My chicks won't go in their coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chew593, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Chew593

    Chew593 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have turned out our 4.5 week olds into the run, but they aren't going into their coop on their own at night. They ball up next to their feeder and I have to go out every evening to pick them up and put them in. Is there any way to encourage them to go in on their own? I don't mind checking on them. It gives me the opportunity to make sure all's well, but I feel like I missed something.

    General Information:
    The coop is temporary. A converted ex-large dog house with roosts inside. We are in the process of building their permanent home.
    There is a white light heat lamp in there but it's not too hot. Maybe 70 degrees. Could it be too bright?
    I put treats in there... are they waiting for me to come out with treats? hmmm...
    I do put pine shavings in there for them to snuggle up in.

    Would love your input.
  2. Delta2 23

    Delta2 23 Flock Master

    Sep 4, 2008
    Well when I first got my chicks at day they would stay n the coop so they were used to it, and when time came for them to lseep in the coop they went in by themselves every night.

    I think you should give them some time, and I'm not sure what to do after that. Yes I agree, the light might be too bright, when I get home late and it's dark and I have to feed the chooks with a torch they don't like the light shining in their faces.
  3. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    Are the roosting poles low enough for them to fly to. You said a dog house converted so I'm assuming they are not to high. Your chicks are still young, they will learn to go in on there own but until then keep putting them inside the coop.

    If you are worried about the light than change to a red light bulb or spray paint the one you have to red. What kind of light did the chicks have in the brooder? Good luck with your problem.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Did you keep them in the coop for a week or so until they learned where home is before letting them out into the run? If so, just keep putting them in at night until they learn. You could possibly feed the treats in the coop just before bedtime to get them to go in, then lock the door on them.
  5. 4hooves&featheredfriends

    4hooves&featheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I am having the same issue, about 10 of my 17 go in at dark, but 7 huddle around in a corner and we have to go and put them back in.

    I have started treating with a little corn and millet - so I am hoping I can condition them to come to the treats. We leave the light on so they know we are waiting up for them like worried parents. [​IMG]
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yeah, they are quite young, they will learn. Mine are 9 weeks. I turn an ordinary 60W on late in the day and they do go in on their own, but only at nearly full dark. Then I turn it off. They're still getting used to the dark as well!

    You'll probably go through this all over again when you move them to the new coop. At that point I'd be real tempted to keep them locked in for a few days.
  7. Chew593

    Chew593 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Just a stick on a rock, but it's stable.

    White light in the brooder... same light that's in the coop...

    Sounds like I just have to keep doing what I'm doing and hope they develop some sense with their adult feathers. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  8. red46

    red46 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 3, 2009
    I was surprised to see someone else was having this problem. I've had chickens in the past, and never had problems with them going to roost at night.
    This new batch, however, seem to be idiot inbreds. Out of 110 babies, at the age of 5 1/2 weeks, didn't have enough sense to go into the house, at dusk.
    Their little henhouse is built onto a trailer, converted from an old pickup bed. (I wanted to be portable). Right next to it, and on the side with a chicken sized door, is a ramp down into a run.
    I waited a week and still no chickens came out, during the day, so I carried them from the people door, at the opposite end, around to the run. But then at night, they didn't move, they just huddled and screamed about the dark.
    I wound up shoving 110 chickens up that ramp, to teach them how to go to bed.
    The same thing the next night and the night after that. After a week of shoving little butts up a ramp, and it turning into a fight of total un-cooperation on the part of about 80 of them, I was ready to give up. Last night, all but about 20, went in on their own, just as it was getting dark.
    Thank God, I think we've almost accomplished teaching these chickens how to be chickens.

    I've never seen anything like it. I've begun to wonder if all of nature has been bred out of today's chickens.

    They brooded, their first 3 weeks, in the garage then were moved to the henhouse (finally finished). A week after moving into the henhouse, is when I began teaching them how to get into the run, so it's not like they didn't know where home was.

    These little guys just don't seem to have a natural sense of self preservation, to the extent they want a roof over their heads at night. It's been the most amazing thing, I've ever witnessed in chickens.

    I honestly think, some of us are reteaching nature that the chickens of our great-grandparents had.

  9. Chew593

    Chew593 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Maybe I need to do this... just lock em in for a few days and see if that helps...
  10. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    Quote:Maybe I need to do this... just lock em in for a few days and see if that helps...

    Yes, you need to lock them into the coop for a solid week to make them realize it is home.

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