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Sleeping outside

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have three chickens that are just over a year old. They have been out in their coop and 'putting themselves to bed' (going into their coop on their own at dusk) since last summer. But for the last week they have not been going in, but trying to sleep on top of the coop roof. So each night instead of just closing the door, I need to pick each of them up and put them in the coop. I have checked for bugs (although I'm not really sure what I'm looking for), changed the bedding and checked for anything 'scary'. What else might be making them do this? Will they get over it if I keep putting them in? My run is not secure for nightime, so I can't leave them out. But it really sucks to be out there in the dark every night!
post #2 of 7

I dont know whats going on, but I would shut them in their coop for a few days (all day and all night).

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I can't really lock them in, because their coop is way too small for them to stay in all day. I just wonder what else may be keeping them from going in at night. They will go in to use the nesting boxes, but not to sleep.
post #4 of 7

Since you mention that the coop is way to small for them to stay in all day, is it too small for them to comfortably roost?

 

Be sure you are using the 4 sq feet per bird for coop general range and that you have roosts that are higher rather than low to the ground. Most birds prefer to roost up high (natural instinct to prevent being eaten while you sleep by ground predators). Also are the roosts comfortable to grab hold of with their claws?

 

If you are confident it is not the coop set up, then it may be simply training them to go where you want them to go. I've had birds (usually game types) insistent to roost high on top of the coop (and trees). Some breeds simply have this ingrained more than others. 

 

You may have to pick them off for awhile until they get the idea. The best method is to lock them in the coop until they get the idea to roost there, but if you can't do that, then retraining by placing them in the coop (with treats!) may do the trick.

 

LofMc

Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
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Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am not positive its not the coop set up. It is small and the roosts are not very high. It is a prefab coop that we got talked into by a local chicken farmer (so I believed he knew what he was talking about). But it has been fine for almost a year. Did they just suddenly decide it doesn't work for them? They have always gone in on their own. Nothing has changed. They free range all day, and are only locked up at night. I really thought they were happy and doing well. I guess ill need to plan a new coop😞
Edited by blumenmadchen - 4/3/16 at 12:08pm
post #6 of 7

ok

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by blumenmadchen View Post

I am not positive its not the coop set up. It is small and the roosts are not very high. It is a prefab coop that we got talked into by a local chicken farmer (so I believed he knew what he was talking about). But it has been fine for almost a year. Did they just suddenly decide it doesn't work for them? They have always gone in on their own. Nothing has changed. They free range all day, and are only locked up at night. I really thought they were happy and doing well. I guess ill need to plan a new coop😞

 If they have been fine for a year, then check for roost mites or other such parasites....something may be making the coop uncomfortable.

 

LofMc

Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
Reply
Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
Reply
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