Training to go "home" at the end of the day.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RooBeeC, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. RooBeeC

    RooBeeC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2016
    Hi All! My chicks will soon be going into their " adult home" and I was wondering how people train them to go back to the coop at night. I plan on letting them free range when I'm home. We have a completely enclosed run attached to the coop that they can use all the other days. If I leave them in the coop/ attached run for a few days/ weeks without free ranging is that good enough? I read on here that some people actually keep them locked in the coop for a few days to train them where " home is". Ideas? Experiences?

    Thanks! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Good plan. It doesn't really require 'training'. As creatures of habit, they'll sleep where they always have unless they deem it unsafe.
    Keep them in the building for a couple days. Then keep them confined to the run for a couple more days. As long as they go in at night to sleep, you can then let them free range. They'll start venturing in by dusk.
  3. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    I've never confined mine to the coop.
    Ducklings are escorted to the coop each night. Eventually they get they should go there. Sometimes they sit by the door of the coop. Eh - close enough :lol
    Chickens are put in the coop at ducks the first few times and after that, they just go their on their own at dusk.

    My newest 2 chicks had free range of the pen with the coop for about a week. I put them in each night since they couldn't quite fly up that high. Then they had run of the pen, but the door was open to the yard. They are back in the pen at dusk and waiting for help into their side of the house. Last few nights, they were already on the roost in their house before I even went out.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    That works too. I just don't have time to round up chickens at night. I prefer the process to be automatic.
  5. UrbanFarmOC

    UrbanFarmOC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2014
    Southern California
    I usually try to move them to the main coop as soon as I can (less work for me), usually between 3-6 weeks. I've done it a few ways....

    1) slowly move their outdoor brooder closer to the coop over a 1-2 week span. Then move the brooder into the coop. They're pretty good about going home after that. Then after about 3-7 days of that, I remove their brooder. Sometimes a few will cheep loudly because they can't find their brooder, but some will have already found a roost and a place near the big chickens and won't care at all.

    2) Move them into the main coop after they've gone home to their outdoor brooder. On the second or third day, deny them access to their outdoor brooder, and force them to find the main coop by themselves. Some will need coaxing and be physically moved into the coop. Usually by the fourth day, they will all go home by themselves. Sometimes 1 or 2 might hover and perch outside. Definitely all will go home to the big kids' coop by themselves by Day 6 or 7.

    Please note that my big chickens already "know" the babies well before the move. I usually start moving babies into the yard in an outdoor brooder by the time they're 2 weeks old. When the weather is warm I brood all babies on my patio. They either get supervised patio-only free range time or access to the baby run right away (semi-supervised in case one escapes). Then after about 2-4 weeks of protected interaction with the rest of the flock, I let them completely free range with the rest of the flock. This way, by the time I move them into the main coop, they don't get too harassed by the older chickens. I mean, there's the usually pecking order stuff, but no one is horribly mean to the babies.

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