Need help encouraging them to roost at night

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dgriffi3, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. dgriffi3

    dgriffi3 Songster

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    Hi! We have 9 chicks all about 6-8 weeks old. We had been letting them be in the run outside during the day and bringing them into the garage at night, but we moved them outside permanently 4 days ago. They love it out there, but they are still not going up the ladder to the coop/roosting area at dusk. They get scared, but they can't figure out where they are supposed to go! My kids climb in and scoop them up there, but we are heading out of town next week and I really want them going to bed on their own before we leave town. Any advice?

    I've attached a picture of our setup.

    So far what i've done is move their food and water up into the raised coop and, of course, we put them up to bed at night and close them in. Any other thoughts, or do I just have to wait this out?

    thanks! IMG_2327.jpg
     
  2. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Crossing the Road Barefoot

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    You can try a light in the coop, as it gets dark they'll go in. I've never had this issue but others here have had good luck with this method. Put it on a timer to come on a bit before dusk and stay on until a bit after.
     
  3. Mybackyardpeepers

    Mybackyardpeepers Crowing

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    I have integrated a group on 2 month olds outside recently. For the first few days I had to shove them in the chicken door after my older girls went in. They are now the last 2 days putting themselves in the coop by their selves. It just takes time for them to catch on. I had to do the throwing through the door for pretty much all my girls.
     
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  4. cluckmecoop7

    cluckmecoop7 Crowing

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    How many times have your kids been doing that?

    When mine were first outside, I only had to put them in 3 or 4 times...then, the next night I did not go out to them, and around 8:00 PM or so they all started going in by themselves. And I never had to put them in again!!!

    But maybe some chickens learn faster? I'm not sure...

    Hopefully this helped you!
     
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  5. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    I've used the 'night light' method successfully. As it gets dark outside, they head towards the brightest light available, the coop. After about a week, I've not had to use the light.
     
  6. dgriffi3

    dgriffi3 Songster

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    Thank you! This is so helpful. I am going to wait until later than usual tonight and see if they figure it out. A few of them went up into the coop for food and water today, so I'm hoping they will go back at dusk. If they don't, I'll use a light tomorrow.

    Thanks so much!
     
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  7. dgriffi3

    dgriffi3 Songster

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    Update! 6 of the 9 went up the ramp on their own. :D The remaining 3 huddled in the corner of the run crying for me to move them. We inherited our run/coop setup from some neighbors, and it while it gives them plenty of space, I would never have built a run with a roof so low. Kids were in bed, so I got to crawl through to move the little ones up into the run. Tomorrow I'll try the light!

    Thanks again :)
     
  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    Do you have photos of the interior at all, namely the roost area? Very hard to tell how large that unit is, or how high/low the roost would be, how dark or ventilated it is, etc. - from this angle I see no light or ventilation in the top part. Is there 1 sq ft of roost space per bird?

    Some people let the chickens figure it out for themselves but I manually put chicks on the roost until they figure it out. It should only take a few days, but if the set up isn't optimal you'll have a harder time with that.
     
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  9. cluckmecoop7

    cluckmecoop7 Crowing

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    That's good to hear!
    Good luck with tomorrow!
     
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  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Am I blind...or is there not a raised coop with a ramp in the pic above?
     
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