Questions from a newbe chicken guy

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by woodsman23, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2012
    Okay the chicks are in thier coop and they now come out on thier own but how do i get them to go back in at night?? i have been putting them back in by hand and need to know if i am doing something wrong??. Also when do they begin to roost? They all just huddle together in a corner at night.They are just 7 weeks old, please help out a new be.... also do i open the coop door even in rainy cool weather or just leave them inside??.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  2. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I had to put mine in the first night, one by one. When it's nearly dark it's easier. Try to time it for when they've just started to huddle for sleeping, but it's still light enough to see once you put them in the coop. (I have lots of windows, and it's painted white inside my coop so they can see well.) Then they can find their way to where they sleep. This shouldn't take more than a few nights- but I know some chickens pick it up faster than others. It only took mine two nights, I was thankful for that. ;) when the first few smart ones get it, they will go in first and cheap loudly to call the others to come to bed. They won't sleep on the roosts til they're older, (10-13 wks old) and they'll do that when they're ready. You won't have to force it.

    As for letting them out when it's rainy or cold-if you open the door they'll do what they want. When mine were young they stayed in on rainy days. Now that they're a year old, they are out pecking and scratching in sleet. I have found that they are happier when given the choice. Otherwise they'll squawk to get out, see that it's not weather they like, and fine a dry spot to hunker down. :)
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I pretty much agree with Off-Grid Hen. I have had 5 week old brooder raised chicks start roosting, but 10 to 12 weeks is much more commin. Sometimes they will go a lot longer than 12 weeks.

    I've had a broody take her chicks to the roosts as early as 2 weeks, but most of them wait a little longer. Each chicken is different and each flock has its own dynamics.

    You can try locking them in the coop for a few days to get them used to the idea of sleeping inside. The coop is probably larger than the brooder so they should be happy with that. I've done that and still had to put some in by hand for a while. You are not doing anything wrong and you are not experiencing anything unusual.

    I also give them the choice even if there is snow on the ground. They don't like anything new or strange but eventually they will adapt. Mine now like to wander around the grass in the rain looking for worms that come up. I find wind has a lot to do with whether they go out or not, more than rain or even snow, though snow may take a while to get used to.
  4. barnyard betty

    barnyard betty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2012
    I agree with off-grid hen and Ridgerunner [​IMG]
    As for me...on rainy and cold or windy days I just keep the big people door closed, to reduce the amount of mud tracked in and provide a bit more wind break inside, and leave the pop door open so they can come and go as they please. When it's nicer out, both doors are open.
    Once in great while I will still have one hen outside after dark, especially if the weather is very warm, that I have to herd inside before "lockdown" but it's very, very rare. Only took about 4 days for my flock to all get what to do at bedtime.

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