Up to roost.

jbtcajun

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
53
9
89
We are trying to grow some organic eggs for the market.
The chickens are free ranging and will rush to the coop if ANYTHING scares them..
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The coop is an old converted 3 stall horse barn with an enclosed walk where the nest have been built.
Roost have been built in the stalls and the walk is intended to be for egg picking.
During the heat of the day they will retreat to the shade of the egg run aprox 100 will get on the roost.
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Problems have evolved we need help with.
1. The chickens roost on the ground in a mass in the egg run.
2. They rush the 10 foot door and crush to death some when they hear someone coming to let them out..
3. They are 11 weeks old and will be in the way when the nest are opened and they begin laying.
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How do we teach them to actually get on the roost at night. The coop has 4 solar rope lights and there is ample light to see for doing things at night.
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How do we fix the door rushing situation?
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My plan: I am now looking for suggestions.
1. Make each stall inescapable.
2. Pick them up and place them on the roost evenly per stall and lock them in for 3 days with food and water.
3. Let them out one stall at a time.
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Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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jbtcajun
 

howfunkyisurchicken

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 11, 2011
9,281
807
361
Tn
At 11 weeks old, its fairly normal for them to still sleep in a pile. Especially if your roosts are high. You might go out just before dark and place a few of them on the roost. Usually, if you can get some of them to do what you want, the rest will follow. Or, you can just leave them in a heap on the floor and let them figure it out on their own (they will).

As for the door rushing, good luck with that one. All of mine do the same. They either think I'm letting them out or I've got something for them, and they crowd in front of the coop or run door as soon as they hear me coming. I usually carry a bit of cracked corn with me, which I chuck into the run so I can get in without anyone escaping. If I don't bring the corn, I have to scoot them back in the door and get in quick before they come pouring out. Its easier for me to get into my runs that have gates that swing in vs those that swing out and eventually I'll fix them to all open in.

Good luck :)
 

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