1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!


Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by the gab, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. the gab

    the gab Hatching

    May 5, 2014
    I introduced my 7 chickens to their coop about 6 weeks ago. They seem really happy and well adjusted. Two weeks after I allowed them to "free range" within a larger enclosure that doesn't have a roof. At twilight when I go to put them back in their coop I find them in tree limbs that hang above the run. The last week I have cooped them up earlier, but when I come to let them out in the morning have discovered that they are all huddled together on the ground. They are not using the roosting dowels I have set up in the hen house. So my question is: Any good ideas on getting them to go back to the hen house when they are ready to roost for the night? My last groups of chickens all were fine with roosting the the coop.

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You didn't say how old they are, younger birds are notorious for being trouble at roost time, and wanting to find their own spots. I find consistently putting them where you want them will eventually change their minds.
  3. the gab

    the gab Hatching

    May 5, 2014
    OK. I'll give that a try. They are about 14 weeks old. I'll go in after dark and see if I can get them on their perch.
  4. dadeo

    dadeo In the Brooder

    Jun 27, 2016
    West Virginia
    I'm actually impressed with how compliant the chickens are. They grew up from age 4-8 weeks in the coop, including being fed. They mostly ignored the roost until they were about 6 weeks, starting with the low rungs and working thier way up. The coop is surrounded by a fence designed to keep dogs and such out. At 10 weeks I started letting them out near dark, they'd wander around and eat the poison ivy and grass in the run and go back in at dark. At about 12 weeks the could fly out of the protective fence and now wander around the yard. I took some advice I got here and started to feed them where I wanted them to hang out and now they are digging through the yard and flower beds. [​IMG]
    They wander a couple hundred feet from the coop but always go back at night and hang out on the roost. Good chickens!!
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Can you post a pic of your coop and roosts?
    Might be some obvious clues that we vets can spot.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by