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My chickens won't go into their coop at night!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tina1971, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. Tina1971

    Tina1971 New Egg

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    Ok, tell me... is it normal for my chickens (new to their chicken tractor and only about 5-6 wks old) to roost for the night outside and under the coop section of the chicken tractor? Every night I go at sundown to put them up for the night and there they are half asleep roosting outside side by side. We pick them up w/no fuss and place them in the coop and close the door. Just wondering if they'll ever get the hang of going to bed IN their coop at night.
    [​IMG]
    Tina1971
     
  2. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    How long have they been living in it?
    Can you lure them in with treats every evening until they get the hang of 'putting themselves away'?

    If they haven't been living in it very long, leave them locked up in there for a couple of weeks until they know it's home.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  3. Tina1971

    Tina1971 New Egg

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    Well they've been in there over a week now.... you think their still getting used to it? I did try throwing treats in there, no luck. My chickens have a habit of running from me still. I've handled them alot and they still won't come to me. They come when I have worms but snatch and run. I even put treats on the little gang plank up to the coop and in and they still ignored it. They go in and out all day but roost outside at night. Hmmm.[​IMG]
     
  4. claud

    claud Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have to go out every evening and put them in the coop. They will catch on by 2 weeks - hopefully - some catch on quicker than others. Don't skip a night.
    Good luck!
     
  5. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    I'd leave them locked in there for another week, so they get really used to sleeping together on their roost. Then let them out only late afternoon for the next week. And refill the feeders in the evening, after tapping the bucket or feeder and singing "din-din" or some other silly thing you don't mind singing to them at bed time every night for a while.

    Time the feed so that they are hungry when they get out. Refill the feeders at sunset. Even after foraging mine always came at the sound of the feed bucket being tapped.

    It's normal for them to be spastic at the teen stage, and not be friendly to you. That will change as they get older and more steady.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Check to make sure the ramp up to their coop isn't too steep and slick, so that it's hard to go up, too. Even with a perfectly good ramp, my chickens need to learn how to go up and down, unless it's one of those ramps that's almost flat to the ground. It's like teaching puppies and kids to use the stairs. I'd put them on the ramp towards the top, so they only have a couple of steps to get inside.

    Make sure the roosting pole is long enough for all of them to comfortably get up on it and that it's a comfortable size and shape, too. Sometimes roosts can be too close to the walls and make it harder to roost, too.

    Other than that, just what everyone else said.
     
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Hello!

    Do they have something to roost on inside the coop?

    Locking them up for a week or two really does work, but if you've got a chicken tractor, and the coop part isn't really big, and the weather is real nice, I wouldn't have the heart to lock them inside.

    Basically, every day at dusk, just when it starts to get dim.....you should go outside and say "time to go to bed" and put them inside. Repitition will teach them.

    Sharon
     
  8. Tina1971

    Tina1971 New Egg

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    Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I guess I just thought they'd automatically want to be in the nice warm roost. Here's another question though. I keep their feed and water under the coop, so when they get put up all night they have nothing to do but sleep. Is that ok? Getting them out to eat every morning is no problem, it's just the putting up at night we've had issue with. We did put their chick feeder and waterer in there at first and all they did was knock those over, so we thought maybe just feeding them during the day was best.
     
  9. Warthog

    Warthog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have my feeders and waterers outside in the pen, not in the coop. I know most people say to put them inside, but this way works better for me and my girls.

    With regard to getting them in the coop at night, I would just put them in there each night for the next week or two, they will get used to it. That is what I had to do with my chicks and it worked well.

    Even now I will get the odd night when one to two wish to roost outside, but that's a no no here, so I just put them inside and they settle down.

    They can be difficult to catch and handle when young, but they do get a lot easier as they get older, and I found it's good practice for when you get your next lot.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Tina1971

    Tina1971 New Egg

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    Quote:Thanks for the encouragement! I'll just stick in there and wait for them to catch on then.
     

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