New coop woes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by masanders, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. masanders

    masanders In the Brooder

    Jun 20, 2016
    Hey folks!

    I just finished (functional) a new coop about a week ago and understandably my girls are wary of their new "Maison du Poulet". Over the past couple days they've gotten a bit more comfortable with it, but they're not going in all the way. Sometimes they chill out on the ramp. One constant is that they aren't going up to their roosts once they are in.

    So the questions I have are:

    1. How do I train my chickens to go into their new palace?
    2. How do I get them to use their roosts?
    3. Do the roosts have to have steps?
    4. Does the coop have to have light inside for the hens to find their roosts?

    Sorry for so many questions...still learning. These are my first chickens.
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    How old are they? Young birds can take a while to start roosting. And to train them to see the coop as home, they must be confined for a day or two. The coop should have sufficient light via ventilation for the birds to find their way around in the coop.
  3. If you lock them into the coop for about a week, they will think of the coop as home...Then let them out to the run....They will begin to use the roost during the time they spend inside the coop....

  4. PapaBear4

    PapaBear4 In the Brooder

    Feb 25, 2014
    Congrats on your new coop!
    1. Locking them in for at least a few days has also been effective for me in establishing "home".
    2. They'll learn to use the roosts on their own in time. You can sometimes encourage learning by physically putting them on there after dark.
    3. Depends on how high your roosts are, how big your coop is, and whether or not you clip wings. If they've got their feathers and room to flap height shouldn't matter. I've read that all of your roost bars should be at the same height (steps to the roost often become roosts) to prevent pecking order issues, but I've not had any experiences that would confirm that.
    4. If you're NOT using supplemental lighting they'll (eventually) go to roost before it gets too dark to do so. If you ARE using supplemental light in the evenings they'll (again, eventually) learn to roost before lights-out.

    Keep asking questions, trying new things, and learning!


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