Please help - How to put chickens to bed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PDXChickGirl, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    My 7 week old chickens moved out to the coop last weekend. I have the playhouse coop with an 8 ft. extention run: https://www.backyardchickens.com/coops/images/playhouse-coop-2.jpg

    The
    little box on the end is the roost box, and I don't know how to get them to go there at night. Every evening I chase them down and put them in the roost box. It's so stressful on them. There's got to be a better way. I read on one post to leave them in the "coop" for 4 days and then let them out at the end. The roost box is kinda small to have food and water in there - and they won't be able to move around much. (it's 2'x4' and I have 4 pullets). Should I still do that anyway? Are there any other suggestions? I know the current situation isn't right. :eek:

    I hope there is someone out there who can help me!

    Thanks so much-
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2007
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Is there any reason you are making them go inside? I'd put a roost in the pen portion and let them do as they wish. If they want to roost outside or inside they can. I'd suspect that they'll go in on their own after a while if given the choice.
     
  3. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

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    Evening Shade, AR
    We keep our flock in a (hopefully) secure run that is attached to the coop. We don't lock them in the coop at night, at all. DH was cool enough to build an outdoor roost for them and they love it. Half the gang sleeps in the coop at night and the other half sleep on the outdoor roost.

    Dawn
     
  4. barg

    barg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    I had no problems getting my chickens to go in at night.
    I put a night light inside and made the floor of the coop look similar to their brooder by putting the things that were in their brooder, in their coop house.

    With the night light, they went inside automaticly because they didnt want to be in the dark.

    I probably let them have a night light for too long, they had it for a couple months, all night long;
    I have since, stopped useing it.

    Personally, I wouldn't want my chickens left in the run at night, we have racoons, skunks, and oppossum that pass through the yard at night.
     
  5. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    Quote:A couple of days ago I posted the question whether I could leave them outside, since it's secure, but I was advised not to do that since it's chilly (it's gotten cool and rainy here already in Portland) and night predators can be very wiley. But I really don't like the stress I'm giving the girls every evening.
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:We do the same. Our coop is 8x8 with a 10x20 secure pen next to it. They all sleep in the coop though. We leave the door open to the pen so they can go out into the pen when they get up. That way if we sleep in or don't get out there first thing in the morning they aren't trapped in the coop.

    Besides the coop and pen we also have a 30' x 40' area around that with t-posts and chicken wire. We can let them out to run that area or we can let them out of there into the entire backyard which is a 1/4 acre surrounded by a 6' privacy fence. Most of the time we just let them run the entire backyard. They put themelves up and night and we close the large doors to the coop and the secure pen leaving the hen door between the two open.
     
  7. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    I really appreciate the quick responses - especially so late at night. Thank you so much!

    I'll try barg's suggestion of a night light since I'm nervous about leaving them out. I have visions of super-raccoon ripping off hardware cloth with unearthly strength!

    Barg - I don't have an outlet in the roost, but I have a place for a light bulb. I don't want to keep them up all night. Do you think a red 25 watt bulb would be ok to leave on all night? It's 50 degrees at night and damp, and they are still little, so I don't think they'll get overheated. Just wondering if it would be bright enough.

    THANK YOU!!! I'll let you know what happens tomorrow...
     
  8. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    I have to ask, because this is my plan b: do you think my coop is secure enough:

    The sides are all galvanized fencing 1"x2" securely nailed to posts. I have an overlay of 1/2"x1/2" hardware cloth about 1ft from the ground up stapled to the posts (just to keep those racoon paws out). I also have a hardware cloth floor with lots of gravel and sand on top. Also have locks on door and egg door.

    SO, if my girls did stay outside all night, do you think they'll be ok, or would you recommend any other precautions?

    Thank you!!


    Quote:We do the same. Our coop is 8x8 with a 10x20 secure pen next to it. They all sleep in the coop though. We leave the door open to the pen so they can go out into the pen when they get up. That way if we sleep in or don't get out there first thing in the morning they aren't trapped in the coop.

    Besides the coop and pen we also have a 30' x 40' area around that with t-posts and chicken wire. We can let them out to run that area or we can let them out of there into the entire backyard which is a 1/4 acre surrounded by a 6' privacy fence. Most of the time we just let them run the entire backyard. They put themelves up and night and we close the large doors to the coop and the secure pen leaving the hen door between the two open.
     
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:It's up to you. It's hard for other people to judge your situation. If you think critters are going to be a problem you can put hardware cloth on the ground around the pen to keep them from digging under or you can lock them in the roost area at night. We battle the heat here in Texas and if for any reason we don't make it out there first thing in the morning I don't want them locked in the coop.

    My "secure pen" is only chicken wire. Although we live in a rural subdivision I haven't seen any critters make it into my yard. The privacy fence that surrounds the backyard is pretty tight and they'd have to go over it and then try to get into the pen. The neighbor behind us has a dog that patrols the open two acres of lawn behind us, and always stays in that area. My dog has free access to the back at all hours through a doggy door and if he hears anything he's out there lickety-split. I hear a large pack of coyotes yipping and howling every night less than a 1/2 mile away, but I think all of the neighborhood dogs keep them from coming any closer.
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    My birds have the choice of inside and outside...mine are crazy... only the smallest go in if it is in the teens!!! My tractors are all covered though.
     

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