Why won't my chickens go in on their own at night???

camaro10

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 1, 2010
30
0
32
Bucksport, Maine
Put my 15 BR's out 3 nights ago in their coop and at night we go out to check on them and they are all huddle in a corner and we have to pick everyone of them up and put them in the coop. Why are they not going in on their own? We have a light in the coop for them.
 

BethieofVA

Songster
9 Years
Mar 27, 2010
492
12
131
Yorktown, Virginia
It took mine four days of putting them in their coop by hand to catch on. I noticed the next night when it got dusky one started talking to all the rest as if to round them up. They slowly made their way up the gang plank to bed. For weeks now, everynight by 8:30 they are roosting. They will figure it out.
 

BethieofVA

Songster
9 Years
Mar 27, 2010
492
12
131
Yorktown, Virginia
It took mine four days of putting them in their coop by hand to catch on. I noticed the next night when it got dusky one started talking to all the rest as if to round them up. They slowly made their way up the gang plank to bed. For weeks now, everynight by 8:30 they are roosting. They will figure it out.
 

henney penny

Songster
10 Years
Nov 21, 2009
1,730
34
221
Northern Maine
If you can turn a light on in there coop they will go in,I have a heat lamp still in there coop and if they are slow at going in I turn on the lamp and they come right in.
 

ChksontheRun

Songster
9 Years
Mar 18, 2010
247
1
109
Central Virginia
It took my silly group about 2 weeks to figure it out. They don't like going into a dark space when it is dark out so make sure to keep the light on in the coop till they get the hang of it. I was sure mine were a little less intelligent than everyone elses when mine were still huddling by the human door after 10 days but all of a sudden on day 13, they were in. It will come.
 

featherz

Veggie Chick
10 Years
Mar 22, 2010
5,371
487
346
Saratoga County, NY
Mine got it on the first night except for ONE that just can't wrap its lil brain around the concept. I always walk out there to hear peep peep peep and that one is still sitting on the ground huddled up.


Last night was an exception, however - it was raining and it seems none wanted to go up the wet ramp. So I picked them up and put them in. I didn't wait until full dark,so it wasn't a proper experiment. And today the run is tarped.
 

terricksa

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 4, 2010
55
1
39
Pittsburgh, PA
I kept mine in the coop and didn't let them out in the run for the first 3 days and then let them out and they knew somehow that when it started getting dark they were supposed to go in.

Now all I do is wait till dark and then lock up the coop
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,304
14,716
727
Southeast Louisiana
I assume you are letting them out in a run during the day. They probably don't know where home is yet. If you leave them locked up in the coop for a few days so they get in the habit of sleeping in the coop, they will go in by themselves at night. That way, the coop becomes a nice, safe, comfortable, familiar home. Or you can put them in by hand at night for a few nights and they will get the same message. Either way works. As others have mentioned, having a dim light on may help too. They can't see in the dark. If the coop is dark while it is still fairly light outside, they may not start to go into the coop until it is pretty dark in there and they cannot see, so they just huddle up outside. It does not take much light but they may need a little.

You did not mention how old they are. I'm guessing they are still fairly young and you recently put them in the coop from a brooder. Even if you have roosts, they may continue to sleep on the floor in a pile for a while. They may play on the roosts during the day, but mine usually do not start roosting at night until they are 11 or 12 weeks old. They prefer that comfortable pile on the floor.
 

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