan Terror

    Oct 1, 2008
    Mine will only go in to their coop if there is a light on in there. I have one on timer. Also a handful of scratch thrown in their helps. They soon get the idea. Good luck.
  3. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    They will learn in time, just keep stuffin them back in there at dusk when the others go in [​IMG] I know it's a pain but they will get the hang of it [​IMG]
  4. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    Usually it is best to keep them in the coop for a couple of days initially, to give them a sense that they are "home".

    They usually hate that but after a few days in the coop, when they are finally released, they should always return there at night with no prodding.

    If you already did this, which it sounds like you may have already....you may just have really dumb chickens... [​IMG]
  5. dumbcluck

    dumbcluck Hatching

    Jan 2, 2009
    south central ky
    Is it too late to have them stay in the coop for a few days? I have been keeping the light on for them all night as it's been getting pretty cold (25-30). I'm new at this so any help/advice I can use.
  6. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Mine took several days before they started going in. As outofthebag suggested the light in the coop helps
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    I agree to keep them in a few days..sometimes it can take a couple weeks until they adjust to a new environment.

  8. cherig22

    cherig22 Green Fields Farm

    Sep 2, 2008
    SW Missouri
    Quote:Actually, you could leave them in there for their whole lives. It's just that we love our chooks and want them to have a real life. [​IMG]

    I leave newbies in for at least a week, sometimes 2 weeks. I haven't had many problems with them going to bed.

  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    If they've been eating and sleeping in the coop for 2 weeks, they should know it's their home. You can try locking them in for a little while, though.

    Are the ones you're having to round up roosting outside or just continuing to forage?

    Sometimes, a human's idea of when it's dark enough to go in and a chicken's idea of when it's dark enough to go in, are slightly off. We want to get them safely locked up and go do other things, since it's starting to get dark. They think it's still light enough to see, to forage.

    Before they go in for the night, my chickens will often work their way back toward their coop, then wander off for a bit, then really go in.

    I free range in spring and summer. When hawk attacks get to be too much of a problem in the fall, I keep the chickens in their pen. During that time, they only get supervised free range time, later in the day. If for some reason they get less than an hour, I notice they want to stay out later, to make up for it. If your chickens are only out for a short time, they may be resisting because they haven't gotten enough time foraging.

    Until you get a stronger conditioned response to your training them to come back to the coop or run for treats, you may need to find a more tempting treat. Something they just can't resist! It also helps during training, to only be giving that treat when you call them in. If they have scratch available in the coop during the day, it's not as tempting as a treat when calling them in at night. Use a container they can see from across the yard and always use the same treat container. Training with a good bribe, should get them conditioned to go back in the coop/run at any time of day.

    Hopefully, you'll figure out a way to get those little hooligans to behave better!
  10. ncCHICKS

    ncCHICKS Songster

    Oct 5, 2008
    Hope Mills, NC
    My girls wait until it's dark outside. I have a small light in there (actually it's some patio party lights) and if those are off, they won't go in at all. If I click my tongue a few times, they come running.

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