When will they start putting themselves to bed?

m_shuman

Songster
8 Years
Apr 22, 2011
265
4
111
Springfield, GA
We finished the coop this weekend and at dusk every night I go out aand put the chickens to bed. How long does it take for them to catch on? I am hoping to have them trained by July 1st because we are going on vacation for a week and the neighbor will have to do it and it would be much easier on him if he doesn't have to chase chickens.
 

cluck love

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 21, 2010
28
0
32
Northeast - very rural
My chickens go in automatically at dusk, I think it is instinctive for them to do that. Although if I really need to get them in before that, I coax them in with food, that always works!
 

georgiaboy55

Hatching
10 Years
Nov 5, 2009
1
0
6
I had the same problem for a while after I got my coop done, so what I did was to put their water and food in the coop for a couple of days until they got the idea that the coop was a good place to be and not some place they were thrown into. It worked like a champ for me and after a few days, I moved them back outside and they used the coop at night ever since.
 

Unclebean

Rest in Peace 1977-2013
9 Years
Jun 10, 2010
430
0
109
Tower City, PA
It might be a good idea to keep them locked up for a week or so. It seems when they are locked up they learn where "home" is and they will most likely return each evening on their own. This has worked for us so I wish you luck!
 

cc0905

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 25, 2010
16
0
22
South Berwick, Maine
I moved mine outside a week ago Sunday, they finally started going to bed themselves this weekend, right at dusk, not a minute sooner, like little kids waiting until the very last minute to go in
 

m_shuman

Songster
8 Years
Apr 22, 2011
265
4
111
Springfield, GA
Quote:I don't really want to keep them locked up during the day because the temps have been getting in to the high 90's down here in SE GA. We are building screen doors mad out of hardwire cloth for the back of our coop but they are not installed yet that may be an option in a week or two when DH complete's them.
 

NonnasBabies

Muddy Acre Farms
10 Years
Sep 20, 2009
12,375
6,562
526
Pride, La.
Quote:I don't really want to keep them locked up during the day because the temps have been getting in to the high 90's down here in SE GA. We are building screen doors mad out of hardwire cloth for the back of our coop but they are not installed yet that may be an option in a week or two when DH complete's them.

I just moved 12 6 week olds into one of the grow out coops Monday. They were all piled outside crying up a storm at dusk. Caught all of the little chicklets put them in their coop (which is a little tykes play house) and the next night they were all inside at dusk. I've also had different ones that I've had to go out there for 3 or 4 days to do that with. After a few days they get the hang of it. None of my coops are enclosed because of our heat!!
 
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m_shuman

Songster
8 Years
Apr 22, 2011
265
4
111
Springfield, GA
Last night I didn't put them to bed just so I could see what they did and they went in at dusk all by themselves. One was a little confused but then the rooster in the bunch came out and showed her what to do. I guess my neighbor dosen't have to be a chicken wrangler after all!
 

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