teaching them to go back in

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sm0kin, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. sm0kin

    sm0kin Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2009
    ok so the chicks are about to go outside and I am wondering how do i get them to go from outside to inside. I can see myself running around trying to coax them in. how do you teach them to go back in?
  2. ryansmommy83

    ryansmommy83 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 8, 2009
    southern california
    I have to tag onto this one also because i wanted to know the same thing ! Mine havent been out yet !
  3. TammyTX

    TammyTX Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 16, 2009
    On my VERY limited experience....

    With my first flock I had to go out in the middle of a thunderstorm and gather them up and carry them back in. They would have drown so I had no choice.

    What I've done this time is put my chicks in the coop first, let them get used to it for a couple of hours then open the chicken door to their small run. I have 49 chicks and the small run is only about 5x6 foot but it's inside of a larger 50x50 foot run. The reason I did this was to get them "trained" on how to get back into the coop. Last night I still had to show several how to get back in after the rat snake attack...see the predator thread for more on that!

    I found last night that if there are chicks left outside after dark that putting a light on in the coop will attract the chicks into the coop.

    (Edited..jeez, my spelling was awful!) [​IMG]

    Edited AGAIN to say that I found out that if I start to crow like a rooster, you now that first, URRRR! sound? they RUN back into the coop. I don't have to do it loud, so no one knows I sound like an idiot but me! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  4. wxdude99

    wxdude99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2008
    Montgomery Area
    I have one slow chicken, a big austrolorp, that I used to pick up and put in the coop myself. Then I would herd the others over towards the coop and they would run up the ladder and go in. No I just herd them over and they all know they're supposed to go in. Maybe I'm lucky because mine are pretty obedient. You can carry a small stick too and use it to help herd them. That works for me.
  5. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I let my chicks out to free range at about 4 weeks of age and they have just always put themselves away. If I want them to go back in during daylight hours, sometimes I have to herd them back in there. But, it's not hard... and at night they just go to bed. I know this isn't everyone's experience, but I do believe it's the standard behavior. I couldn't believe how easy it was, actually. If you are interested, you can check my blog (link below), and start with the post titled, "Free Range Chickens" and I talk about how I went about doing it, and I have lots of pics.

    Also, I recommend treats as incentive to come out of the coop (yes, they will be reluctant the first time) and also to help you get them back in if need be. Good luck!
  6. grateful

    grateful Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2009
    Bozeman, MT
    I am new at this as well, but i read that you leave you chickens in the coop for up to two weeks with out letting them in to the run. This will get them comfortable with the surroundings and they will want to go " home" a lot easier.
  7. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    If they have been raised in the coop they should put themself to bed no problem.
    If they have been inside the house and you are taking them to the coop I would leave them confined to the coop for at least a week if you want them go back into the coop on their own otherwise come dusk they maybe ringing your doorbell wanting to go to sleep [​IMG]
  8. AnnesChicks

    AnnesChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2009
    Aberdeen, Washington
    Mine were 2 1/2 months old when I brought them home. They had been raised in a pen inside a barn, so artivicial light only and no coop. I read on BYC to shut them up for a couple days before letting them out and they would just naturally go in the coop at night time. Well the hard part was getting them to all come out. The on the second day after several hours there were still two that hadn't ventured out, so I opened the coop and shooed them out! For two weeks now I just have to call before I open their door and there is a stampede out, I'm sure the chicken scratch is the motivation not me!

    The first night and only the first night one of the eight got confused and went to sleep under the coop, I used a rake to gently pull her out so I could pick her up and put her to bed. Since then every night everyone is in bed as soon as it starts to get dark.
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I let my five week olds out for the first time today... I put the large dog crate with the brooder lamp in one corner with a little feeder and a waterer on the outside that they can reach from the inside. By 7:15 tonight, they had all found their way back into the crate by the lamp. I closed the door and put a towel/blanket over it for the night.... I'll continue to lock them in at night for another 4 weeks and then I won't worry about a stray cat getting at them.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  10. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    I move them into their coop space at 2-3 weeks old - with heat lamps until they're 4 weeks old. At 4 weeks I start letting them out. By this time, they know the coop is 'home'.

    We keep lights on a timer that come on before dusk. This encourages them to come in because it's lighter inside than outside once the sun starts to set. I've never had any trouble at all with them learning to come in on their own, group after group, season after season.

    Never, ever, have I had to go 'gather up' young chickens to get them inside. DH & I walk out to the coops at dark and lock them in for safety. No fuss, no muss. [​IMG]

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