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i have got a new coop for my chickens but they will not go in even with food. i have to catch them 1 by 1 and put them in. when i do get them in they wont sit on the pirches they pirch on the nesting boxes and dirty into them. What should i do to change all this.
 

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persistance is the key. mine where the same, i just kept putting them in and eventualy they started going in on there own.
 

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Put them in the coop and leave them in there for a couple of days. They have to figure out that this is their home. Also, go in after dark and take each bird out of the nest and put them on the roost. After a few days of this, they'll get the message.
 

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I agree with the others ... also do you have anyway to block the nest at night?
 

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ryan123 - question. See from your avatar, by any chance are your chickens silkies?
I ask because your problem might be due to your birds being silkies.

A coop for silkies has to be setup a bit differently than for other breeds. Silkies have barbless feathers, giving them that unique look. It also means they are terrible fliers. The step I had outside my coop was about 6 inches off the ground. My silkies couldn't get up it with their short legs. They would try by flapping their wings to try and get lift to get up that step. But they would fail. My other chickens had no problem with the step. It was sad and funny to watch those silkies try. Once the husband modified the step into steps, using bricks, the silkies could then get into their coop with everyone else.

Same with inside. My silkies never used the perches because of their short legs. Instead we built a ramp going up to the top of our nest boxes and that is where the nested at night. We had the ramp pass in front of the nest boxes so they could get into them too.

Cochins have a similiar problem to when it comes to using perches. The way their feet are and short legs they have problems using perches.
 

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I have two silkies that hang with the standard chickens. They don't seem to have any problems getting in and out the doors which is a few inches off the ground. I have a ladder that goes to the first roost that is 3 ft off the floor. They go up and down the ladder. Moe even manages to get to the top roost, which is 5 ft high. And gets down all by herself most times. So, just saying, can't bundle chickens actions. All different even within the same breed.
 

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ok....so they are NOT supposed to perch on the side of their nest boxes and poop into them? ha ha ha I didnt know that. I have a large branch in the coop that I have rarely seen them on.....do you think maybe it is too large/fat for them to be comfortable roosting on?
it would be nice to not have to scoop poop out of the nests....
 

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My chicken sometimes just stands outside in the pen or she stands under the nesting boxes. Try to not put them up and maybe they will realize they're being stupid and fly up at night
 

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2x4's with flat side up seem to be the best roosts. Gives em enough room to sit on their feet to keep them warm. Some say chickens can't sit on round branches for long periods of time because they can't grip like other birds.
 

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how high up are your roost?
i put a board up on a 45 on top of the nest boxes so they can't stand up there
also i make sure the nest boxes are a little lower than the roost
it's in their DNA to try to get up off of the floor at night
they know the things with big teath come from down there & the higher up birds have a better chance (most of the time) of making it



piglett
 

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Energyvet said:
Yeah, except when raccoons come from a hole under the eves. Bummer.
Man is it ever a bummer. I cry every time my poor chickens get attacked when they should be safe. I am sooooo glad to (finally!) have a predator-proof coop. It is a wicked huge relief!
 
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