Putting hens to roost early

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Primrose Mimi, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. Primrose Mimi

    Primrose Mimi Hatching

    Nov 1, 2013
    Houston, Texas
    I have five hens that left on their own will go to roost with no probelm. On the occasion that I will not be home at dusk to close the coop door and have to put them up early, I have one hen that stays back and will not (even with dried worms) be tricked into the coop.
    Please any ideas, I hate to leave her out, but sometimes must be gone. She is making me crazy running after her in high heels!
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop

    You may have to lock her in for several days so she gets used to sleeping on the roosts. Chickens are creatures of routine and they will sleep in the same place over again so if you can train her she will return once you let her out again.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    The other chickens may be bullying her, or stopping her from entering the coop. Just a thought...
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I think the previous 2 posters missed the point......all the hens go to roost no problem.

    UNLESS the OP is trying to get them in the coop earlier than regular roosting time.....then one will not be enticed to enter the coop.

    I tried to get mine in earlier yesterday.....some were drawn in with rattling treat can, other weren't having it now way.
    I left them out, but would be back pretty soon after dark so took the risk.

    One of the disadvantages of having chickens, you've got to be home at dark to lock them up...or get one of those automatic doors.
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Is your coop/run a setup that you are able to enter or is it not "people sized"? This will definitely have to be factored into suggestions as to how to address the issue.
    Our run and coop are both people sized, so we are able to enter both at will and move about comfortably. When I need to move the birds in our out of one or the other (ie to put them up at a time that they are not ready to do so willingly on their own) I just go into the area I want to move them out of and herd them to the one I want them in. For example, I will go into the end of the run away from the coop and then move the birds towards the coop door to put them in. The use of an arm extender such as a stick (I use a lunge whip) is helpful -- you don't actually use it to threaten or touch/strike the birds, it is just an extension that makes your arms look longer and lessens the attempts to go "around" you vs. traveling in the direction you are trying to move them. If you just stay behind the group and move them forward the process is fairly quick and painless for all involved.
  6. Primrose Mimi

    Primrose Mimi Hatching

    Nov 1, 2013
    Houston, Texas
    Thank you all for the help. My coop is small but I can enter and stand in my run. During the day my five hens free range in a fenced yard. I do think my difficult hen may be the bottom of the gang hen, so I will try to watch that. For the last two nights they have put themselves to bed and I am not out there to see who goes in last. Then last night, as I checked on them and closed the run, I opened the side door of the coop and found my difficult hen in the nest box and not on the roost. There is plenty of room on the roost. I picked her up and placed her on the roost. She stayed and moved close to the next chicken and all seemed quiet. Maybe I need a camera to really know what is going on. Not sure how to get that going.
  7. Howlet

    Howlet Chirping

    Jul 31, 2014
    My Coop
    ooh a hen-cam x3
  8. topdycke

    topdycke Songster

    Nov 25, 2012
    Magnolia, Texas
    Welcome from Magnolia, TX! Mine are out to free range on the weekends when I can supervise. I always bring them a bit of scratch, black oil sunflower seeds, kitchen scraps in the evening when I come home. They have a feeder always available so the snacks are more about a positive routine. When they are out and I come and call to them they will come running and I toss the treat in to the coop and they head in. I think if I put too much pressure and got too close when herding they would feel threatened and I would back off - I think they are pretty smart and trainable in their own way.
  9. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Songster

    Jul 22, 2013
    Certainly sounds like she's on the bottom of the pecking order. My "pecked on" hen is always the last to enter the coop at night. She's also the one that I can't trick into coming into the coop early. I haven't had to do it in awhile but usually if I'm needing to get them in the chicken coop I can trick them into it, I shut the "good" chickens in and go then get her by hand. As long as she's in the chicken run then it's not that hard to catch her. She's always been very nervous, her name is "Worrywart" for that very reason, so sometimes she can be very difficult.

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