When do they finally put themselves to bed?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by trudyg, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. trudyg

    trudyg Songster

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    I always had pullets before now, they would put themselves to bed just fine. But these young ones, 9 weeks old, still just pile up. I have tried waiting until very dark and placing them on the roost (10" from ground and another up about 2 ft) but they hop off so I leave them on the ground. Okay, but I want them to go into the coop from the run on their own. The temporary run is just wire between fence posts, secure for the daytime, and has no easy way for me to get in--so I just have a hoe handle that I reach in and shepherd them into the coop. They're quiet, calm on the ground in the run, until I do this. Then, they go in but cheep for an hour or more before settling down. I realize that they will eventually roost at night on their own, but geez! They are all over the roosts during the day, too, so they like them just fine.
     
  2. aquagolda

    aquagolda Chirping

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    they will eventually learn to sleep and rest their chicks and are bundles of energy if your giving them corn don't it gives them more energy for my I put my chicks in the stall at the same time every day yes I said stall and the reason for that is so they can grow up without the older chickens attacking them I have a big coop with 18 chickens and I added 5 chicks so it used to be 13 and they don't go in like the older chickens but they will learn to do what other chickens are doing and will get used to the routine.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    They mostly like to pile up on the floor for quite some time. You need to have a way to put them inside at dusk. Once they sleep inside for a while, they'll go in at dusk.
    Is it possible to keep them 'cooped up' for a few days?
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    Also, how is the lighting inside your coop? Is there a good amount of window, etc on the Western facing side of the building? If you think about it, without good natural light having a way to come in as the sun starts to set the coop will become a big, dark cave before the rest of the outdoors has gone dark. Being young birds, they are going to be drawn to where it is lighter, not darker - so they stay in the run rather than venturing into that "scary" coop thing.....but, if the coop is lighter than the outdoors, they are going to go into the light (coop). From the human logic standpoint you see "It's getting dark - go IN" - from their chicken logic standpoint they see "It's dark in there but still a little light out here - stay here" - especially when they are young and want to lark about outside until the last possible moment like little kids who want to get every last drop of daylight out of the day....by the time they stop to think about going to bed the coop is dark and it's easier just to stay where they are.
    You might also try teaching them to go in by using treats/a call to move them into the coop of their own "choice" (vs having to try to herd them and stirring them up) - go out about the time *you* think they should be going to bed, call them into the coop (making it a positive experience vs. negative) and then shut the pop door. A few days of this and you'll find them trooping in on their own looking for their evening treat.
     

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