New to raising chickens - what night time routine must I have?

tkline704

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 9, 2014
20
0
32
I'm about to put my 7 week old chicks outside in a combination coop/run. I plan to have food/water available for them 24/7 through hanging feeders. My quesiton is, at dusk, must I put them in the coop and close them in only to leave them out in the am or will they do this on their own?
 

HickoryHollow

Songster
7 Years
May 28, 2012
423
52
113
Bolivar, Ohio
I'm about to put my 7 week old chicks outside in a combination coop/run. I plan to have food/water available for them 24/7 through hanging feeders. My quesiton is, at dusk, must I put them in the coop and close them in only to leave them out in the am or will they do this on their own?
Once they get used to the new quarters, they will go in to roost at dusk on their own. If your run is covered, completely enclosed and predator proof, you don't have to do anything. If it isn't then you need to close them into the actual coop at night to protect them.
 

what eggs

Chirping
11 Years
Mar 9, 2009
68
4
83
Some chicks figure it out right off, mine did not so I spent a couple nights collecting sleeping chickens in the run to put them in the coop. A BYC member then told me to lock them in the coop with food and water for 2 days/nights without letting them into the run. After I did that they would return to the coop at night every time. I do lock my chickens up each night due to crafty nocturnal predators but also because the girls would be up at 0-dark-thirty for a noisy start to their, and my neighbors, day otherwise.
 
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debid

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,543
6,824
496
middle TN
Lots of folks struggle with their chicks not knowing where to roost at night and have to go chase them inside every night until they get the idea. What a pain! But, natural instinct would put them in trees, not buildings, and they have no mama hen to lead them. It's easy to understand the chicks' confusion.

I think it's easiest to put them in the closed coop for a week and then open the door to the run. This way they get used to sleeping in the coop. If you can move the whole brooder in there, that will ease the transition. They do tend to freak out a bit as night falls and they realize they are somewhere unfamiliar but they will get over it after waking unharmed a few times if it isn't possible to move the brooder in.
 

tkline704

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 9, 2014
20
0
32
Well, my chicks have been in their new coop/run for 4 days now. They seem very happy and have adjusted well. During the day, they go up the ramp and into the coop several times sometimes to take a nap and sometimes just to explore. However, every night I find them, just after dusk, all huddled together in a corner of the run and I have to pick up and place each chick into the coop. What can I do to get them to do this on their own?
 

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