teaching chicks where to go sleep at night?? 2 issues

Michelle in NM

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2017
8
6
11
I have 2 chicken "barns" for my hens to sleep at night. There's a large protected run that's between the 2 barns. My older hens know where to go, it did take a little bit of work. We just put 15 of our 12 week old girls outside last weekend. They have yet to learn where to go at night. They all huddle together at the bottom of the older hen barn. This isn't acceptable for several reasons. Is there a quicker way to teach them? My concern is they are not learning to go up the ladder into the upper barn if I am carrying them to where they need to be.. In addition to that, I have 3-7 that refuse to go down the ladder in the morning to get our of their barn. I have sprinkled scratch on the ladder, pushed them down the ladder, the other hens are out. They will stay there unless I open up the side doors for them to jump out of. A few days ago they ones who wouldn't leave were up there for 5 hours before I finally moved them out. This is the barn coop they are supposed to be in. https://www.chickensaloon.com/products/barn
 

wvchics

Songster
Jun 7, 2017
195
225
100
Proctor, WV
My chicks were the same way at first. I kept them in the coop for a few days then started putting them out in the morning and putting them up at night. Eventually they started on their own. Routine was the main thing for me. Once I got them into a routine they started doing it on their own
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
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Michelle in NM

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2017
8
6
11
Thanks for those suggestions. I hadn't thought of just making them stay in there for a day or so. Mainly because there are 15 of them and that's a small space to have them in for an extended period of time. This morning after I opened the doors to let them in the large run, all but 2 managed to figure out how to get down the ladder. The two that were left behind are Buff Orphingtons and on the smaller side.


I think I might just close up access to the "barn" with the A-frame roof. that way they can't go in there at night. My older hens don't lay in that nesting box and will be fine if they have to wait a little past dusk to move into their usual spot.
 
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Michelle in NM

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2017
8
6
11
IMG_5605.JPG
That coop/run is way too small for 15 birds.
The coop portion, not including the nests, is basically 4' x 4'.
The roosts look very difficult to access.
There is little to no ventilation.

I was concerned about ventilation at first but it is actually pretty good.


Here are better photos of my 'at night' enclosed areas. The 'barn' next to the block wall is where my older gals roost. I have roosting bars int the covered space but these new ones have never even jumped up on the lower bars. The have a much larger open run, about 3x the size as what you see in photos plus we have an acre they can free range on. I haven't opened up to free range this week since I just put the new birds outside. You can see the open door with the ladder. This is how I've encouraged them to leave once I open up all the doors in the mornings. If you notice the cinder blocks near the barn which have black plastic on the bottom, that area, inside on the bottom is where all 15 huddle at night until I move them into the other barn.
 

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