The Grand Promenade

Discussion in 'Behavior & Flock Management' started by TomC, May 15, 2020.

  1. TomC

    TomC Active Member

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    I am off work the next couple of days and there's not any rain in the forecast. So, I'm hoping that I can finish the run.

    My question is, how do I introduce the flock to the outside world? Do I just open up the door and wait for them to emerge? Do I bait them with a little feed through the door? Do I physically put a couple outside to give the others the idea?

    What seems to work best?

    Then how do I get them back inside? Will they naturally tend to wander back into the coop when it's time, or will I be "Chicken Wrangling" until the wee hours of the morning?
     
  2. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Let them decide to come out. The more adventurous might jump right out. If you shove them out that causes stress to those put out which the others will pick up on.

    The in part? Well, that could be a challenge. Make sure their light is on in the coop. That acts as a lure. But my guess is, you're going to be doing some chicken wrangling until they learn to go up on their own.

    I forget, is there a ramp involved? That adds to the learning curve. Did you leave the bottom of the coop open, that's another challenge because they'll go under there to sleep for the night. If it's open you might want to slap some wire on it and keep them out from under there until they learn the routine.
     

  3. TomC

    TomC Active Member

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    I’ve been re-thinking leaving part of the coop open underneath. I may just wire it all up. I’ve also kind of been thinking about putting up a temporary “funnel” towards the door, for a week or so. Sort of like what they use for corralling cattle into a truck. That way rounding up stragglers might be a little easier. There is going to be a ramp.
     
  4. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    You could make their outside pen smaller with some temp wire. That way you won't be running around a half acre trying to chase a hundred chickens that want no part of going in. Then when they've got the idea about going in you can take it down and give them all of the area.
     
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  5. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've never really had a problem with mine going in, they just seem to do it when it starts to get dark. I did have one chicken that wanted to sleep under the coop, I struggled to get her out several days in a row and finally said "to heck with it" and closed that off with wire. Never had a problem since. I have read that some people have issues with them going in at night and there have been many solutions presented. The light being one, treats put in the coop just at dusk is another, jiggling food in the food scoop is another, wrangling is the pain in the butt one but it works.
     
  6. Sarah1up

    Sarah1up Member

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    This reminds me of a video I saw the other day about letting his chickens out for the first time. The adventurous chicken went first and the others followed. No problems. Except for the last chicken. It got very flustered that it was alone and couldn’t figure out the whole door thing. Flapped around in circles making a racket till he went and shooed it out. Anyways, i think I saw that you have them in the coop already? If they are used to sleeping there I would bet they go back at bedtime without a problem. But I am not past a mealworm bribe....
     
  7. TomC

    TomC Active Member

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    I’m hoping that since I regularly feed them about an hour or so before dark, and that they always act like they’re starving, even though the feed troughs are never close to empty, that simply going out to feed them like I normally do, will bring most of them running.
     
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  8. Sarah1up

    Sarah1up Member

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    Chickens are as silly about their food as my dogs. I have multiple little feeders for them and they are always full. But there is the “good” feeder with the “good” sections. This varies of course, depending on where some random chick happens to be eating....clearly it must have something magical there and they must all try it. If you can see the bottom of the feeder there.... well there might as well be no food left anywhere.

    Now, I have a rescue beagle, (Ruby) that loooves food. Doesn’t matter what kind. She’ll eat chapstick if it’s left out. (Side note, chapstick fits in travel lotion and shampoo bottles with twist top lids and stops ravenous beagles from eating it...) Anyways, my St. Bernard mix (Wally) is never really hungry. But he sees ruby go to town on her dinner. It’s the same dry dog food that he gets every single time but he is sure she must have something like bacon in there with the way she acts and has to come check out her food and watch her eat (quite depressed looking, I might add). If I’m not keeping an eye on her, she will sneak over and eat his food too, while he’s busy looking to see if anything left of her “magical“ dog food.
     
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  9. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    With mine it was the ramp that needed learning. One would go zipping in then a couple of the younger birds would go to follow but they ran next to the ramp and not on it. It took a while to get them in the groove about how to use the ramp.
     
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