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roosting problems

 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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OK so my girls finally get the idea of roosting after many nights of me putting them on the roost at dark. They now finally go up at dusk to roost...except they need my help. I made a new access panel near the roosting bars so I could easily set them on it since I cant actually get into my coop. I have been leaning a board up to that entrance which is 1 foot of the ground and is at roost level. I do this so they can walk up it easily and step onto the roost. The problem is that they get to the coop and just wait there and wont go in. They play musical chickens, each one going up in line to look inside, wait and then jump back down. Its not until I shine a flashlight inside so they can see the roosts a little better, mind you I can see the roosts, but im not sure how well they can. Although previous training nights shows me that they can fly over my 5 foot fence when its very dim out. Will they eventuallly get it or will I need to provide light in there...I dont think I should have to permanently. Thanks for any help.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
Posts: 985
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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Have you tried locking them into the coop for about a week, without allowing them out of it at all?  That would probably help quite a bit.

Kathleen
 
                                
Posts: 62
Location: Western Pennsylvania
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Hello again Rob!!

To me it sounds like they are not going to roost soon enough, so they aren't seeing as well.  I have an opaque roof so it is light in the coop, even on a full moon night.  ( some roosters will crow at midnight at the full moon)  I would start training them into the coop with treats at dusk, so they are accustomed to going back to the coop at night.

This might take awhile.  My very first flock was raised on my front porch in a homemade brooder cage.  I didn't know much, past my books, so I let them go to almost laying age until the coop was finally built.  Well.  By then they were free range, I would let them out in the morning and my blind dog would help herd them back at night.  However once the coop was built I wanted them inside there, but I had to chase them (only 10) into the coop.  I finally put up chicken wire to form a cattle shoot type of thing and that helped, but it did take a while to get them in there on their own night after night.

So, I would take something tasty after the sun goes down, while it's still light out and toss it into the coop, then when they are in, shut the door.  Continue this until they go in by themselves.  Since they were raised for some time (like my first flock) without roosting it may take some patience.  I personally think that 6-8 weeks is the best time to introduce new peeps to the old girls and transfer them at night to the big girl coop. 

A couple of handfuls of chicken scratch should do it.  It will keep them busy while you close them in. 

Tami

....and Kathleens idea is a good one too, but I wouldn't do that when it is so very hot out.
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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Yeah the problem is that they know to go in the coop, they just have a hard time seeing the roost once they go in so getting them in sooner sounds like a great idea. Im afraid of locking them in because of the heat and they are free range with limited feed. Thanks to both of you for the suggestions.
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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Grrr, these girls are difficult!! LOL
They wouldn't go into the coop for any treats, period and the one that I got to walk up the ramp and hop on the roost just came right back out because it was lighter outside than inside!
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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Update.. the last 2 nights they have gone into the coop by themselves and found the roost! Training one step at a time I guess!
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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when we have a mom hatch chicks outside the coop. they sometimes have a hard time learning to go back in each night at first. as much of a hassle as it is to find them and put them in. eventually they get it and the rewards( eggs ) are worth it.

even rarer is when they eventually learn to go in the coop but wont fly to the roost. once again eventually they get the picture when all the others are up there sleeping and follow along.
 
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