Teaching them to return to the coop

gmomfarms

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 21, 2013
75
6
91
SW Virginia
The chicks are about 6 weeks old and since the 15 chicks were overcrowded in the 110 gallon watering trough that was their brooder, and since the weather has finally decided to be spring for real, I moved them to the coop over the weekend. They remained inside for two days but I was working in my nearby garden and decided to let them into the run. It is not fully netted over yet, so I wanted to keep a eye on them. They are still not real sure whether I am friend or foe, in spite of approaching the brooder low, talking to them, putting feed in my hand, etc. They are less afraid of me when I open the raised coop door. I opened the hatch door to the run and put the ramp in place and they took turns sunning in the open doorway, but not going out. I finally went into the coop and shooed them out the hatch one at a time. They promptly got under the coop and mostly stayed there, venturing out and darting back under. To get them back in, I had to crawl under the coop and hand them out to my husband one at a time to put on the ramp and guide them back into the coop. I didn't want to wait until dusk to see if they would go back inside as he have a heavy hawk population and the run isn't covered yet. Any suggestions?
 

xxxgeorgiexxx

Songster
8 Years
Jul 3, 2011
96
53
121
Wales
i walk behind mine with a stick and then try and lure them in to the coop or just pick one at a time and put them in and shut the door behind you so you can get another
 

escape

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 27, 2013
67
9
33
I'm a newbie too but what worked for me was teaching them to come when I call.

From the very first day every time I fed them, I would say "chick, chick, chick.."

When I added treats to their diet, I would say "chick, chick, chick..." every single time I had treats. And every single time I fed them.

Chickens are smart. They learned real quick that when I said "chick, chick, chick..." they wanted to be whereever I was.

I don't hold my chicks and they don't consider me their mommy. But, when I say the magic words, they come running.
 

ChickensRDinos

Songster
7 Years
Aug 19, 2012
2,242
242
208
Los Angeles
Lock them in their new home for a week. Chickens are creatures of habit and once they have a routine they stick to it. Once they have slept in the coop that long they will think of it as home. If they continue to struggle you might want to add a light inside at night so they can see better.
 

hevaglenn

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 22, 2013
23
0
22
North east England
Lock them in their new home for a week. Chickens are creatures of habit and once they have a routine they stick to it. Once they have slept in the coop that long they will think of it as home. If they continue to struggle you might want to add a light inside at night so they can see better.
I put my 5 week old chicks in their coop 2 days ago but I didn't close the door into the pen and I have had to move them from their pen each night, When I do it they sound as if they are scared and I feel really bad :( If i block the pen off for a week will that solve this problem?
 

ChickensRDinos

Songster
7 Years
Aug 19, 2012
2,242
242
208
Los Angeles
Moving to a new home is very stressful no matter what. They just need time to adjust. I always shut mine in the first week so they learn that as their routine. If they start sleeping outside they will keep sleeping outside.
 

allieszoo

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 7, 2013
112
8
81
Stanton, KY
Lock them in their new home for a week. Chickens are creatures of habit and once they have a routine they stick to it. Once they have slept in the coop that long they will think of it as home. If they continue to struggle you might want to add a light inside at night so they can see better.

Is that alright for them? To stay in the coop for that long? I am going to be moving mine into their outside coop and run in the next few weeks so am just wondering.
 

Nava

I Got The Naked Neck Blues
10 Years
Aug 2, 2009
7,167
141
291
Ocala Fl
Keeping them locked in the coop won't hurt them, as long as there's plenty of room, if they are over crowded they could start to peck at each other ( carefull )

I let my chicks out after 10 days, they were locked in there for 2 weeks now they know where they sleep.

After I opened the door for them to come out they were scared, but as soon as one did they all follow, now I let them out in the morning and at night they go in by them selfs they are almost a month old.
 

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