Re-training Chickens to sleep in coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by anc2908, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. anc2908

    anc2908 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I only had 5 chickens it wasnt too serious but since getting 16 new additions, the poop on the porch has gotten out of control. I prefer to free range and after 3 years of having chickens Ive never lost 1 to a predator so I hate to lock them up, I just need to train them to sleep in the coop instead of on my porch, since most of their pooping is done at night while they sleep. The new chickens which are right at about 22 weeks initially slept in the coop but i made the mistake of leaving the porch light on for about a week and before I realized it they were all sleeping on the porch. So, turned the porch light off and left it off, and hung a light in the coop. After a week it still hadnt convinced anyone to move back in to the coop so I currently have them locked into the coop and they have been in there for 3 nights so far. Ive read different opinions on how long they need to be locked up before they recognize this as home so I was hoping to get some advice from anyone who has had to do this before. Also wanted to get an idea if anyone has done this and if it worked or if it didnt?
     
  2. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got two new hens a while ago they flew up in the tree so high we got a ladder and a rake and knocked them off then we picked them up shoved in the coop for 3 days every night and they went in there every night
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    10 days is what I would lock them in for....After 7 see what happens...? They do train easily because they are creatures of habit...

    Good luck
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I'd go at least a week....maybe longer considering how long they've been roosting on porch.

    Hopefully you have plenty of space, ventilation, and roost length for that many birds....
    ......if not, some or all of them may just go back to the porch once given the choice.

    Also, if porch roosts are higher than coop roosts, they may be more appealing as they like to roost as high as possible, and you may have to block off their access to porch for awhile anyway.
     
  5. Lost Farmer

    Lost Farmer Just Hatched

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    7 days was my training period, give them treats while in the coop as well. One thing that helped me was to leave the coop light on while they were outside, when i wanted them to go in the coop, id simply turn off the outdoor lights and they would run towards the coop light. They would get roosted up and id set the coop light timer for 30 minutes.
     
  6. anc2908

    anc2908 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So did you still let yours out during the day and just put them back in only at night when you did it?
     
  7. anc2908

    anc2908 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2015
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    Thank you. Thats whats I was guessing was about a week or so. Hopefully the 7 days will do the trick!
     
  8. anc2908

    anc2908 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Plenty of room in the coop, but no matter how much space they have I still feel guilty locking them up after theyve been free range so long :( but just guessing I'd say the porch steps are about the same height as the coop roost but the coop does have rafters that they could easily get to which Im sure are higher than the steps but strangely Ive never seen one of them try to sleep up there. A good number of them were trying to sleep on a pallet that I have between the steps and the house to block my heat pump, wonder if I put another pallet like that down by the coop if that would help to encourage them to sleep down there?
    I have some of the heavy duty black plastic mesh that i could use to put under the steps but the younger ones are still small enough to fit between the banisters of the porch. So Im not sure how Id go about block them off the porch but any ideas you can offer are appreciated. I do plan on letting them free range full time once I can hopefully train them to sleep in the coop but it would be nice to be able to just keep them off the porch at all times.
     
  9. anc2908

    anc2908 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2015
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    I think I am going to keep them in for a week. I have been giving them fresh fruits and veggies in the mornings in addition to their feed so hopefully itll ease some of the boredom. I did hang the light in the coop about a week before I decided to lock them up and turned off all the porch lights and lights in the house to deter them from the porch but for some reason they still didnt go down there on their own. I mean you could clearly tell that the coop was the lightest part of the yard but maybe i need a light on the outside of the coop too?
     
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Hose them off the porch, then take a stick, tap the ground and herd them towards the coop. Do this just as they are getting ready to settle, maybe one or two on the porch rail. Two - three nights, and they will quickly come to the idea, that the porch is not a great place and really the coop is much better.

    Mrs K
     

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