Will they know to go into the henhouse?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Concordmommy, May 6, 2009.

  1. Concordmommy

    Concordmommy Songster

    Apr 7, 2009
    I just got my 8 week old pullets and put them in the coop today. There's a big run and then a long ladder leading to the henhouse, which is about four feet off the ground. Will they know to climb the ladder to get into the henhouse or should I put them in there to explore? I want to make sure they go in there to roost at night and not stay in the run area. We don't have a door to the henhouse yet (inside the run).

  2. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Songster

    Mar 26, 2009
    I think you'll have to put them in and then over time they will learn where to go! Good luck:)
  3. chickenfever

    chickenfever Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    Quote:I agree, help them out a little, maybe even lock them in for a few days so they know where home is.
  4. cointoss

    cointoss Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Gaylordsville, CT
    Yes, that's what I've been doing with my newbies -- helping them into the house at night, and out in the morning.

  5. firedove

    firedove Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    I started my first bunch inside for the first two days and then let them out. Even with that I had to put them back in for the next two nights. Then they figured it out and kept going in to roost by themselves.

    My latest batch went into the coop with the older chickens yesterday. I put them all inside, let them all hop out over time and then put them all back inside and closed up for the night. In the morning I let the big girls and roo out and closed the coop with the little ones still in. Around 1pm I opened the door and left it open until bedtime. A few chickies jumped out from time to time but they always jumped themselves back in.

    As far as training them to use a ramp, there was a recent thread about that:
  6. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Songster

    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    I have always locked mine up in the coop for a while before letting them out in the run...It's usually cold in the spring, so it's better unless I'm out there to physically take the newbies out to play...so I'd rig up some sort of temporary door or even just set a 5 gal bucket/ feed bin in front of the little door to keep them in once you put them in for the night. I also feed in the house primarily so they like to go in and eat dinner, that's how I trained my ducks to go to bed. [​IMG] As for the ramp...I've never used that long of one, but I bet if you cover it in scratch they'll investigate it and get the idea...chickens are smarter than you'd think!
  7. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    I keep my little ones in the coop locked up till they are feathered out good then let them go out on their own. My 15 wk old orps just started going back up the ladder into the coop last week. Till then we were chasing/gathering and wearing ourselves out. They are afraid of the six older hens and did not follow them back inside. I never let them free range until last week either. that is what scared me the most...turning the loose! But for several days they never left the run even with the gate wide open. then a few steps out and run back into the run. Now they laze in the sun under bushes all day and run and play all over the yard. I just want to be sure they are inside before a predator comes around and goes in first!!

  8. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    My chicks at that age are beginning to go in on their own but the younger ones need coaxing in. I find that a little scratch feed spinkled in the coop while calling them helps to give them the idea. it worked for me tonight. Oh if you give the scratch treat be sure they have access to chick grit. Either in the yard or alone. Jean
  9. DingleBay

    DingleBay Chirping

    Apr 19, 2011
    I have 8 Buff Orpingtons one being a roo. They are going on nine weeks old. Four or five go in at night but the others just find a corner under the henhouse. I use a broom to move them out from under and urge them towards the ladder. This works but it scares them. Is that OK? They settle down as soon as they are in the henhouse. I may have to pick one or two up and guide them up the ladder. I do need to get them out from under the house and that is the only way I have figured to move them.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011

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