Your coop is a cozy, comfortable, safe place for your hens to spend every night. With plenty of roosting space and protection from predators and bad weather, why wouldn’t your chickens want to settle inside every evening? Unfortunately, your chickens don’t always get the memo.
If you have trouble convincing your flock to wander back to the coop at night, don’t worry! There are several ways to train your birds to strut on home when the sun goes down. Here’s our guide on how to get your chickens to return to the coop at night.
DEVELOP A ROUTINE
Chickens are creatures of habit. With the proper training, they’ll pick up the routine of simply going to the coop at night. Help them develop that habit by establishing a daily schedule. Start by keeping your flock inside the coop for a couple of days. Make sure that the weather isn’t too hot and that the coop is large for everyone to hang out comfortably.
After a few days, start letting your flock out of the coop at the same time every morning. In the evenings, pay attention to when the hens return to their roost, and then close the coop at a regularly scheduled time. Keeping this schedule will let your hens know when it’s time to leave and return each day.
USE FOOD AS EXTRA INCENTIVE
As with many animals, you can use food to incentivize your chickens. If you usually feed your chickens in the coop, use this to your advantage by putting feed in the coop at the end of the day. You can also put out treats at the end of the day to draw your flock home.
To make the process even more effective, make a noise for your hens to associate with the presence of food. This can be a command, a bell, or any other sound that will grab your flock’s attention while they’re out and about. Once this becomes routine, your chickens will know to run to the coop as soon as they hear your call.
Of course, part of how to get your chickens to return to the coop at night is to create a safe and comfortable environment for them. Outfit your coop with the best equipment on the market. Stop by Stromberg’s Chickens to find high-quality chicken brooders, nesting boxes, and other coop accessories.
Do you have any tips for training your flock to return home? Share your advice with your fellow chicken enthusiasts below!