Putting themselves "to bed" question

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by TinyHouse, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    So each night I have to go outside and put the little gals into the chicken house. They've been huddling in a corner of the run even though the pop door is open and there's a light on for them inside.

    Last night, for the first time, once I put the first two in, the rest (eventually) actually went up the ladder and went inside themselves. I sat and watched for what seemed like an eternity for the last one to figure it out and go up the ladder. She called and called and CALLED to the others. You could tell she was NOT happy about being outside by herself while the others were doing more "cooing" and "trilling" inside.

    When do they start going into the house all by themselves each night without me getting them "started"? They are about 4 weeks old now.
     
  2. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    I wonder if the light inside is confusing them. Maybe someone else would be better able to answer this, but I think the light inside might be confusing as they are thinking bedtime - go somewhere dark and sleep - and there's this bright light on inside the coop. Sound like Temple Grandin, don't I? Lol
     

  3. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    Oh - really? I hadn't even thought about that. They have been in what seems like the darkest corner of the run......

    Cool! Tonight I will try keeping the light OFF until they (hopefully) go to bed themselves.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    I might just be Full of Poo too! Lol
     
  5. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    Hey, it's worth a try. I don't like catching them each night (against their will) and stressing them out any more than necessary. I want them to look at me as the person who brings treats, not the person who comes in to pick them up and piss them off. :eek:
     
  6. 7chicks

    7chicks New Member

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    I have a light on in my coop with the shorter days. They go in by themselves light on or no when they're ready for bed. Your's are young yet. They'll get the hang of it. ;) On the chilly evenings when its time for bed, I will keep on a 25 watt green or blue light for them. They don't mind. Usually have it set on a timer for them too. Spoiled little buggers they are. :D
     
  7. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    lol - mine is a red heat lamp since they are still so young. It got fairly cool last night and they were around the "edges" of the light after I shut them up. They have plenty of space to choose where they want to sleep so they get neither too hot or too cool. They still haven't figured out about the roosts yet but I didn't think they'd use those for awhile. However, they are ready for them whenever they need/want them.
     
  8. Roslyn

    Roslyn A Round American Woman

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    My girls go through a whole "thing" at bedtime. As the sun dips behind the treeline they start to gather near the coop, they don't go in, but they are near. As dusk sets in they gather on a pile of tree limbs piled under a pine tree next to the coop for the evening "Committee meeting and Preening Session" where they preen and talk amongst themselves. Some head into the coop for some pellets and water before heading to the roosts, but many hang out until it's almost dark. Many times I go up to the coop to shut the doors and gather eggs and a few are still hanging out and I shoo them in.

    With young peeps you may have to temp them in with a evening snack. I have found a handful or two of scratch will give them something to do and give them that bedtime meal before roosting. Just make sure water is in the coop for them after they eat.

    Getting them to go in themselves is much easier than trying to herd them in. Chasing chickens sucks.
     
  9. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

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    They, like us, are creatures of habit.. If you go out and catch them each night then they figure that's the norm, and will continue to wait for you to do so. But they will figure it out on their own, they are still young, and are figuring these things out themselves, 2-3 days they should catch on, they love ladders and jumping, flying on and off of things as they develop their wing muscles and get feathered out, that's why I always have a couple of old tree stumps, or pile of bricks/rocks in the coop to exercise them.
     
  10. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    Yep cog, have tried to do the same thing. One of the Welsummers came flying out this morning, straight at me. She would have landed in my lap if she'd come just a few more inches. lol I'm sure that is NOT what she intended.

    This is Rose getting to the top of the branch that I put in the run for them. I need to get a different, better and bigger one for them and strip off all the bark. Although it is funny to watch them "teeter" on this one.
     

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  11. Diane

    Diane New Member

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    Mine have a little ritual (they are 15 wks old today),,I always bring out a small bowl of mash for them, (their crumble mixed with water), when they see me coming at nite with that, they go racing for the coop:)

    I have one Buff Orpington (Buff, yep real original name:) She is the friendliest, nosiest of the bunch, she is like a velcro dog:) Anyway, tonite, I went in the run to shut the double doors, she goes running in the coop, sees me backing out, chasing after me, I get one double door shut, and she's squeezing thru the other one, I pick her up to stick her in the coop, she goes IN and races for the chicken door LOL,,I beat her to it, and shut the chicken door..She's a crafty little chicken:)
     
  12. Roslyn

    Roslyn A Round American Woman

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    LOL!!

    I have a few that will NOT go in the coop because they figured out that I WANT them to. So therefore it's a trap and they have to run the other way. They do it with the fence gate as well. They will watch others go thru the gate, and then they will hang back and look at the gate and I will gently urge them in, when at the last minute they BAIL and run the other way!!!!

    TRAP!!!!!!
     
  13. 1948daydreamer

    1948daydreamer New Member

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    I have all bantams,and they all sleep in a sycamore tree in the front yard. When I got them,they all chose this tree and that is their bed. I have a ladder leaned up against the tree so the young un's can get up there. Funny,the mama will keep them in the nest until they feather out good,then she will coax them up into the tree. 7:30 pm is bedtime,and I usually give them some kind of a treat about 7,then just sit and watch them go to bed. It is really funny watching the little ones learn to use the ladder,but they seem to get the hang of it pretty quickly.
     
  14. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    Would you post a pic of them roosting in the tree? I'd live to see that.
     
  15. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

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    I don't like chasing them either. Lucky, I have Outlaw, my roo, When I want them to come in, I say "kennel up" and tap two times on the coop door. He has been going right in and the girls follow him. He knows what I want (too dang cute)
     
  16. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    And THAT, right there, is the main reason I'd want a roo..... *sigh*

    I don't really have to chase them if I let it get dark before I go put them in (yes, I'm still doing it - keeping the light turned off didn't help). They all huddle in a corner of the run and I just go scoop up two at a time and put them in. 3 trips and - if the ones I've already put in the house don't come out - they are "tucked in" for the night.

    PLEASE tell me that I'm not messing things up for them figuring this out and doing it themselves EVENTUALLY????? :p
     
  17. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    Get yourself a Roo. ;-)
     
  18. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    I'm waiting to see if any of my "girls" turn out to be little boys. I may end up with a roo without trying!
     
  19. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    Cool! A surprise Roo!
     
  20. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    Yeah, the neighbors are going to love me.....