I am new at being a chicken momma, only about 7 months into it. We adopted our girls in April at 4 weeks of age. It was still cold so they stayed inside for the first month. When we transferred them into the coop we did a week of coop training. It worked perfectly,. every night after dusk my girls would be safely inside and we would close the hatch. Our coop design is only for 5-6 chickens since that is all we wanted to start. We built a small fully enclosed run for them to knowing that a bigger taller run would be needed by fall. So that is what we did in October. Well, now they refuse to go in at night. Every night my husband and I go to close them up and all 5 of them are happily sitting on their roost outside (even during the rain). We have to physically put them in the coop and they are not happy about it. Our run is fully enclosed and my husband has considered leaving them out, I am just too afraid. We have foxes, raccoons, stray cats and possums all running about at night.
My question is why the sudden change and how do I get them to go back in the coop at night? We thought maybe since the roost outside is higher than inside they the coop they prefer it or could it be that since the time change it is too dark in the coop and maybe some low solar lighting would entice them to go in.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.