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Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Dionnab, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. Dionnab

    Dionnab In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2016
    Hi everyone, I am new and I have a question about my two Bantams . I can't get them to go into the coop at night. Help!:(

  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC!

    It is always recommended to lock new birds in the coop for a few days after bringing them home. Birds do not understand a "coop" and need to be be trained it is a safe place to be at night. Chickens tend to return to the place they slept last night because they are alive today and lived through that night. So if they spend a few nights in the coop, they will always return to it.

    Try and catch them if you can and get them in the coop. If you can't catch them today, get them tomorrow and get them locked in. Make sure they are cool in there, if your coop is hot, use fans, ice in the water and cool treats, all windows open. It doesn't take but a couple of days of being locked in that they find the coop safe enough to want to live and sleep in there. If it is very hot where you are and the coop is too hot, you can remove them and keep them penned up somewhere during the day, but take them back to the coop each night for the next week and they will learn.

    Good luck with your birds and welcome to our roost! :)
    1 person likes this.
  3. 8MerryHens

    8MerryHens Chirping

    Jun 27, 2016
    I am a new chicken owner but decided chickens can be conditioned like any other animal. As soon as my pullets moved from the mudroom at night into their outdoor night home (the run under the coop till the coop is done) I would ring a bell when it was time for them to get moved from their contained pen in the yard to the locked up run, say "treats" and "coop" and sprinkle a little bit of cracked corn for them to enjoy once they were inside. It only took one or two days for all of them to run from their outdoor pen to the coop after I started doing this (versus getting caught and carried). I have been letting them free range since they were 9 weeks old and now when I ring the bell they all first run to me and then head with me to their night home. I also do this if for some reason I lock them up during the day; they all come very willingly. When the coop is done I will move the reward to inside the coop but they will still enter the same place they do now so they will be contained. I figured the bell would be good if someone other than myself needed to put them away, it would be a consistent cue.

    I see that many suggest locking them in the coop for a few days to get them use to it. Along with that you might want to try a cue and a positive reinforcement for your nighttime ritual, it has worked great for my girls without having to lock them up in their new home for a few days.
    3 people like this.
  4. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    If your coop is dark, they might not want to go in if they can't see. Do you have a window or screened vents?
    1 person likes this.
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice already so I'll just say hello!

    All the best
    1 person likes this.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    If you lock in coop for a few days be sure they have food and water. If they later seem to be afraid to enter a dark coop, maybe you could put a battery powered night light on / turn off once they have gone to roost.
    1 person likes this.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    8 Merry hens has given you some great advice
    1 person likes this.

  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us! You got given some great advice here, good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  9. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    You already have some great advice, so I just wanted to say welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  10. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
    1 person likes this.

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