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Not returning to coop at night. Help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cajun41887, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. cajun41887

    cajun41887 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2015
    we moved our 5 week old chicks out to their coop last week and kept them locked in the coop for 5 days and placed them all on the roosts at night after dark. Started letting them out into their run on Friday. They go in and out of the coop all day. Much to my dismay, they did not return to the coop at dusk. We had to chicken wrangle. It's stressful for us and them. How do I get them to go to the coop on their own at night? Do I need to lock them in the coop longer to reinforce that's home and they need to go there at night? How long do I lock them in for to get them to get the idea? They are 6 weeks old now.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, lock them in for longer.
    Is there a ramp?
    Young chickens aren't as inclined to roost or use a ramp so even though they use the ramp during the day, they're quite content to plop down in the run to sleep.
    Does the building have big ventilation?
     
  3. cajun41887

    cajun41887 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Yes, there is a ramp and adequate ventilation. They have no problem going in and out during the day. How many more days should I lock them in for? They seemed to be getting it as most were on the roosts at night previously. Of course I'd prefer they roost, but they definitely need to return to coop at night. We have tons of predators from owls to raccoons to coyotes and foxes.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    St. Louis, MO
    At this point, I'd try it for a day. If that doesn't work, try 2 days, etc..
    I've had that with birds a bit older and it doesn't take long to reinforce them.
     
  5. cajun41887

    cajun41887 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Thanks! This is our first time with chickens so I have no idea what I'm doing. Lol. Have tons of other animals and work in vet field. Was hoping they would just go in at night. At what time should they be going in? I know it'll vary with time of year, but is dusk a good time for them to be in or will it be nearly dark before they head in
     
  6. Bemj

    Bemj Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 22, 2013
    I keep a light inside my coop when is dusk i plug the light on and the chickens come in to the coop. When they are inside i turn off the light. Normaly i do this 3 days then they just have learn the way. [​IMG]
     
  7. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine went in on there own the first day but if they do go in just set them on the ramp to show them how to go in at night and u want to do this when it strats to get dark or after it gets dark
     
  8. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot to say but u want
    to do this for a couple of days until they figure it out
     
  9. cajun41887

    cajun41887 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Thanks everyone. I turned on the coop light. It's dark out now. Once I finish making dinner, I'll go see if they are in the coop. Fingers crossed!
     
  10. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope all goes well
     

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