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New chicken coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PamelaCarroll, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. PamelaCarroll

    PamelaCarroll Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2016
    North Carolina
    I have 6 chickens and they have slept on a perch outside under a tarp for at least 8 months. I have just converted an outside building to a house for them. They go inside to lay eggs but still want to sleep outside. I have removed the perch and go out and pick them up and put them in the house at night. How can I get them to go in the house on their own to sleep. There is a perch in the house and they do get on it after i put them in there.
    Thanks for any help.
    Pam
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'd suggest keeping them locked in the new coop for a week or so. Hopefully, they will then begin to associate the new coop with "home". I usually only keep new birds in lockdown for 2 nights, but since its the whole flock, and they have their old home imprinted on their memories, it may take a little longer.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. PamelaCarroll

    PamelaCarroll Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2016
    North Carolina
    I hope a few days will be all they need to readjust.
    Thank you
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Feel free to try for a shorter time and see how it goes. Sometimes, a bit of evening time "herding" may be in order, but they will get the hang of it eventually. If they seem particularly stubborn, then you can repeat the lockdown, if necessary.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    From my perspective, you have two options. Keep doing what you are doing, after dark move them inside and lock them in the coop until morning. I often have to do that when I move my chicks from the brooder to my grow-out coop/run, even after locking them in the coop section only for a week or more. Mine are usually only 5 weeks old when I do this and are not yet roosting and my grow-out coop is elevated. I think both of those contribute to them not going in at night. Sometimes I only have to put then in at night once before they get the message. I’ve had some take three weeks to start going in on their own. Most times it takes about a week. This is after keeping them locked in the coop for at least a week.

    You can do what CT suggested, lock them in for a while. Since yours are roosting I think it has an excellent chance to work. With living animals you never know but It’s what I’d do if the coop is big enough.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Or, you could work outside the box: I assume that they free range? Are you feeding them? Does your coop have good lighting? Let them go hungry during the day, and then feed them IN THE COOP in the very late afternoon, and shut them in the coop at that time. How big is the coop? Under your current situation, it's only a matter of time before a predator finds them and wipes out the whole flock in a single night. Have you taken down the tarp that they were sleeping under? If that's an option, I'd also do that.
     

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