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#77994 - 10/16/07 07:46 AM won't go in the coop
Ren B. Offline
Bantam

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 50
Loc: Virginia
My three girls seem scared of the coop now that we raised it up off the ground. A mouse was starting a nest underneath, so we put the coop (aka a large dog house) on stilts. Now they won't even go in it and roost on a platform in the run, which is about the same height as the coop. What should I do?

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#77995 - 10/16/07 07:59 AM Re: won't go in the coop
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
WHen they are on the platform, at night, carry them in to the roost. You have just changed things for their routine, and after several times, they will go in on their own, especially if you feed them some scratch on the floor of the coop just before bedtime. Good luck, CJR

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#77996 - 10/23/07 12:10 PM Re: won't go in the coop
Ren B. Offline
Bantam

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 50
Loc: Virginia
Hi CJR,
It's not working. I put the food right inside the coop but as soon as I leave and lock the gate, they go back to roost on a platform in the run.
What else can I do? It will be cold soon, do they have enough sense to go inside a structure?

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#77997 - 10/23/07 10:59 PM Re: won't go in the coop
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Hello RenB,

Quote:
What else can I do?
...
do they have enough sense to go inside a structure?
Show them!;-) I think food won´t work. I think food is not a strong enough motivation to go into the coop, I think food has nothing to do for the coop beeing associated with shelter. I think if you show them 2 or 3 times this will be enough, you need to lure/persuade them and enter the coop yourself WITH the girls. Stay in the coop with them until they settle/calm down, don´t let them go out until they have accustomed to beeing in the coop. Make them feel comfortable in the coop and they´ll soon accept it as shelter, not as a place for food. I think they must "get" the difference, if your birds once have experienced the coop as a comfortable shelter they´ll go/stay in the coop on their own, regardless if there´s food in it or not.

I think they have enough sense to look for a shelter, but their shelter need not be "your" coop, see? If they find a place to roost where they feel comfortable they´ll make this place "their" coop, if you want them to move to another coop I think you need to show them.

Again, this is what I THINK, I´m no expert. Just sharing our limited experience, hope it helps!

Best greetings,

Joachim

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#77998 - 10/24/07 09:43 AM Re: won't go in the coop
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
Carry them to their new roosts when it is pitch dark (after they have settled in) so they don't go back to the platform in the run. If you take them to their new roosts when there is any hint of daylight left, then yes, they will jump down and go back to the platform. CHRIS

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#77999 - 11/03/07 07:23 AM Re: won't go in the coop
Choco Chick Offline
Chick

Registered: 08/21/07
Posts: 10
Loc: Oregon
I'm having a similar problem with the two newest hens in our group. We introduced them to the coop in the dark and they had an uneventful night there (from what we can tell). The next couple nights we had trouble getting one of them in there - she was going to the greenhouse. Then we went on vacation for two weeks (keepers being not as interested in the chickens as I am) and when we came back, the both of them were sleeping in the fruit trees.

They sleep high up in a persimmons tree now, so if I don't catch them before they go up, it will be quite an ordeal getting them down. For a moment, seeing them up there, I feel a kind of proud of them for living like their ancestors wink -- but this isn't SE Asia! We have frost on the ground in the mornings now and I'm afraid they're going to freeze to death out there. I'm going to work on the coop today and see how I can make it more inviting and then try to get those girls in there tonight. RenB, I'll let you know if I find something that works for me.

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#78000 - 11/19/07 01:20 PM Re: won't go in the coop
Ren B. Offline
Bantam

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 50
Loc: Virginia
The two pullets slept in the trees near the run for a couple nights. Their favorite place is still the roof of the coop. They REFUSE to go in the darn coop!!!! Every night when it gets dark, I pick each one up and place them in the coop. This involves lots of flapping and squawking. We put a box on top of the coop to keep them from roosting there but they always managed to move it slightly so they had a corner. Then we put some slanted wood that would make it uncomfortable for their feet, but they still insist on roosting there. Our next step is too hang some kind of netting. And I still haven't gotten any eggs. Sigh.

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#78001 - 11/19/07 01:52 PM Re: won't go in the coop
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Do you not have a door to your coop--to close them in, after you place them on the roost??

If not, it might be a good idea. If you lose your birds to an Owl, Hawk, other predator, you will wish you had safely confined them, at least at night!

And a nest box IN the Coop (which may be barely large enough for 3 hens, a roost, feeder and waterer)-- and is it dark inside, even in the daytime--- will be an inticement to enter the Coop.

My first Bantam house was Dog-House size, and I made a door out of a window, just the size of the opening, just added hinges and a latch, so it was all glass, light, and yet safely enclosed the 3 Bantams. They had a roost and their feeder hung on one wall, the waterer on the opposite. Only room for overnight and to enter to eat and drink,turn around and okay until let out in the morning, but cozy and safe! Good luck, CJR

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#78002 - 11/20/07 05:38 AM Re: won't go in the coop
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
Also, you could clip the flight feathers on one wing, just the feathers, this does them no harm and they grow back with the next molt. There is a post about this in the Beginners forum, I think. That's what I had to do a couple times to get a couple of the "wilder" hens roosting in the coop. If you trim one wing, they will not be able to fly up into the trees at night, and that coop might start looking much more inviting. A hen with a clipped wing is robbed of flight making her more prone to predators, but so much depends on your daytime situation, and they are surely in no more danger than any of the heavy flightless breeds. Also, I would think that the safety of the coop over the trees would out-weigh her vulnerability during the day.

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#78003 - 11/20/07 12:06 PM Re: won't go in the coop
Oakie Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 415
Loc: Oklahoma
How about locking them in for a two days and then letting them out?

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