Will chickens go in the coop at night on their own?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by daniel-delarosa, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. daniel-delarosa

    daniel-delarosa Songster

    Dec 14, 2010
    Seminole, Oklahoma
    This is my third night with my new chickens. It was already dark when I got home with them the first night, so I put them in the coop and shut the door. Last night I had to gather them up and put them in it. Tonight, four are in the coop and the other six are UNDER it. I couldn't get them to come out from under it, so I just left the coop door open hoping that they will get inside in a while. I sure feel alot better when they are locked up safely inside the coop, but is it necessary to keep them on lock-down at night? My run is wrapped and covered with chicken wire with a layer of 2x4 welded wire on top.
  2. 1mommahen

    1mommahen Love My Cluckin' Coop

    Mar 20, 2008
    I don't lock mine up unless it's cold. I have one girl that sleeps outside regardless of the temp![​IMG]
  3. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    Try putting a light in the coop for a few nights (have it in place as it gets dark). They will gravitate to the place with light. Chickens hate the dark. I use a cheapie solar light I got from Walmart last summer (2 or 3$ I think). I charge it during the day outside the coop, and then I put it in the coop about 4 or so. It has worked since they were only a few weeks old.

    Since they are already mature (you don't say how old, but clearly not babies), you may have to work with them for a while.

    I always lock my girls in at night. I guess I'm just paranoid. Is your coop the raised kind with a ramp? Maybe they are leary of the ramp, too.

    Good luck with the chickens.

  4. DanEP

    DanEP Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    Daniel you might want to gather up your chickens and lock them in the coop for a few days till they start to think of the coop as home. Once they feel at home in their new coop they should put themseves to bed at dark unless their pretty young. I'm pretty new to chickens myself but this has worked for me with two different sets of chicks, the 8 week olds put themselfs up every nite.

    good luck and enjoy your new chickens Dan
  5. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Songster

    Dec 27, 2010
    Mine don't have a run, they just free range so it was really important to get them in the coop at night. My husband and I put them in with food and water for I think three days (we checked on them throughout the day) and then let them out to free range. We had one not come in one night... never came back... I figure evolution was doing it's work there... all of the rest were smart enough to understand coop = home and that one wasn't. If you think predators may be an issue, just keep them in for a couple days then let them out.
  6. daniel-delarosa

    daniel-delarosa Songster

    Dec 14, 2010
    Seminole, Oklahoma
    You are right, they are about three months old, and yes my coop is elevated with a ramp. The ramp isn't steep though. I have a light in my coop also. Im going to give them a little bit longer to get in the coop till I force them out from under it. Im afraid of doing anything to them that will make them afraid of me. Right now they are pretty comfortable with me.
  7. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I actually had to place my chickens in the coop for 10 days in a row until they finally all got the idea. Usually it doesn't take that many nights. Hang in there and keep putting them inside if you can reach them.
  8. We were new to chickens last Spring and were advised to keep them closed in the coop for a few days when we first got them until they recognized that coop as their home. We did that and it worked for us. Our chickens trot on into the coop and roost between 5 and 6 pm. Our coop is pretty dark, without much natural light, so we have a small light in it especially now that the days are short. It goes on at 5 a.m. and off at 7 p.m. That way they can see how to get to the nest box during the day and how to get up to the roost after dark, as they have poor night vision.
    Good luck and enjoy![​IMG]
  9. maizey

    maizey Songster

    I trained mine to go in at night with meal worms... they will do anything for meal worms. I had them WAITING on me to come close them up. Now when I go out at dusk to lock them in.. they are already in and perched and fuss at me for shining the flashlight in their eyes.. dont even need the worms. I lock mine in, probably isn't really necessary, but makes me feel better and keeps them that much warmer in winter.
  10. Chickenkate17

    Chickenkate17 Songster

    Aug 1, 2010
    I just put a flashlight in the coop when it starts to get dark and then after 2-3 nights they would go in all by themselves. THEN, I couldn't get them to go up on the roost by themselves, so again, I put the flashlight in the coop and now they go up on the roost automatically. Good luck!

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