Should I force my 9 week old chicks into the coop at night?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by anydayisnow, May 10, 2009.

  1. anydayisnow

    anydayisnow In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2009
    Columbia SC
    They have been sleeping out in the enclosed run ever since it was finished (about 2 weeks ago). They haven't even gone inside the coop that I can tell since the run was built. Should I force them in there from time to time so they remember it exists?

    They all sleep on one perch I have about 3 feet off the ground in the run. They seem happy. I just don't know if this is a problem.

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Chickens don't know this, but the safest place for them at night is in a predator proof coop.
    I would take away their roost in the run and lock them in the coop for a couple of days, maybe even a week. Yes, they'll complain like the whole world hates them, but they'll get over it.
    This will train them to consider the coop as home and they should go in there at night.
  3. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    I would encourage it so they will lay inside the coop when they do start laying. Also, even a completely enclosed run isn't safe from predators. People have had chickens pulled through a fence by a raccoon (and it is apparently not a pretty sight). Good luck making the kids do what is best for them. [​IMG]
  4. anydayisnow

    anydayisnow In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2009
    Columbia SC
    I should say that before the run was finished they were locked in the coop for almost 2 weeks. I would let them free range in the yard when I was around, and they would take themselves home when it started to get dark and I would shut them in.

    I am in a very residential area, with a 6 foot privacy fence and a chainlink fence, and the run is completely covered.
  5. TexasVet

    TexasVet Songster

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    Mine were in a dog kennel that was both covered and had double fencing about 4' tall around the inside. A possum made it's way through the corner where a rounded kennel panel intersected a squared panel. The gap was only about 4" wide and 6" long, but it managed to push through and kill a dozen 2-month old chicks.

    Now I lock them in the coop every night.

    Kathy, Bellville TX

  6. thedeacon

    thedeacon Songster

    Nov 14, 2008
    Mine, about the same age as yours, also sleep outside at night. I do have a dog sleeping on the outside of the pen that keeps predators away. He has already killed 3 racoons. If it rains, they seem to go inside. Been doing this about 2 weeks and no problems to report

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