New Hens: When Will They Figure Out the Coop?

TaraontheCoast

Songster
9 Years
Apr 13, 2010
66
76
129
Oakland, CA
We just adopted two 7 month old hens today, so exciting! While the people obviously raised them with tremendous love (they're so friendly), they had a tiny wooden coop with basically a small upstairs and downstairs. They probably hopped between levels, no ramp.

While don't have a palace our coop is much larger, with a 4x6 floor and an interior ramp leading up to the coop. The previous owner said they lay in the evening and I've yet to see them try the ramp to go into the coop.

We brought them home this afternoon and have let them just be in the coop, exploring their new settings. They're eating, drinking and have been very calm.

I want them to know that area is available to them but don't want to force anything. Thoughts?
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,738
2,211
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Kalispell MT
When getting new chickens it is best to lock them in the coop for 3 or 4 days. This way they learn that the coop is the place for them to sleep. After a few days you can open the pop door and let them into the run. They should go back into the coop at night.
 

TaraontheCoast

Songster
9 Years
Apr 13, 2010
66
76
129
Oakland, CA
I can't lock them in the actual coop, here's my setup.
IMG_20190809_194604.jpg
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,105
138,360
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
How big is "the actual coop", in feet by feet?
Looks pretty small....and dark.
More pics, showing inside of coop and windows/ventilation, might enlighten us.
 

TaraontheCoast

Songster
9 Years
Apr 13, 2010
66
76
129
Oakland, CA
The coop is small, maybe 2x4? They have a roost, and nesting box is on the far end. There isn't really room for the food and water, as they couldn't get to the nesting box if I placed them inside.

What we ended up doing was going out before bed and gently lifting them into the coop and closing the door. They seemed very happy about that and immediately got cozy on their interior roost.

The coop does need more ventilation. The small window you see is one of two (the other is above the nesting box on the other side). I plan to add more, just need to involve my more handy partner ;)
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,738
2,211
316
Kalispell MT
Putting them inside yourself in the evening is another good option. It may take a little longer to get them going into the coop themselves, but it will work. Another way to encourage them to go into the coop is to put a dim light in the coop to guide them into the coop in the late evening. If the coop is too dark they may not like the idea of going in there. Once they are inside and settled the light can be turned off.
 

TaraontheCoast

Songster
9 Years
Apr 13, 2010
66
76
129
Oakland, CA
Putting them inside yourself in the evening is another good option. It may take a little longer to get them going into the coop themselves, but it will work. Another way to encourage them to go into the coop is to put a dim light in the coop to guide them into the coop in the late evening. If the coop is too dark they may not like the idea of going in there. Once they are inside and settled the light can be turned off.

Appreciate the insight. We don't have lighting in there currently, but can look into it.
 

MANNA-PRO

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