What to do at night??? UPDATED! :)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rhaj, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. rhaj

    rhaj Songster

    May 30, 2010
    NE'ern Connecticut
    I just finally moved my 6 1/2 week old chickens outside today. Do the chickens go inside the coop when it gets dark?? I thought that they did, and then I could just close the door... but they didn't. At 9pm, it was dark and they were all sitting together on the ground in the run. I out them all inside and closed the door. Do I have to put them in so they will learn? or do they normally do it naturally?

    Also, while I am posting anyway... when I first put them out, they started doing some sort of territorial things (maybe???) like jumping at each other. What's up with that?? Are they determining pecking order now? Do they not do that in the brooder?

    UPDATE: I'm so proud of them! They did it! [​IMG] Tonight, they were all roosting on their INSIDE pole in their coop! The last couple days, I found them roosting on their OUTSIDE pole and moved them to their inside one... and apparently they got it! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    You might have to flush them in for a few nights, but they should catch on rather fast. They could be doing the pecking order thing, or maybe just "Happy Feet" [​IMG]
  3. txliss

    txliss In the Brooder

    Oct 13, 2008
    I had to lock mine in the coop 24/7 for 4 days while they imprint. After that, they knew where "home" was and would come in at night. Of course, doing that in summer in Texas would be something of a challenge to avoid cooked chicks...[​IMG]
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    If your coop is well ventilated, you should put them in it and keep them in it for 3 or 4 days before you let them out into the run. You can start that even though you didn't do it right away.

    And pecking order is a crazy thing - when the chickens get moved to a new location, they generally go through a modified pecking re-ordering process. Chest bumps and neck flares and screeches and big peeps and some minor pecking are all part of that.

    Congratulations on getting your chicks out of the brooder and into their Big Chicken house!
  5. Nhbluebird

    Nhbluebird In the Brooder

    May 10, 2009
    Central NH
    Kept mine in 24/7 for a week. After that they knew where home was. Whether free ranging or in the run come dark they are in the coop and on the roost.
  6. BetterHensandGardens

    BetterHensandGardens Songster

    Feb 28, 2010
    Clinton, OH
    We have chicks that are the same age as yours, and we put them in their outdoor run with coop last week. Ours knew to go into the coop at night, not sure how but it hasn't been an issue. We shut the door each night and they are fine. I would chase yours in each night and I bet they'll get the idea really quick.

    As far as the behavior, ours have also started bumping chests, flying at each other, a bit of pecking, etc. in the past few days - I think they're just in those impossible teen years! [​IMG]
  7. Chicken_Hubster

    Chicken_Hubster In the Brooder

    May 4, 2010
    Dillsburg, PA
    All i did was put my chicks in the coop the first two or three night manually and then they went in themselves after that.
  8. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I actually had to put mine in the coop for ten nights before they went in on their own...however, we were having some cold nights here at the time and I may have been trying to get them in a bit too early. Anyway, once they got it, they got it!
    They also do a lot of chest bumping, hopping and chasing when their door is opened in the morning. It looks like they are having fun, actually.
  9. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    It only took a couple of nights of rounding them up and putting them in the coop before mine got the idea. Some have suggested hanging a flashlight in the coop for a while and turning it on at dusk, I guess the chicks gravitate toward the light. I was prepared for a struggle, thankfully I didn't have one.
  10. Dingleberry

    Dingleberry Songster

    Apr 22, 2010
    a couple of days of you putting them in at night and they will learn.. [​IMG]

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