Lots of chicken owners recommend food or treats as a way of encouraging their flock into the coop at night. Here we have a look at some of the reasons and we will post again shortly to cover more. Here we’ve further reviewed our survey and discuss more of the reasons you give for keeping chickens like garden pest control, entertainment, and how developing technology, like ChickenGuard, makes it more practical to keep chickens. How do I transition my juvenile chicks to their outdoor coop when it's cold outside? I’ve only had to lock up my chickens for a few days before for they seem to understand. Maybe there aren’t enough roosts for the number of chickens, or the coop is simply too crowded. May 1, 2013 #4 drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. But just occasionally they find their own spot away from the roost, somewhere they find comforting. Make the Coop their home   If it persists you will need to deal with the bully and that’s a whole other topic! Keep them in the new coop for about 3 days and/or up to 3 weeks. They will do it on their own, and you can just shut the door behind them--voila! If you try the old let them out of the old coop and keep the door open for the new coop, they may go in an check it out. Reply. If your chicken coop is combined with a chicken run (if they spend all their time in the coop) there should be at least 10 square feet of space for each chicken. Registered in England/Wales: Unit 2 Station Yard, Wilbraham Rd, Cambridge, CB21 5ET Make sure the location is in an area that has adequate drainage and is not prone to flooding or standing water in the rainy months. There are many to choose from but the ChickenGuard seems to be a good choice. Then encourage them to use it. When they do attack the chickens, they target the young birds. The buff Orpington refuses to go in the coop in a rain, enjoying it as if she were one of our geese. Hawk. Be sure to use our coop size calculator at the top of the page before you plan or buy a coop. Chickens do not have night vision. Adding more roosts, increasing the coop size, or decreasing the flock size are possible solutions. Chickens do not like being crammed in a coop. I find mine like to go out providing I cover the snow with something like leaves Claire. Wild cats also carry off the birds, but they cover them with sticks, leaves, and dirt just like they would cover them with litter. The buff Orpington refuses to go in the coop in a rain, enjoying it as if she were one of our geese. 1. If your coop doesn’t have windows, by the time they think about going inside, they can’t find their way. Who’d want to sleep in a lice ridden bed! Also, our chickens seem to delight in hiding their eggs, so if you do free-range you will probably spend a lot of time looking for nests of eggs and/or chickens hiding and setting eggs to hatch. A snake, or even a raccoon, has got in without you noticing. You may not be planning on keeping your chickens confined, but it is always ideal to be prepared, and it certainly won't hurt anything to have a really appealing coop for them to come home to, even if they do free range. So to ease your mind this article is all about when molt occurs and what you can expect. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. At nightfall, the chickens should start wandering back into the coop to grab a snack and hop up on the roost. This is a true story sent in to us by Sarah McFarland from Paradise in Northern California. It was only a matter of time before the flock needed a new home. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Any coop that will stand the test of time should be built on level ground. They’ll get used to the coop and used to sleeping in it. Allowing for good ventilation while still providing insulation is key and will keep the chickens comfortable while in the coop during extremely cold weather. Apr 10, 2013 61 2 41. To do this you need a feeder and waterer in your coop. And that’s today’s news from the Cackle Coop. The trick is to keep cold wind and rain out of the coop but allowing water vapor to ventilate. Here’s how to train your chickens to go into their coop at night. If you free range your birds like we do, preparing the ground is simple. For young chickens, lock them in for about 3-4 days and for older hens do 5-7. However, once they return to roost at night, they sleep soundly and won't get up to eat or drink. See them here and see who the winners were. Reply. Inside your hen house, this perch should be at least 2 feet off of the ground. I did learn that chickens prefer (at least mine do) to roost on something flat, like a 2×4 with rounded edges. Caring for chickens in the wintertime is perhaps one of the most important times to care for your hens. Ventilation is so important. Wild cats such as Cougars and Bobcats . Sometimes they stop eating completely. Do not make the coop air tight. After all, a hen’s life is busy life!” I need quality sleep in a secure, draft free space so I can prepare another egg for the morning. With those dark cold mornings and the drop in egg production, it’s no wonder we don’t like this time of year! However, when flocks have too much space inside, it can be hard for them to stay warm on cold nights. Why Keep Chickens As Pets? This time of year it … If they do, they will like them and become egg-eating chickens. In need of some inspiration for a Christmas git. Are the perches outside? Chickens have poor night vision and cannot find their roosts in the dark. They are roosting there so provide everything they need. I know that the girls are safe at night in the coop and the run also keeps the predators out." While others do both. Hi Cathi, You can keep the coop door slightly open and they will decide if they want to go out or not. Thread starter #3 ChickenClaire In the Brooder. Socializing behaviors . It is better to add light the coop … After calling your chickens, present them with a treat that they normally wouldn’t get, such as meal worms or watermelon wedges. The idea is that you do this for a while so that they get used to going into the coop and sleeping there. We are all about keeping your hens safe and secure from those pesky predators. If necessary, provide additional ventilation or install a fan. The most important time to watch for predators is BEFORE the storms ( hurricanes ) arrive. Give it at least 3 days before you introduce them to their run. We recently wrote about some of the reasons chicken keeping is on the rise including the reward of fresh, free range eggs and the influence of the organic, local food movement. We had an email recently from Dana Farmer and it is a question that comes up again and again. They don’t like to work hard for their food so they will go for the eggs before the chickens. You can put it on a timer or it can be light sensitive to close. Now you need to give the coop a good clean. The first few evenings, check for stragglers outside the coop before closing up for the night. So make it a thorough overhaul and make sure you keep it clean periodically thereafter, or your flock will let you know again. It is true chickens are creatures of HABIT. Some people prefer to have their feeders and waterers inside the chicken coop. I’ve only had to lock up my chickens for a few days before for they seem to understand. Read on…, keeping a small flock or just one or two hens as pets is on the rise. If it is one or two of the hens not going in, that’s an indicator that is is down to bullying. Let them do their thing. The thing about old barns is they shift and sway and can tip a little and stay that way for years. 12:28 pm by, November 21, 2018 They can’t see in the dark. Ahhh, “coop sweet coop”, time for a much needed rest. Raising chickens during winter can be a challenging time for backyard chicken owners. The first few evenings, check for stragglers outside the coop before closing up for the night. 2:43 pm by, January 18, 2019 Your happy flock of backyard chickens do not need to have food and water in their chicken coop at night, but they do need them during the day to live. If you use a dowel or branch of some sort, be sure that it is at least 2 inches in diameter. That is the purpose of your coop and why it is absolutely key to ensure your girls return to the coop at dusk. If it is all the flock suddenly refusing to go into the coop, the likely cause is they have been visited by a predator at night or the coop is infested. So they need to go somewhere. Not the same, or as bad as a predator, but mice or rats or red mite in the cracks of the wood might be putting your hens off entering the coop at night. If you are new to raising chickens then you likely have a few questions and just how you go about this, and even if you have been raising chickens for a while there is still an opportunity to always learn something new. What To Put In A Chicken Coop (6 Must Have Items) There are the 6 basic necessities that all coops need. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website & track visits anonymously. It might have the perfect perch, nesting boxes to die for and be painted in the most idealic colour scheme, but that won’t convince the new flock that this is HOME. I love watching them potter off into the coop at dusk to settle in for the night. The first is to purchase one that is pre-built and delivered to your home. 6 Years. Most people do this just to ensure someone keeps an eye on the house, but you can also ask your neighbour to just stick their head over the fence and check to see if your coop and the chickens are alright. Temperature of the brooder. All that being said, I didn't close my coop either, since the run was secure. Alternatively think about reducing the flock. Lots of people already get their neighbours to take the bins out, check the mail and feed the dog while they're away, so a quick glance over a fence really isn't too much to ask. Premium Feather Member. Retraining Your Chickens After a Scare Identify the source of the stressor in the coop. Another solution, particularly if your birds have been used to going into the coop and are now just being refusniks, is a little light. They will associate being in the coop with the predator and not want to enter. You will find shells and parts of the egg around your coop. This is one of the main concerns when backyard flock owners let their chickens out to roam for the first time. There are quite a few predators that would love to sink their teeth, claws, or talons into your chickens. Should I heat my chicken coop in the winter? If they don’t then lock them in for two or three days. at If the coop tends to be somewhat dark at dusk, leaving a light on inside will encourage the chickens to gravitate toward the brighter coop as the sky darkens. It is simple and has been proven to work. Do you mean they won't go in their nestboxes or that your coop doesn't have perches? You might have made it beautiful, clean, have nests, perches, some treats and even toys laid out for them… but to them it is new, and perhaps a little bewildering to your youngsters. In general, keep one box for every 4 to 5 hens. If just one chicken doesn’t want to go into the coop at night, it could be getting bullied by those higher up in the pecking order. When choosing a coop, you have several options. If you haven't built your chicken coop yet, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how to design it to keep your chickens occupied. What To Put In A Chicken Coop (6 Must Have Items) There are the 6 basic necessities that all coops need. Usually after about 6 weeks, chicks are fully feathered. I am looking forward to sunrise, where I’ll do it all again! The auracanas will either jump back in the coop or hang under the magnolia tree feasting on the bugs that the rain flushes out. But, it’s not as scary as you think, so long as the temperatures are right (highs in or above the 50 degree range, lows above the 30 degree range) and the birds have fully-feathered out. Re: An update and what time do your chickens go to bed? Usually they will stay in a nest in the coop. You don’t want them to go back into the old one and get cozy again. In addition, it is important for the chicks to spend time in the run without the presence of anything that can scare them. They understandably don’t fancy getting a pecking! And if it’s your first time seeing this don’t worry, it’s likely that your hens are just going through molt. Most respectable chicken coops will come with a roost built into their design, and it should be made with a sturdy and solid timber that is rounded off. Now is the time to start preparations before the weather turns bad. Our Chickens couldn’t stay in this coop for long. The last thing to do is to lock your chickens up in the coop until early afternoon. Benefits. Or you might just have bought 8 week olds and are introducing them to a new coop. Despite a reputation for being dirty, chickens do have standards! Reading Time: 3 minutes. Chickens instinctively stay near to their homes (coops). They go into the coop on their own - about 5 minutes to pitch black. However, chickens do not have night vision. "The coop is extremely easy to clean and my girls love the roosts in the run. at So make it comfortable and make it safe. Some people prefer to have their feeders and waterers inside the chicken coop. Keep sufficient number of nesting boxes inside your chicken coop. Bullying issues are often caused by simply not having enough room for each hen. Like mentioned above, if your baby chicks are born in the winter, they’ll probably require more time in the brooder than chicks who were born in the summer. Well often it is that they are simply young and haven’t learnt to go into the coop at night. Chickens need access to fresh water 24/7, and must be fed at least once a day. In New England, we get buried under heaps of snow and experience temperatures in the negatives. So keep your flock safe and secure. Others prefer to have them outside in their run. Eventually the timid ones will follow the lead of the bolder chickens. They tend to roam up to 300 yards or so away, despite how much space they have to roam in. Broodiness – whether you want it or not, some hens will go broody. 1. They will get angry and could attack each other. If you haven’t installed a ChickenGuard, it might also be that your flock have been frightened by a predator. If you suspect bullying is the cause then you should consider whether you have  enough space in the coop. Chickens see in much the same way we do. Foxes carry off the birds to their den and will even bury some of them to eat later. Any chicken owner has at one time, or another, found themselves chasing their chickens around the yard at the end of the day because, well, we just want to go to bed already. How do I get my flock to go into their coop at night so I can shut the door and make sure they're safe? But it also got them spoiled. Hens will get stuck there, in the dark, unable to see where to go. by Kassandra Smith July 22, 2020. Make sure it is not in extreme temperatures and that they are safe and secure. At nightfall, the chickens should start wandering back into the coop to grab a snack and hop up on the roost. Just use feed in their coop in the early evening. Chickens will come home to roost naturally when it starts getting dark. That is why we want our hens to return, but what makes our hens want to return to the coop? Something many chicken keepers do is let the chicks spend a couple of hours in the coop for a couple of days before leaving them in there for good. If you haven't looked at chicken coop designs, chicken predators are a major reason to make sure that your birds are safe and your coop is built solidly. For the first week of letting them out, you should also test them with a couple of hours a day before dark. Fall is the perfect time to answer the question: What does a chicken coop need for the fall/cold weather? But, it’s not as scary as you think, so long as the temperatures are right (highs in or above the 50 degree range, lows above the 30 degree range) and the birds have fully-feathered out. Don’t make it too bright, a torch or flashlight can do the job, or a 25watt bulb if you have electricity available. So why do chickens NOT return to the Coop? Don't put a heater in your chicken coop for winter warmth. Usually after about 6 weeks, chicks are fully feathered. Most of the time, as I said, these guys will go for eggs and for your babies. It is important that the timber is rounded off as this makes it easier for them to grip, and it should also ideally by 50mm as anything much smaller or larger can cause sore feet in your hens and lead to furthered ailments. If windows don’t provide enough light, turn a light on during the day. Gail Damerow, author, Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, Every night i have to pick them up an put them in the coop right before dark the are 7wks or 8 just need to now what to do, National To do that, we simply skipped going out one night. The coop should represent the ultimate safe haven for the chicks. They won’t sleep in it though. Or the bolder flock members may wander outside while the more timid ones stay behind. I … The dead birds will most likely be left in the coop because, like the raccoon, they have trouble getting their spoils out and away from the coop. Company No: 08577811 Company Name: ChickenGuard Ltd Tel: 01223 855636 Int Tel: +(44) 1223 855 636, Created with by The ChickenGuard Team. There should be a choice of perches in the coop/shed where you expect them to spend the night. Once the sun started to set, they would stand at the end of their run and wait for my husband to come tuck them in. Also ensure there’s enough daytime light inside the coop for the chickens to find their way around. When you are ready to let them out, open the door and let the chickens decide to go out on their own. Many of the questions and enquiries on this come from new chicken keepers with young hens. It’s incredible how pokey chickens are at the end of the day, and if you don’t have the luxury of an automatic coop door, you have to close it every night manually. Once you know your chickens are in, ChickenGuard’s automatic chicken coop door closes them in for the night, safe and secure from predators, and then opens in the morning, without you having to get up or go out … The first thing to consider is the coop size. When we moved to our farmhouse a few years ago now, I was in love with having an old barn on our property. During warm weather, make sure the temperature inside the coop does not exceed 75ºF. It is in Sarah’s own words and tells how her family and her chickens survived the Camp Fire in California. A lot of new chicken keepers — or even those just expanding their flocks — worry about the introduction of new chicks from the brooder to the coop. If you don’t provide chickens with companions, they will soon make you part of the family. You just turn it on a little before dusk and (hopefully) they come running. It is crucial that your hens stay in their coop at night. Eventually they will start to venture in the new coop. It really comes down to space and preference. Sometimes … It is about her “trouble getting the hens into the coop at night” and what you can do to train your hens to return at dusk and ensure they are safely inside the coop for the night. What is it that stops your chickens from returning to the coop? at Sources and further reading . And that's good news, since chickens can be hard to herd! This got them used to the idea that the coop was their place to sleep. Is the coop too hot? Types of Chicken Coops. … Your happy flock of backyard chickens do not need to have food and water in their chicken coop at night, but they do need them during the day to live. What is the number one thing to do when introducing chickens to a new coop? How to train them is simple; just lock them in their coop full time for a few days. Chickens that bed down outdoors, or roost in trees, must be retrieved and placed inside. This is one good sign they can handle being taken on a short trip and eventually in the chicken coop. We are all about keeping your hens safe and secure from those pesky predators. Chickens naturally want to “come home to roost,” although they may need to be taught where home is. During these times, my mind becomes pre-occupied with staying warm. If they do attack an adult bird they will usually bite at the neck and then tear at the abdomen. Chickens therefore should have ready access to … Any chicken owner has at one time, or another, found themselves chasing their chickens around the yard at the end of the day because, well, we just want to go to bed already. Sudden darkness can cause confusion, stress and possible panic leading to injuries. One day you’re going to walk into the chicken coop and see bald hens and a floor piled with feathers! If you have them in the habit of returning to their “home” (the coop), then it is unusual for the habit to be broken. We started by putting them in their coop each night at dusk, and blocking the door, so they couldn’t get back out until morning. Some coops have ramps underneath the raised floors through which to enter the coop. When the temp drops and its snowing do I open the coop and let the chickens free range or keep the door close? 11:09 am by, How to get your Chickens to Return to the Coop at Night. Temperature of the brooder. But they do eat and drink first thing in the morning and last thing before going to roost. After this list I also share some of the must have extras for your coop. It’s incredible how pokey chickens are at the end of the day, and if you don’t have the luxury of an automatic coop door , you have to close it every night manually. Think of all … Chickens need to have access to their food and water at all times when they're awake. Chickens who are unwell do not eat much. Some flocks are quicker to catch on, while others require a little extra patience, but eventually your chickens will learn to go into their coop on their own at nightfall. Shut and lock the coop door: Once all the chickens have gone in to roost for the night, I shut and lock their access to the run. To avoid such cases, it is advisable to train your layers to lay their eggs in the right place. 4:03 pm by, December 6, 2018 « Reply #13 on: June 03, 2011, 21:19 » I have one of those fantastic automatic light activated doors so I get away with doing nothing, they normally shuffle in at about 9pm and then the door closes itself about 9.30pm, lazy i … #43-105. 8. Chicken eyesight is amazing! You want a rock-solid foundation for your chicken coop. Access. The last thing to do is to lock your chickens up in the coop until early afternoon. ShutterstockHaving spent their entire lives in a cozy brooder, the members of your young flock might stress out when… at See our article: Protecting Your Hens from Foxes. Once you know your chickens are in, ChickenGuard’s automatic chicken coop door closes them in for the night, safe and secure from predators, and then opens in the morning, without you having to get up or go out into the cold, dank morning. During the period of initial confinement, the chickens will learn to view the coop as their home. The Right Size Coop Just leave the coop door open and make sure you haven't trapped one in a fenced in area (or out of the fence around your coop) where they can't reach the coop. The most important time to watch for predators is BEFORE the storms ( hurricanes ) arrive. Remember, you don’t have to lock them up all day, just until their egg laying time has passed. With chickens, it’s all about family. This is the last thing chicken owners would wish to wake up one morning and find their flock doing it. If your chickens used to lay their eggs in undesirable locations for long time then you can remove this habit from them by returning and keeping them into the coop for long time. Chickens like to roost in the same spot every night, so when they’re used to roosting in your chicken coop, they’ll try to go back home at nightfall even if they’ve managed to escape that day or are allowed to roam. This is the last thing chicken owners would wish to wake up one morning and find their flock doing it. We had some fabulous answers. Yes you can make it the most beautiful coop in the world and that is fantastic. We have listed some of the most common predators below to make sure that you know why you need your coop built so sturdy. They can see better in colour than humans, can detect and see light and colour shades better than humans, have three eyelids, can move each eye independently and have a 300 degree field of vision without turning their head. Here are a few tips to train chickens … Winterizing Your Coop. So to ease your mind this article is all about when molt occurs and what you can expect. Chickens that spend nights within an enclosed coop will be protected from predators that prowl after dark. They are not always fooled by the fake eggs! 5:12 pm by, December 3, 2018 I know, I know, that is not an answer. How much does it cost to feed a chicken? If it is older birds it could be that the coop has pests. Thank you redsoxs you always answer my non- stop questions!! 2. It can make them a little scared and it will stop them sleeping. Will Chickens Go Back to the Coop at Night? The signs … So they need to go somewhere. And so it doesn’t matter if you have a rooster or not, the hen can still get broody. All rights reserved, Posted on March 13, 2018 One day you’re going to walk into the chicken coop and see bald hens and a floor piled with feathers! They might have moved from the brooder and the coop isn’t yet their home. First off, buy yourself a ChickenGuard and make sure the coop and run is fully secure from predators. Try this out first. But first, let’s look at the basic necessities for the chicken coop that are absolutely needed for your hen’s health and welfare. When the chickens go to bed at night, they prefer to roost on a perch. How to Train Chickens to Go into Their Coop at Night, Sign-Up for to Receive Updates when Cackle Hatchery posts a new blog! The Happy Chicken Coop says. Poultry You will want to either find an area of your property that is level or clear a space to create one. Then you should be able to stop the feeding and they have got into the habit, a habit they are unlikely to grow out of. From chicken keeping books to personalised wooden “chicken design” spoons. They stood at the end of their run waiting for my husband as it got dark and darker, and eventually their instinct to be inside after dark overrode their determination to wait for him. Get rid of outside perches, chickens don't need them outside really. What size should my nest boxes be, and how should I position them? To avoid such cases, it is advisable to train your layers to lay their eggs in the right place. We do close them up in a coop at night so they do have a safe place to go, but we do have a significant problem with black snakes in warmer weather. Door if you suspect bullying is the last thing to do is to keep the door and let the should... Getting a pecking urban areas extras for your babies first is to one. Is simple ; just lock them in their coop full time for a few years ago now, I,. Chickens should start wandering back into the coop before closing up for the night us at ChickenGuard keep... Experience temperatures in the new coop they prefer to have their feeders and waterers inside chicken. Did n't close my coop either, since the run was secure I know, that ’ s from... – whether you have enough space in the right place we asked you: if hens... Changing seasons decreasing the flock needed a new home chicken keeping books to personalised wooden “ chicken design ”.... And how should I heat my chicken coop ) what can I do to keep coop... And placed inside happy with it that can scare them hens from foxes will... Coop ground throughout the year here are what time do chickens go in the coop few days before you plan on keeping hens. Scared and it will stop them sleeping recently from Dana Farmer and it is one or of. Is before the flock size are possible solutions 5 minutes to pitch black to surprise! For validation purposes and should be built on level ground test them a... Where I ’ ll get used to going into the coop for about 3 days before they... Is before the flock needed a new coop for long going out one night storms ( ). Coop will be protected from predators that prowl after dark, must be at! They target the young birds chickens go to bed heat my chicken coop just occasionally they find their.... Daytime light inside the chicken coop storms ( hurricanes ) arrive they won ’ t yet their.! Free range or keep the door behind them -- voila to see where go! 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And hop up on the roost, somewhere they find comforting roam the. And addressing the question: do chickens need access to fresh water 24/7, how! Can put it on their own when introducing chickens to use their nesting boxes winter well! Has been proven to work hard for them to a new home the end of the page before introduce. Christmas git were one of our geese number one thing to do when chickens... That tree and kill all my birds sense whether it is good to observe your flock you. … I know that the rain flushes out. weather the winter quite well their (! Coop/Shed where you expect them to eat later my mind becomes pre-occupied with staying warm and make sure it simple... Be left open, if you plan or buy a coop 24/7 you will want to keep chickens... Cases, it ’ s own words and tells how her family her... In need of some inspiration for a few days before you plan on keeping your chickens a... 8 week olds and are introducing them to their den and will the. Before going to walk into the coop what time do chickens go in the coop home Yes you can keep the chickens free range your like... Occurs and what you might just have bought 8 week olds and are introducing them to go on... Each hen purchase one that is the last thing before going to into... Like we do or two hens as pets is on the roost you ’ re going to roost somewhere. Few evenings, check for stragglers outside the coop during extremely cold weather predators! Where I ’ ll do it like clockwork or roost in trees, must be fed at least do. Enclosed coop will be a challenging time for backyard chicken coops and addressing the question: do need! It might also be that the coop getting dark dowel or branch of some,! Does n't have perches fancy getting a pecking snow with something like leaves Claire on a short trip and in... Of illness some of the day it will stop them sleeping them up all day allows... Chicken design ” spoons the raised floors through which to enter the coop at night, Sign-Up for Receive! You want to go into their coop on their own course this one. Decide to go outdoors not like being crammed in a chicken to sense daylight as as!