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Author Topic: How can I persuade them to use the new hen house?  (Read 1094 times)

17AndCounting

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Kent
How can I persuade them to use the new hen house?
« on: September 28, 2013, 12:29:17 pm »

We have a lovely new hen house made by my husband, but the chickens won't go up into it at night!

One has been up to lay an egg in the nest box but at night they'd rather sit downstairs in the cold than go up the ladder.

We have tried picking them up and putting them in but they don't seem to have got the message!

Any suggestions?

Voss Electric Fence

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: How can I persuade them to use the new hen house?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 05:12:05 pm »
Carry on putting them in at night, and feed them in there in the morning.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: How can I persuade them to use the new hen house?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 10:22:18 pm »
Yep, you'll just have to persist at putting them in. Is it a problem with the ladder? What breed are they and how high is the ladder? Just weird that they'd rather be down - I could have understood it more if you said they were trying to roost on top of the house.

h

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: How can I persuade them to use the new hen house?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 10:39:31 am »
Does the new henhouse contain a perch and are they used to roosting on one?  Is there enough room for them to move around if not on the perch?  Could try locking them in there for a whole day, with food and water, if it has a bit of light coming in.  If not, maybe they're scared of going into a dark place.

17AndCounting

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Kent
Re: How can I persuade them to use the new hen house?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 05:32:21 pm »
They came from a barn and so I guess the space looks small to them (although it's plenty large enough). They go upstairs to lay so it's not as if they don't understand the ladder! One has worked it out for herself,  I'll keep persevering with the others. They sleep underneath the other hen house all in a great big heap! My original chickens all go up okay, it's just this batch.

Small Plot Big Ideas

  • Joined May 2012
  • North Pennines, UK
    • Small Plot Big Ideas
Re: How can I persuade them to use the new hen house?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 08:44:53 am »
I've just had exactly the same problem with our new house but by the third day I'd had enough

I blocked off the entrance to the existing hen house before the last mother hen and her 7 chicks could get in there so they had no choice but to use the shiny new place. A bit of food near the entrance to the new house also helped then I watched from a distance just to make sure everything was okay but they didn't seem too bothered in the end

Now they use it all the time without any encouragement

 

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