New chick(en)s won't roost in the right place

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wasdalewanderer, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. wasdalewanderer

    wasdalewanderer New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2018
    Hello,

    New to this forum, well any forum actually and a new chick(en) owner... co owner with my teenage son.

    Our chicks (approx 8 weeks old) seem unwilling to go back into their hut when it gets dark and so get locked out when the door shuts after dark, even if the door is switched to manual they still show no interest in roosting in the hut, instead they hunker down on the branches in their run.

    If however you open the side door to the hut they all run in through their pophole and happily follow me inside. How do we go about training them to take themselves to bed? Any ideas?

    I suspect a light on a timer would guide them in but ideally we don't want to be using a light come spring/summer.

    I kept chickens for a few years when I was young and never had this problem and suspect it's because we don't have a cockerel whereas I did all those years ago. Got neighbours to think about now.

    How's best to resolve this challenge? Thanks for any tips.

    WW
     
  2. Welshies

    Welshies Overrun With Chickens

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    How high are your roosts? They are fairly young. Placing the feed in their coop in late afternoon can help draw them in. But, they are fairly young to be roosting.
     
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  3. wasdalewanderer

    wasdalewanderer New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2018
    Ah maybe they are too young then.....?

    The roosts aren't the problem, they happily roost on them overnight when they actually get inside... :)

    Both their main food and water is inside, we throw some grain outside each day and "treats" in the run just to keep them busy.

    From what you say, they might just be too young yet? Thanks for the reply btw.
     
  4. Welshies

    Welshies Overrun With Chickens

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    I was talking about roosting. After a few weeks of being in the run, they should learn to return to their coop at night. Keep herding them in and maybe reward them with treats after they go in the coop.
     
  5. wasdalewanderer

    wasdalewanderer New Egg

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    Yep good idea... I was reading the treat list on this site with a lot of interest and amusement... so we'll get experimenting :D Thanks.
     
  6. happyhens1972

    happyhens1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have always trained my chooks by collecting them from wherever they have ended up after dark, and placing them in the coop. It has never taken more than a week of doing this every night and as close to 'after dark' as possible, before they get the idea and start doing it themselves.
     
    Then I Will and wasdalewanderer like this.
  7. wasdalewanderer

    wasdalewanderer New Egg

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    Thank you - it'll be a good way of dragging the teenager off his tech each night as well! Hopefully this combined with a treat inside their hut will put the idea firmly in their heads... let's hope.
     
  8. Welshies

    Welshies Overrun With Chickens

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    Here is a great article on coop training.
     
    wasdalewanderer likes this.
  9. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a nightlight in the coop so they can see to go in. It's darker in the coop at sunset without the nightlight so they won't go in.
    I shut off the light when I lockup the coop. GC
     
    Then I Will and wasdalewanderer like this.
  10. happyhens1972

    happyhens1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A lot of the info in Welshies thread is about getting the chooks back to the run rather than into the hut for bedtime so treats are very relevant but treats in the hut won't make a vast amount of difference as the chooks are generally returning to the hut as it gets dark so they tend to just go in, find a perch and settle down to sleep. It is more about ensuring the hut is somewhere warm, safe, dry, draught-free and, very importantly, pest-free. Nothing will put chooks off going to bed more than a mite infestation waiting to feed on them in their sleep!
     

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