If you have new members in your flock or are establishing a new flock with chicks that have gone straight from the incubator to the brooder box then ready for a bigger outside pen an easy way to train them to go into their pen at night is simply with food.
Follow these simple steps and your poultry will be going exactly where you want them to go and not trying to perch on the top of their hen house like this 4 month old Australorp tried to! After trying to coax her down for 20 minutes Michael then went and got the ladder to climb up and get her, one look at that ladder and she decided to jump. Luckily she landed safely.
In the morning feed your flock their grain in a bowl, once they are finished eating they will wander off and not be the slightest bit interest in the food that was moments ago central to their universe.
Remove the bowl with the left over grain in it. Put it back in the feed bin out of sight.
Here is the important bit to remember.
Do not feed your flock any grain during the day until in the evening when you are ready for them to go inside for the night, then put their full feed bowl in the furtherest corner of their pen away from the door. When the chooks rush in to eat simply close the door and wish them sweet dreams!
If for some reason you need to put them in their hen house earlier than usual follow the same routine.
It is all about your flock having a familiar routine, they certainly are creatures of habit.
In our family we call “Here Kip Kip Kip” like Michael’s Dutch Grandfather used to when he called his Dutch Bantams, it’s a lovely link for Lil to her Great Grandfather who she never got the chance to meet.
We also call “Here Chook Chook Chook”
Either way our flock knows that is their cue to go into their Hen House.
Every now and again you get the odd rebel who would rather stay out.
That is why we sometimes buy them sunflower seeds as treats or take in some lettuce, mustard greens, herbs or salad greens from the garden. They also love water melon rind, corn cobs and fallen fruit if the tree isn’t actually growing in their yard and they don’t have access to it. We all love a treat!
Good Luck and let me know how you get on, either in the comments section here or over on my instagram account
Hens who won’t go to bed…
February 28, 2019