Should I just admit defeat?

CHlCKEN

Songster
Jun 21, 2020
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For the past month and a half I have been moving my chicks from their favorite branch roost into the hen house, every night without missing a night. The refuse to go in the hen house by themselves, should I just admit defeat? What can I do to get them in the hen house?
 

LaFleche

Crowing
Sep 22, 2012
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For the past month and a half I have been moving my chicks from their favorite branch roost into the hen house, every night without missing a night. The refuse to go in the hen house by themselves, should I just admit defeat? What can I do to get them in the hen house?
Let them have a nightlight on a timer. Chicks are afraid to enter a dark coop.

Never let them outside at night as predators will easily find a way to get them.

Does your coop have good ventilation? Stuffy coops will also be avoided.
 

MrFluffyandGirls

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
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SC, Low Country
For the past month and a half I have been moving my chicks from their favorite branch roost into the hen house, every night without missing a night. The refuse to go in the hen house by themselves, should I just admit defeat? What can I do to get them in the hen house?
Are they protected from the weather and predators when out on the branch? Is this branch in a chicken run or out where they free range? If it's in the run then remove the branch. Is your coop ventilated enough? Large enough? Can they see the roosting bar in the evening to get on it?
 

CHlCKEN

Songster
Jun 21, 2020
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Let them have a nightlight on a timer. Chicks are afraid to enter a dark coop.

Never let them outside at night as predators will easily find a way to get them.

Does your coop have good ventilation? Stuffy coops will also be avoided.
Let them have a nightlight on a timer. Chicks are afraid to enter a dark coop.

Never let them outside at night as predators will easily find a way to get them.

Does your coop have good ventilation? Stuffy coops will also be avoided.
Ok, thanks that does sound good. what kind of “night light” might you recommend? We don’t have power reaching to the coop. The coop is enclosed in a large omlet chicken run which is impenetrable- my only concern is that the raccoons climb on the run at night, and I am afraid they will reach in and grab on of my babies while their sleeping. I am certainly not new to chickens and I would never let them stay out at night, however their coop run is quite safe (other than the crawly raccoons who can’t actually get in, I have not had an incident in two years, and the last time it happened was with the old run and coop)and I don’t feel a need to lock them inside the actual coop at night. my 3 old hens had no issues when learning to go in the coop- they actually started to go in by themselves. I’m going to take the branch out so that the babies can’t keep roosting on that, maybe that will encourage them to go in in their own.

Once again, do you have an idea of a good nightlight?
our coop is a snap lock coop- certainly not a good size for my 7 girls although my parents do not want to buy anything more so it’s what we have to work with.
 

CHlCKEN

Songster
Jun 21, 2020
935
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201
Tennessee
Are they protected from the weather and predators when out on the branch? Is this branch in a chicken run or out where they free range? If it's in the run then remove the branch. Is your coop ventilated enough? Large enough? Can they see the roosting bar in the evening to get on it?
It’s a branch I put in the run to roost on in the summer. The chicks took to it and wouldn’t leave. When I took it down the first time they slept on the ground under it, which worried me. The raccoons climb on the coop at night though, so my worry is that one of my babies would be pulled through the bars while she’s sleeping. It’s a snap-loc coop, not large enough for my 7 girls but my parents don’t want to buy anything else so it’s what we’re working with. I have the third roosting bar set on the lowest for them.
 

roosterhavoc

Enabler
Jan 5, 2012
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It’s a branch I put in the run to roost on in the summer. The chicks took to it and wouldn’t leave. When I took it down the first time they slept on the ground under it, which worried me. The raccoons climb on the coop at night though, so my worry is that one of my babies would be pulled through the bars while she’s sleeping. It’s a snap-loc coop, not large enough for my 7 girls but my parents don’t want to buy anything else so it’s what we’re working with. I have the third roosting bar set on the lowest for them.
Get rid of the raccoons. That’s the equivalent of a mountain lion or a grizzly bear pacing outside your door waiting for you to come outside.
 

LaFleche

Crowing
Sep 22, 2012
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Ok, thanks that does sound good. what kind of “night light” might you recommend? We don’t have power reaching to the coop. The coop is enclosed in a large omlet chicken run which is impenetrable- my only concern is that the raccoons climb on the run at night, and I am afraid they will reach in and grab on of my babies while their sleeping. I am certainly not new to chickens and I would never let them stay out at night, however their coop run is quite safe (other than the crawly raccoons who can’t actually get in, I have not had an incident in two years, and the last time it happened was with the old run and coop)and I don’t feel a need to lock them inside the actual coop at night. my 3 old hens had no issues when learning to go in the coop- they actually started to go in by themselves. I’m going to take the branch out so that the babies can’t keep roosting on that, maybe that will encourage them to go in in their own.

Once again, do you have an idea of a good nightlight?
our coop is a snap lock coop- certainly not a good size for my 7 girls although my parents do not want to buy anything more so it’s what we have to work with.
You could just install a drawer light and change the batteries on a regular basis. But once they are accustomed to the coop again there will be no need for nightlights.
https://www.amazon.com/drawer-lights/s?k=drawer+lights

The much bigger issue is the overcrowding as omlet coops are known to be small for even the recommended regular amount of chickens to house.

So if there is no chance to get a bigger coop, it seems necessary to rehome some of your existing chickens. Otherwise some predator will take care of the overcrowding which will be much worse than rehoming some.

Other than raccoons there are also snakes, weasels, opossums etc. able to reach them. Even rats like a good chicken snack.
 

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