My chickens (7) are about 3 months old...I got them as day-old chicks. At that time, they lived in a box in my house. Gradually we got bigger boxes and then moved the box outside on the patio. During this time we were building their coop. In an effort to get them used to going to the coop I moved their box across the yard, closer to their new home. That's been about a month now. Since I moved their box across the yard, they huddle up everynight on my patio where their box USED to be. So now, not only will they NOT go to their box, they won't go to their coop either! Each night, after dusk, I have to phyically carry them to their coop. (here I thought the problem would be using the ladder...silly me!)

I've tried looring them with tasty treats and rewards, but to no availe. Am I expecting too much at too young an age or is there a special secret I don't know? I'd appreciate ANY suggestions.

Thanks!

Tami

PS. I posted this on UrbanChickens.org too

Views: 2537

Replies to This Discussion

My sense is that eventually they will go into the coop voluntarily if you keep putting them in there at night. They are creatures of habit. That being said I have heard of chickens refusing to go into a coop until something about it is altered...maybe it is too hot in there or too cold, too drafty or not ventilated enough...?

Try posting the question on the BackYardChickens.com forum as well.


Good luck!
thanks! I'll do that!
i trained mine by putting them in the coop, locking them in, and having the food in there. then in the morning i would unlock them, they would leave. i kept the food in the coop and worried for a while about them figuring out where it was. but they did eventually. some faster than others.
I already do this. Then, as you know, they spent 5 days totally cooped up (haha) while we were at the lake. I thought that would be a turning point for them. So much for thinking! These days, both their food and water are ONLY in the coop, I offer treats if they come to the coop, and they are locked in at night and let out in the morning. ;(
Hah! This sounds so much like what I was going through recently. My chickens are 9 weeks old. We got them at 4 days old and had them in a brooder (modified dog crate) in our laundry. A month or so ago, they were definitely short on space, so we started putting the brooder in the run during the day (with the brooder door open) and bringing it back in at night. When it was warm enough and I decided they had enough feathers to stay out in the hen house at night instead of coming inside in the brooder, I moved their brooder to the henhouse with the light still on. Our henhouse is partially above the chicken run with chicken stairs leading up into a hole in the floor. The light from the brooder shines out the hole in the floor, and I thought this might be inviting enough to attract the chicks at bedtime. For a couple weeks, however, when evening arrived and the sun started going down, the chicks would crowd at the corner of the run closest to the house (where they expected me to come out and take them inside with their brooder). Then they would cry and cry until either I came out and shoved each one through the hole into the henhouse, or until it got so dark that they fell asleep in a pile where they had been crying. Even though it was easier to wait until they were a sleeping pile before sticking the groggy birds up the hole into their house, I tried to do it when they were still awake so that they might actually catch on to the idea of how they actually got up into the house. (The first morning, I pushed each one out of the hole and into the run and after that they never had any problems coming out in the morning...although I had to put a grate over the hole for a while because one stormy night one chick fell out the hole and was crying so loud that it woke me up and I had to go rescue it. I moved the grate each morning and the chicks all came out on their own.) I thought they were never going to figure it out, even though they would sit at the top of the stairs near the light if the day got cool.

Finally one evening I went out to find 2 fewer chicks than usual crying for me at the door. Two had made it up! The next day, Five fewer chicks were waiting. Then there was another whole week when I would come out to find the last two chicks (always the same two) nestling down under the chicken stairs while the rest were comfortably in the henhouse. I was perplexed. Were these two just stupid? Did they prefer to sleep outside? I was sure they were physically able to get up there. The other chicks seemed to be waiting for them. Finally I realized it was my fault. The rest of the flock would ascend each night and then wait around the hole, peering down at the last two chicks who had no room to get up there because a) the hole was surrounded by the anxiously waiting flock, and b) the grate was in the way. Once I moved the grate, there was enough room for the last two chicks to get up there even with the rest of the flock crowding the hole. Now they all get up there by themselves and come down by themselves.

Note: Our chicken stairs is a sloped ramp with branches nailed to it at intervals as stairs.

Also: The first chickens to figure out how to get into the henhouse at night (or to figure out that they should go into the henhouse at night), and the first to ascend each night have turned out to be cockerels. The ones that are always last are pullets.
WOW! Thanks SO much for your story! I'll get busy and put a light in the hen house and see if that helps. I also see the positive side of putting them in while they're awake. I'll try to do better at that part as well.

Thanks again for your insight,
Tami
I was just goingg to post on this-great timing!

My two silkies (about 2 months old )used to go into the coop, but since the introduction of our barred rock chicks (about 3 weeks), no one will go into the coop. What gives? It seems warm enough-should I turn the heat lamp back on inside the coop? Their food and water is in there already...
GREAT NEWS TO REPORT: My chickens put themselves to bed for the first time last night!! WOO HOO! So...thanks for all your imput. Tami
Yay!
Wow.. I thought I was the only one with this problem.. glad I found you.. for 2 nights now my chickens will not go into the coop.. they have to go into the coop or the fox will dig under the run and kill them all... so I've been up all night watching them...

I think I have it figured out.. I move my coop every other day.. and for the past two nights I've turned it so their window is in the opposite direction... no light coming in... I'll turn it back today and see if they go in... I need my sleep...

RSS

Connect with Us!

Regular Features

• "Sunday Poetry" with The Ditch Rider

Johnny_Mango

• Daily Photo by Dee

• "Morning Fix" with Adelita, Hettie, Phil_0 and Masshole in Fringecrest

DCF Flickr Photos

Latest Activity

Adelita left a comment for Megan Bussell
3 hours ago
Profile IconMegan Bussell and Nancy J Wall joined Duke City Fix
3 hours ago
Adelita replied to Nancy J Wall's discussion 1971 riots at UNM
3 hours ago
Gail Rubin posted an event
Thumbnail

ABQ Death Cafe at Swiss Alps Bakery Cafe

August 9, 2014 from 2pm to 4pm
5 hours ago

© 2014   Created by MarketPlace Media.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service