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Author Topic: Encouraging hens to sleep in their coop  (Read 1892 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Encouraging hens to sleep in their coop
« on: August 30, 2012, 11:19:44 am »
 
All this talk of automatic door openers has got me thinking about my own current chook problem. It's all very well having a super duper automatic door closer thingy, but it if the hens refuse to go in the coop in the first place, it doesn't really help them!
 
The birds in question were hatched (whilst my back was turned) and raised under a hedge by one of our hens. However, when Mum decided to leave them and go back to the coop, the youngsters didn't follow her, and instead now roost in the hedge or surrounding trees!
 
I spent three weeks catching them all at dusk and putting them in the henhouse in the hope they'd get the hint, but to no avail. I even had to stop that because they'd taken to roosting high up out of my reach!
 
Any ideas folks?  Will I ever manage to domesticate them, or should I just leave them to their own devices!?  ::)
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Encouraging hens to sleep in their coop
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2012, 12:39:06 pm »
Oh, well if you put them to bed nightly for three weeks, then I guess the answer is they're semi-feral!  They're probably safer from foxy up trees, anyway.  Do you manage to find their eggs?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Encouraging hens to sleep in their coop
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2012, 04:03:11 pm »
Does the coop have a light in? Mine go to bed because their coops are lit at dusk and they prefer light to dark  :chook: If I forget they're not shut in, and switch on the yard light, they all come running out again  ::)

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Encouraging hens to sleep in their coop
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2012, 04:27:07 pm »
Is the coop big enough to accomodate them all comfortably?

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Encouraging hens to sleep in their coop
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2012, 04:38:41 pm »
 
Hi All,

The boys have just started trying out their party hooters this week and will hence be casseroled shortly, so I don't think the girls will be laying just yet. Either way, our place is pretty chaotic regarding egg collection, which is how this lot came to be in the first place!  ;D 
 
One thought I had is that perhaps the young boys are keeping a wide berth from the older cockerel (I know I would - he's got some big spurs on him now!). The question is, once they have gone, will the girls join the rest of the flock, or will they continue to live in the trees?
 
The coop's definitely big enough for them all - they like to snuggle up at bedtime anyway, so it looks half empty! I hadn't thought of putting a light in though Jaykay. How do you turn it off at night? Is it just a question of waiting until they're all roosting and then switching it off, or do you have some sort of advanced sunset feature  ;) ?
 
Cheers!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Encouraging hens to sleep in their coop
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2012, 05:42:36 pm »
Womble, I just have my chicken house lights with a 3 pin plug on the end of the wire, then plugged into one of those 24 hour timers. So I set the light to go off after dark. It's also a way to make sure they still get 14 hours daylight in the winter and therefore lay for longer.

 

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