Why are my chickens in the rain?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Fletcher, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. Fletcher

    Fletcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2007
    central OH
    They're 9 week Barred Rocks & don't even know enough to go in the coop at night and now they're out in a thunder shower. Why? So far the only way to get them in at night is for my daughter to get in the run and chase them around until she catches them. They go under the coop and we have to try to poke them out with a rake handle. I know none of this is improving our people/chicken relations, but the alternative is for the chickens to be a midnight snack for someone. Please help!
     
  2. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Try keeping your young chickens locked in the coop day and night for a few days. They will soon associate it as being their real home and will go in there automatically at dusk.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2008
  3. Fletcher

    Fletcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2007
    central OH
    WE left them in the coop for a week before we got the run set up. It didn't work. However, my dh is taking the kids camping this weekend and the kids will be gone for 10 days. Since I don't fit in the run or under the coop, the girls will have to be locked in the coop. Will they finally get the idea? And what do I do with 6 soggy chickens ?
     
  4. jessica117

    jessica117 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
    SE Tennessee
    My girls love to run in a good summer rain. They will dry out, don't worry [​IMG] I'd say after 10 days in the coop they should get the idea. About what time do you coop them up at night? I have some that go in about 30 minutes before dusk, and then I have others that want to wait untill it's completely dark. I just wait till about 30 minutes after dark to go out and close the door. By then they've all gone in.

    Hope this helps!

    Jess
     
  5. Fletcher

    Fletcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2007
    central OH
    Thank you, Jessica! I feel so defeated right now. Bad chicken mommy. We've been trying to coop them up around 8:30. The night we forgot and went out at dark, they were huddled up under the coop. Silly birds. I won't feel guilty about leaving them in the coop for 10 days - they love to be outside! And we'll start cooping at dusk instead of before. My run isn't predator proof, so I worry.
    Thanks again. I do feel better.
     
  6. jessica117

    jessica117 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
    SE Tennessee
    Something else I use for cooping them up at times other than dark is a fresh cup of scratch. I always use one of those red throw-away cups to give it to them. All I have to do is go out with that red cup and shake it a little, they all but attack me for it. They associate the red cups with food so if I actually want to drink out of one I have to make sure it's another color.

    Jess
     
  7. Fletcher

    Fletcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2007
    central OH
    Thanks! I'll have to get some red cups. We haven't given them scratch yet. I'm trying not to give them too many treats. I probably will next week when they're cooped up. I have some green beans in the freezer, I thought I'd chop up and give them some. I'd like to feed as many scraps as I can, but they're main diet will still be layer ration. It quit raining and as soon as I check the future weather, we'll go see how wet it got INSIDE the coop.
    It's good to know that they like a little walk in the rain as much as I do.
     
  8. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    IME, chickens are in the rain b/c worms come out when it rains out--chickens love worms. My chickens will be out in the rain, but if it starts getting bad, they seek shelter (like the porch, or under the car etc) until it lightens up a bit. If it is still raining hard when it comes time to roost, I have seen them make mad dashes in the rain to get to the barn. They will dry off.
     
  9. Fletcher

    Fletcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2007
    central OH
    Thanks so much for the encouragement. We went out last night at 8:45 to see what they were doing and got out in time to watch the last one go in the coop all on their own! We were so excited we raced out to shut the door before they changed their mind.
    Now that they've gone in on their own once, will they keep it up? I'm not sure I want to chance it while I'm the only one home. I would have posted my happy dance last night, but dh got on the phone with his brother. I know I keep making chicken keeping harder than it is, but we are complete newbies at anything beyond a cat.
    Makes sense to be out in the rain catching worms, now doesn't it?
     
  10. riderbecky

    riderbecky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
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    I'm glad they went in on thier own for you last night. [​IMG]

    I just wanted to comment on the treats. I am using the treats I give as a trainig tool. I call my chicks "chook, chook, chook" whenever I feed them...crumbles, scratch or fruit, veggies, meat. I always feed treats in the coop. My hope is that as they become used to my saying "chook, chook, chook...they will come running to me to see what I have and in this way I could get them all put back in the coop at anytime of day if I need to leave the property. [​IMG] I've only been doing this for a couple of weeks but early evidence is showing me that this is indeed possible.

    Yup, I use treats to not only luv my chickens...but to train them too. [​IMG]

    One more thing...I put on the light in the coop at dusk to encourage the girls to go back in for the night.

    Good luck and enjoy your girls.
     

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