Training birds to use the ramp into elevated hen house

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Marty1876, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!

    Greetings fellow BYCers!

    We recently finished a coop that is 3 feet off the ground, which allows area under and around coop to be the run. (Its a semi-chicken tracter)

    The only problem we're having is the hens and roos have mostly figured out how to leave via the ramp, but they can't seem to manage going back in. They've never used one before, and every night DH and I are having to put them back inside. They just aren't using the ramp.

    How on earth do you train them to use a ramp???
  2. momma of a chicken lover

    momma of a chicken lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2011
    Our ramp is entirely under the coop so it was time to squat and waddle for us. We ended up having to go under there, take a chicken, and guide her up the ramp. Once one figures it out, the others will follow - especially if there is a treat inside that they see you put there. After I did this a couple of times, I waved some bread around for all to see, then tossed it through the pop door. There was a bum rush up the ramp [​IMG]
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    For next couple of days allow only one bird out. It will spend considerable time and effort figuring how to get back to voices and sights of flockmates in coop. Make certain part of time is spent on ramp if needed baited with food. At end of day allow traininng bird in by opening door. I do similar as part of an experiment with my roosts that are scattered about, My preference is to use the dominant bird in flock for the training. At roosting time when all want to roost, the trained leader wll speed movement of others up ramp into coop. The dominant birds (male or female) do give a call that calls subordinate flock mates up to roost. My game roosters can get their entire harem (hens an/d roosting offspring) to move to a completely different tree as a group; without rooster group would bust up. think that is the reason the term "rooster" is used for males since in my opinion they play a disproportionate role in influencing where the flock will roost.

    I have even used an adult rooster imprinted on a given roost to call juveniles up that otherwise would roost on ground. For system to work rooster and other birds must be bonded. When young birds are cycled out, rooster from each group is retained to train subsequent group.
  4. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    I had a similar situation. The ramp that came w/ the coop had bars that were too small and the ramp was too steep so my big BO's were frightened to use it. I built a wider, less step one with much bigger foot pegs but they were having none of it. So I held a meal worm in my fingers and dangled it through the pop door and over the ramp and encouraged the hens to come up to get the worm. We did this several times until they realized they were going up and down the ramp and then they were cool with it.

    Food is always a great encourager with hens. Good Luck.
  5. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2012
    SE Missouri
    I need to do this too...... a treat something,! My other hens 9 lof them took 4 days to go into the coop at night no coaxing
    . Now i have these 3 Brahmas 2 laced and one LB, 2 are young cockrels in another[pen and coop its been almost 3 weeks and they still lay under the coop untill i take a broom stick and whosh them out then catch them in the narrow run.
    One night the felmale went in and i was thirlled but since nobody has, not even her.. Getting pretty sick of it.I pick them up and put them in the door to walk in hoping them get the idea.
  6. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!

    I guess its time to start bribing chickens. I've been having to corner and grap every night for like 8 days now.
  7. Runawaylobster

    Runawaylobster Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2012
    Redland/Homestead Fl
    It took a while for mine to figure it out. Every night I had to do lots of squats to collect them and
    put them inside. it got old very quickly and eventually I gave up, since they were inside a secure run
    anyway, and guess what... in about 3-4 days more they began going in by themselves.....
  8. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2012
    I've been trying to teach my Silkies to go up for bed for weeks. None of them will. They bed down under the ramp, and I send kids in to grab them and push them up the ramp every night. There are a couple of them that don't understand coming down either and won't follow the rest down for breakfast even. They just don't get it. I'm about to build them a coop with no ramp and use the one they are in for a breeding coop for the Cochins or something. Silly birds.
  9. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    I noticed that if I kept a light inside the coop, they will try to follow it as it gets dark outside. We have a very long and high ramp in our run and it took almost 2 weeks before they were all comfortable enough to go up it.
    Mamaws girls likes this.
  10. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!

    I'm still waiting for mine. I do have a light, but I've decided I'm just gonna make them stay out and freeze until they work it out. I've been stuffing them in for like 2 weeks now. [​IMG]

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