Should I return them to the house to help them learn where to sleep?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by henrietta101, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. henrietta101

    henrietta101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2011
    I recently wrote a post where I wrote about my 10 weekers not going into the house at night. I kept them in the house for 48 hours when I brought them home. Cooped up and hot here, I let them in the run for the past two days. The past two evenings, including just then, I have had to entice them into their house from the run with food then close the door. I was told to keep them in the house for week but did not comply. OOps. What should I do now? SHould I leave them in the house for a few days to help them learn to go there? Will my mistake have an effect on where they end up laying their eggs? How do I fix my mistake?
     
  2. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It doesn't sound like you made a mistake. For some reason your pullets simply haven't identified their coop as a safe place to roost. If possible, put some sort of light inside with a timer set to go on at dusk and stay on for an hour or so. They will usually move to the light when it begins to darken outside. I wouldn't lock them inside, especially if it's hot. Just keep placing them in the coop at night until they get it and decide to go in themselves. Don't be discouraged. And, no, it shouldn't impact where they lay their eggs at all. If you have nesting boxes, just set a golf ball or some egg-like object inside and that will help them identify the boxes as a place to lay. I think you're doing fine.
     
  3. henrietta101

    henrietta101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2011
    Thanks for your advice. I will try to think of a light source. I so much want to do what is best for the little ones. it has only been four days and I love them already....especially the little Australorp. What a delight she is!
     
  4. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    As long as you have them in a run I would suggest you keep leading them into the house each night. They'll catch on. It might take a while but it will. Chickens aren't as stupid as you think. If you have no windows in the coop and it's hot, I suggest you do that. You might also try putting the food in the coop for a while.
     
  5. henrietta101

    henrietta101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2011
    I do have a window which would make it a little better, but I was still concerned about it getting hot inside. I dont know how well chickens tolerate the heat. I have been using food to get them inside at night. In fact the little ones get very excited whenever they see me...I think I have already developed an association in their minds between myself and crumble!
     
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
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    Chickens don't tolerate heat very well. Cooler is better. They can generate a lot of heat and this may be why they won't go in. If your coldest temp at night is not below freezing I'd say put in more windows and cover them with hardware cloth. Make sure they're good and tight so preds can't get in. You might put hardware cloth covers vents at the top to let the heat out.

    Oh and apparently I'm not the only one who can't sleep. [​IMG] So I got up and finished making the apple jelly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  7. henrietta101

    henrietta101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2011
    Apple jelly? Never had that before. Sounds tasty
     
  8. chickenbythesea

    chickenbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sometimes they're just not ready to head in when we think they should. Mine are 21 weeks and sometimes I still have to bribe them with bread to go to bed. Now that the days are gettting shorter it seems to be less of a problem. I put mine out at a week in the coop and so they were shut up in there for 6 weeks before they headed out so I don't think it's a matter of not "knowing" more a matter of not "wanting" to head in.
     
  9. henrietta101

    henrietta101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2011
    Thanks for all your responses. I am very proud this evening to announce that all four little ones got themselves to bed tonight! I went out at dusk to try some of the suggestions and was pleasantly surprised. Well done little ones!
     

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