Pets & Animals

The Best Strategies for Getting Your Chickens to Return at Night

The Best Strategies for Getting Your Chickens to Return at Night

Along with the numerous perks that the chickens have to offer, the fact that they make up a great pet cannot be denied. If you are a chicken owner, you would surely know. However, like any other animal, chickens also need considerable training to be a good pet. Their training mostly includes getting out of the coop when you want them to and getting back on time.

Being a chicken owner, it is common if you have ever chased around your chickens to get them back into the coop. Chickens roaming around in the yard during the daytime goes fine.

The real challenge is to get them back into the coop at night. Coops are the resting area; chickens in their coop at night protect them from troublesome predators. Now, you cannot keep chasing them at night. Because if you have, you probably know how difficult a job that is.

So, if this is the case with you, then why not try training your chickens? Yes, you can train them all by yourself at home. You do not need a professional trainer for this job.

How Can You Train?


Training your chickens to get back in their coop on time is not an easy job, but it is also not impossible. Chickens, just like dogs, are creatures who develop long-term habits. So, if you need them to develop the habit of coming back to the coop on time, you also need to make them habitual of getting out of the coop at the same time. Once they get habitual of a few things, it would be a lot easier.

Before you start letting your chickens out, consider keeping them in the coop first. Keep them in the coop for a week or two. This will make them familiar with their home, and they will eventually know that this is where they are supposed to be. Once they get habitual of the coop, make a schedule for your chickens and follow it strictly. Here is what you can include in your schedule to get your chickens into a habit.

  1. Your chickens will come back into the coop on time only when they are left the same way. Let your chickens out of the coop in the morning at the same time.
  2. Before you start instructing them to come back, consider observing their time of coming back in.
  3. Try closing the coop at the same time every night.

Following these easy tricks will get your chickens into the habit of doing everything on time. However, these are just a few of the possible solutions. These might or might not work on your chickens. If you see no positive results after following the above steps, you may need to change your approach. Keep reading to know some more easy and possible ways of training your chooks.

Give Them Treats!

The easiest way of getting literally any pet into discipline is to offer them treats. Even the smartest creatures can be lured by showing them their favorite snack. If scheduling their day on simple time-bound tricks does not work, add treats to the list too. What you need to do is serve them dinner inside the coop. This will have them come into the coop at night easily.

You can use signals, sounds, or even your command to call them in. Like any other pet, chickens too will quickly learn the signal you are using to call them for food. Just make sure that you do not change the command sounds often. Choose a sound of a bell or your voice to call them and stick to it.

Use your preferred signal at the end of every day to call all your chooks in the coop to roost. Once they come in, give them treats and food. Use this technique until your chickens get habitual to come running into the coop on just using the sound once.

Give Them Some Light!

four chickens

If all your pieces of training are getting wasted, it is time to do some analysis. You might notice the good obeying chickens not coming into the coop sometimes. If this is the case, it is probably happening because there is something wrong with your coop. The most common problem chickens might face is the darkness inside the coop. So, check your coop for enough light sources.

If there is not enough light coming inside, consider installing a flashlight, torch, or even a small bulb. Make sure that you install only a minimal light source inside the coop. Too much can also cause problems. Turn the lights on every day before it is dusk, and your chickens may not have any problem further.

What’s More?

Other than light, you need to make sure that you regularly clean the coop. If you are wondering why chicken coops have two doors, therefore! The second set of doors is mainly provided to give easy access for us humans into the coop. Coops get quite messy and dirty more often. And nobody likes dirty houses. So, make sure that you clean now and then.

No matter how you choose to train your chickens, make sure that you maintain consistency. Lack of consistency can ruin all your training and hard work.

Cesar Millan
Cesar Millan holds a Master’s in Animal Behavior from Cornell University, dedicating his 11-year career to understanding and improving the human-animal bond. Since joining our website in 2022, Cesar has provided insights into pet care, behavior modification, and animal communication. His background includes roles in animal research and as a professional dog trainer. Cesar’s previous roles included working as a veterinarian and animal behaviorist. Cesar is an avid wildlife photographer in his leisure time and participates in conservation education programs.

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