Teaching Silkies to Coop... Wasting my time?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jktrahan, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. jktrahan

    jktrahan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2011
    Sweet Lake
    Ok, I have trained my 2 bantam cochin and old english bantam rooster to roost in the top of the chicken tractor in the coop by setting a solar yard light to shine in there and turn on at dusk. It took about 3 days of me setting them in the coop at the top each night. They have even started roosting on a raised pole that I have in there for them.

    I have been doing the same thing with 2 silkies (Almost 6 months old) and a Polish hen (15 Months). Each night they huddle together at the bottom of the tractor, and each night i set each one on the roost in the top of the coop. They come down by themselves each morning, so I know they know their way around.

    Question is: Am I wasting my time, will they eventually start climbing the latter and sleeping up top or should I just leave them downstairs? The Polish hen even laid her first egg yesterday, upstairs in the nesting box during the day and then came back downstairs. Of course i had to put her to bed last night.

  2. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    I have managed to teach my silkie roos to walk to the garage every evening, at precisely 7:30, into their doghouse every night. It took about 2 months but in my humble opinion it was worth it [​IMG]

    btw I started this training quite late by my standards. They were already about 5 mo when I started because I got them from a friend, and this is what probably took them so long...
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Silkies will learn. Sometimes they don't like ramps and roosts though.

    My silkies that I just sold recently were trained to run back into their pen when I said, "silkies, shoooo--ooo" in a sing-song voice. I would say, "silkies, free range," and they would run out.

    Now I have more silkies that aren't trained yet.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They'll figure it out eventually if you keep at it. However, if they feel like the top area is a nest box, or a nesting site, they may be reluctant to sleep there. It is often instinct to not sleep (poop) where they deposit their eggs. That said, many also discourage hens who sleep where they lay eggs, which isn't really an option in a small tractor style coop.

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