Teaching hens to coop at night

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Squeakermama1, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Squeakermama1

    Squeakermama1 New Egg

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    Aug 11, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Hi. I'm a new chicken owner. I have two Rhode Island Red hens that are about 5 months old. I have them cooped in my backyard and would like for them to be free range in a fenced in area out back during the day and then have them cooped at night. Any suggestions on how to get them into the habit of getting into the coop towards the end of the day?
    Also how long should I keep them cooped before letting them roam free in the fenced in area?
    Thank you for your help,
    Chicken Fred [​IMG]
     
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 31, 2008
    Hi Fred...
    Mine just did it on thier own...one day they flew/hopped over the fence in my run and I was freeking ..how am i going to get them back in...so I left the main door open at at about dusk I went to check on them and here they were all huddled into one corner of the coop...it was about 2 weeks after that I noticed that they had started to ust the roost/perch at night...from what I have been told it is instinct
     
  3. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    You could always make a bedtime snack part of your daily routine with them. Get them to expect to head to the coop for a little something special every night.

    By the way, welcome to BackYard Chickens! I noticed that your e-mail address is part of your username; if you'd like more privacy, you can contact a mod and have the "@gmail.com" removed. If that's the way you want it, though, no worries... [​IMG] See you around the forum!
     
  4. kinardmommy

    kinardmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2008
    Texas
    If it will be safe to leave them in the coop for two or three days that is a good way to teach them. By safe I am talking about the temperature. As long as they will not get overheated in the coop during the day. After a few days when you let them out they will put themselves up right before dark. If you let them out after a few days and they do not put themselves up then do the process over again.
     
  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I locked my chicks up in the coop (no outside at all) for about a week before I let them in their run.

    But they were still pretty young, and the weather was horrid.
     
  6. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    mine didn't figure it out until I put them in the coop at night. They would huddle up on the ground next to the door, so for a few days straight I had to pick them up and put them in. Also, when it came time for them to roost, I had to place them on the roost for a few nights until they figured it out on their own. Good luck, and [​IMG]
     
  7. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    Treats are a great way to get them back in. You will also probably have to put them in the first few nights. After that they will just do it themselves. [​IMG]
     
  8. Squeakermama1

    Squeakermama1 New Egg

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    Aug 11, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Thank you so much for all the information:)
    I LOVE this site! It's helped me gain the insight needed to get things started over here with my girls.
    I'm a Chicken Fred for sure! [​IMG]
     

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