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won't enter coop at night - huddling in corner of run

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dark Dozens, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Dark Dozens

    Dark Dozens In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2010
    Berkshire County, MA
    My Buff Orpingtons are 6 weeks old. This is their 3rd night outside in their new coop. At nightfall they have been huddling together in the corner of the run instead of entering the coop. Each night I've had to carry them into the coop individually after dark. Is this normal? Will they start entering the coop on their own? Is there a trick?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You can keep doing what you are doing and they will eventually get the mesage. Should not take too much longer.

    If you leave them locked in the coop for a few days without giving them access to the run, they will consider the coop home and go in there at night.

    You can lure them in just before bedtime with snacks maybe and lock them in for the night. After a few nights, they should start going in on their own.

    That's the basic tricks I know of.
  3. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Songster

    May 9, 2008
    Is there a light in their coop? Even if you don't have electricity in your coop a small flashlight will attract them enough to get them inside the coop when it starts to get dark.
  4. birdicus7

    birdicus7 Chirping

    Jul 17, 2010
    Coatesville, PA
    Keep them penned up in the coop for about 2 days and let them get good and comfortable with it. Once they consider it home they will go in on their own. You could use a light inside but I hate turning it out suddenly on them, they never get to roost before it goes out. If you plan to free range them keep them in the coop and run for a week and they will go back to it naturally. Don't expect them to range far for the first week or so. As they get to know the property they will range farther away from the coop.
  5. chickensgalore

    chickensgalore Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    just keep putting them in there for about a week.they'll figure it out by then
  6. I agree with the other posts they will figure it out -- for now they're still babies and may need some extra TLC ... we put a low watt light in the coop for about a week which helped our chicks get used to their new home. [​IMG]
  7. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Songster

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    I did read that they are afraid of the dark, so they won't want to go into a dark space. I put my coop where I have a dusk to dawn flood light that is also a motion detector, so it gets a brighter temporarily if something moves in front of it. The lights are pointed towards the coop windows so that it casts a dim light into the coop all night. If you can do this it'll serve this purpose, backyard security, and maybe it'll scare away predators also.

  8. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    It's probably youth and they'll get used to it. But, make sure there is nothing else living in the coop. Chickens can be paranoid if they think there is something dangerous around. When mine start acting afraid of the coop, I start looking for mice, rats etc.

  9. Dark Dozens

    Dark Dozens In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2010
    Berkshire County, MA
    Update - After spending the first couple nights carrying the chickens into the coop, I tried something different. I would open the door to the nests and call the chickens into the coop. After all the chickens entered the coop, I locked them in for the night. I did this for 4 nights. Last night, I was late getting home but I was happy to see that all the chickens had already entered the coop on their own. Thanks to everybody for their helpful advice.

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