Returning to the Coop at night

Mitchell Farm

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 21, 2013
88
3
43
I recently put my 8 week old chicks into their coop. 5 days later, I put my 7 week old birds in with the 8 week old birds. I have 26 birds in all. My plan was to keep them all in the coop for at least 3 days. I did this and then opened the coop door that allows them to go into their attached run. The run is 30' by 8' with half roofed and half open with chicken wire covering the roof frame.

After about three hours, not a singl bird had ventured out into the coop, so....being the impatient individual I can be at times, I "helped" them to find thier new freedom. I put a feeder and waterer in the run with them and eventually they began to enjoy the new found space.

Here is my concern: I love BYC and after reading many posts, tried to follow the advice of how to get your chicks to automatically go back into the coop at night on thier own. As referenced above, I had kept all chicks in the coop for 3 days and then opened the door to the run. The first night only about 6 birds returned to the coop. At 9pm I went to check and the remaing 20 birds were hunkered together trying to ward off the 36 degree weather. I picked them up and placed them in the coop.

The next day I opened the coop door and more went out on thier own than the 1 st day, but I still needed to "help" a few get outside. At dark the second night, about half the birds had returned inside the coop, but about half still remained outside huddled together. As before, I picked them up and put them back into the coop for the night.

Last night, I had about 8 birdes who still insisted on staying outside. I again, put them back into the coop.

My question is this: will the rest of the birds eventually "learn" to go into the coop at night on their own? Should I be putting hem back into the coop at night or leave them alone and let them stay out (the coop is all hardware cloth with 12 inches buried below the ground all around the run....should not be any concerns with predators. What does the collective wisdom of BYCers have to say on this topic?
 

Keltara

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,670
79
173
Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
You are doing the right thing by putting them back into the coop at night. It may take a little longer for some to catch on than others. I only have 6 hens. Three of them are 2 years, and 3 of them are 1 year old. Even today, I will go out after dark to close the pop door, and the 3 one year old's will "sometimes" be roosting in the run. It is a pain, but on those occasions, I will scoop each one up and put her into the coop (through the pop door). Your girls are just learning though. Make sure that when you put them in the coop, that you do it through the pop door so they know that it is the way to get inside. Be patient and they'll get it in their own time.


Kelly
✿​
Our Country Chronicles
✿​
 

Mitchell Farm

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 21, 2013
88
3
43
Thanks Kelly- I appreciate your response. We had chickens growing up, but it was basically throw them outside and hope they lived instead of a coop and run and proper care. I will continue to put them in at night and hope they figure it out. Take care and have a wonderful week.
 

miquwid

Songster
6 Years
Feb 14, 2013
1,595
102
158
Western NY
My Coop
My Coop
Are these all young birds? Or do you have older birds? Since this was my first time with chickens I bought older birds and younger birds and my older girls definitely took control and helped out the younger girls when it was time to join the flock! Well that is what it seem like anyway. Good luck and keep it up!
 

Mitchell Farm

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 21, 2013
88
3
43
Miquwid- they are all 7 and 8 week old chicks. Guess it takes some a bit longer to learn as my oldest chicks (4 Reds and 2 Leghorns) seem to have figured it out quickly. Thanks for your response and have a great day.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom