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Old 09/30/10, 11:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: East Texas
Posts: 1,125
How to get chicks to go into coop at night?

Well, Im not sure if my chicks and ducks are all dumb or If Im doing something wrong. I have 14 chicks and 4 ducks. All are almost 6 weeks old. Had them in a brooder for the first 4 weeks and then in the coop for another week enclosed. For the last 5 days, I have opened the chicken door in the morning to let them out into the yard. Well, they will go in and out all day long, sometimes they are all in and others they are all out. But, when it gets dark, they just all lay together in a pile in the yard right at the ramp going into the coop. We have tried throwing feed inside and calling them but no luck. We have to pick every one of them up and stick them in through the door. Once they are in, they are happy. They have a lot of different options for roosting in there, food, water, crates with litter, and have even tried having the heat lamp on and off but seems to make no difference. Once we have them all in we lock the door to the yard so nothing can get in to them. We did have a huge chicken snake get in the coop the second night and it ate two of our chicks. Didnt have anything in there for them to roost on yet so they were stuck on the floor. Is this why? Will they get over it? I killed the snake and have been further snakeproofing the coop. I just dont want to have to go pick them up every evening.

Any ideas and help would be appreciated. This is our first experience with poultry so still learning.
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Old 10/01/10, 01:19 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 691
We trained our chicks by throwing some table scraps inside and calling chick chick chick when we wanted them in. Even as adult hens they would scurry their little butts in fast when we caled them.
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Old 10/01/10, 01:31 AM
Head Roller's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 129
We had a real problem with the chicks when they were young... seems like they do not know what is good for them. Had to do a lot of chasing, grabbing and tossing.

We had some success with the treat thing.. .used corn on the cob. We also made sure the light was on in the coop so that as the sun went down they would be drawn to an area where they can see.

It seems like at about 9-10 weeks instinct took over and they put themselves away at dusk every night. It has been that way ever since.
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Old 10/01/10, 01:43 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 6,725
Maybe go out early and put a line of food up the ramp into the coop? Maybe they'll follow the trail.
Everybody has a plan.
Do you know yours?
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Old 10/01/10, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 186
Only feed at night,when you call there name after all day with just water and yard pickings they will go in very well
If you are still mowing the grass then the garden needs to be bigger
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