1. Birdlady8921

    Birdlady8921 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 5, 2013
    Atascadero, CA
    My Coop
    Hi everyone. Finally got a beautiful new coop for my 2 hens and 2 Toulouse geese. Last night was a disaster. All of them did not want to go into the coop. My husband had to pick them up and place them in the coop. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. The problem with the above scenario is: since it is getting dark earlier, during the week, my husband is not home by dusk or dark thirty and I am at a disadvantage -- bad knee. Any advice is appreciated :)

    They were used to going into our garage at night. The geese took over the "old coop." They are all friendly to one another during the day and night, but I really want them to put themselves to bed. Going to place a 25 watt light on a timer at dusk inside the new coop. Thought maybe that would help them 'walk towards the light.'

    Thanks for any help you can offer.
     
  2. kortmom

    kortmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2013
    They need to be locked in the coop to establish it as "home" for at least a week and then they will come home to roost every night. I am a new chicken mom and locked them in for a good two weeks while I finished their run and the very first day I let them out I was amazed at what smart chickens I had when they were all inside for bed at dusk :).
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    It might take them a few nights to learn that they need to go in the new house.

    Are they trained to come for treats when you call?

    That is how I would get them to go to bed for the first few nights.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I don't know if a light would help or not, but locking them in the coop for a week or so will do the trick.

    Chris
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Birdlady8921

    Birdlady8921 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 5, 2013
    Atascadero, CA
    My Coop
    Thank you one and all. The coop is large enough, 4 X 8, with a roosting bar and four nesting boxes, that locking them in for a week just might do the trick. And our weather is cooling down, so they would be comfortable during the day.

    They do like treats and are very friendly, but bird brains are way too smart for that trick.

    Thanks again for your support. Will update you in a week.
     
  6. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DFW - mid cities, Tx
    Do you really have to lock them up for a week? I thought it was 2-3 days!
     
  7. jtakacs

    jtakacs Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 21, 2013
    Newbie here and i read to lock up new flocks but decided against it. after I found my pullets on the low roof of the coop at dusk the first night, I knocked them off and tapped on the ramp.

    They hopped right up and went inside..

    I also have made a habit of having treats with me whenever I enter the run. Trying to get them to listen to me.

    (I also added treats to the ramp the first night)
     
  8. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2011
    DFW - mid cities, Tx
    IMO Having the chickens automatically going into their coop at night is essential to their safety and makes caring for them much easier. Maybe you could "clicker-train" this, but I don't know why you would want to make this harder on yourself and more complicated. Maybe you just want to see if you can do it that way. I guess that is worthwhile.
     
  9. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    Be certain that no bullying is going on in the coop and that there isn't a prime spot for which they are competing. Maybe there is something else about the coop that they do not like. Do they wander into the coop during the day, or avoid it? Is something disturbing them at night? Do you need to block access to other areas outside the coop that they prefer?

    If everything is squared away, I'd definitely "bait" them into a lit coop for a few evenings with scratch or a bit of melon. They should get the picture fast.
     
  10. Birdlady8921

    Birdlady8921 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 5, 2013
    Atascadero, CA
    My Coop
    Well, chickens are definitely a lot smarter, or scared more easily, than geese. Last night, both my hens put themselves into their new coop. The geese played tag with my husband. The goose, she complied and went in on her own, but the gander played hide 'n seek until my husband was just going to let him spend the night out. No, I am not going to have to lock them in at all. We do have another coop that the geese used and hopefully my husband will bring it out of the garage and into the yard this weekend. Then I will sit back and see if they use their old coop that they conveniently took from my hens. Keeping my fingers crossed this works, as rain is on its way. Thanks again for all the great suggestions. BYC people are awesome :)
     
    1 person likes this.

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