Ask Our Experts

Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.

Add to My MSN

How to Get Free-Range Chickens to Roost in the Evening

2/21/2013 2:36:00 PM

Tags: chickens to roost, chicken coop

I’d like to let my hens range freely this year, but how do I get them to return to the coop each evening? Chickens Roost

After chickens have become accustomed to roosting in their coop, they will naturally return to their roosts at dusk. But if you want your free-range chickens to return to the coop whenever you want to close them in, use a bit of scratch grain or kitchen scraps to teach them to follow you to the coop as you call them. When they’ve returned to the coop, toss the treats inside as a reward, then secure the door. In no time at all, your hens will respond whenever you call them, whether it’s midday or dusk.

— Vicki Mattern, Contributing Editor 

Above: After ranging freely all day, chickens will naturally return to their roost at dusk. 

Photo Courtesy iStockphoto.com/2nd Look Graphics


Vicki Mattern is a contributing editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, book editor and freelance magazine writer. She has edited or co-authored seven books on gardening, and lives and works from her home in northwestern Montana. You can find Vicki on .



Related Content

Modern Homesteading Treasures

For inspiration and education, take some time to peruse the hundreds of Modern Homesteading articles...

Why Does This Rooster Want to Fight Me?

I keep chickens, and my rooster is driving me crazy. He always wants to fight me What’s the best way...

Things to Consider When Housing Chickens

Coops are nececessary to protect chickens from cold weather and predators. Here are some guidelines ...

The Great Chicken Coop Reno

Cam found a way to expand his chicken coop without spending a lot!

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

MARY MOESSINGER
4/3/2013 11:35:45 PM
Mine roost up on a cross beam in the pole barn, they hop up on a shelf to get up there. I never have to close them up at night. In the morning they hop down & start free-ranging. How do I get away with this ? I have an outside yard dog who guards the yard & chickens. I have 3 acres that they roam around on, and they roost close to the house, I also have a yard light. But, the dog is the best protector.







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.