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What time do your chickens go to bed? (How dark?)

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

I just installed an automatic door opener to let my girls out in the morning and close them in at night.  I can set it to open and close at whatever times I would like.  Tonight, I had the door close an hour after sunset. 

I went out an hour and a half after closing time to make sure the girls were where they ought to be... nope - they were all huddled by the door, sleeping on the ramp (sigh).  Obviously they weren't in when the door came down.  I put them inside, and laughed at how automation obviously wasn't working out so well the first night.

So - what the heck?  When I've closed the door manually, they've all been inside roosting when it starts to get twilight-ish.  I figured that an hour after sunset ought to do, but apparently they didn't go to bed as early tonight. 

When are your chickens inside and roosting?  Also - when are predators the most active?  Do I run a risk by delaying closing the door a little bit?  (My girls go out into a large, roofed run - so they're not "out" and easy pickings, but the coop is the more secure place for them to be sleeping regardless).

post #2 of 45

Wow.  I want an automatic door.  Can you direct me to some info? 

Mine are all inside long before it is dark, dark, dark. 

Weird that yours didn't go in as early as usual....maybe the timer on the door was off and it closed early... or maybe the new fixings on the coup door made them afraid to go in...

Just tossing out some ideas...

And I would still like to know how to get an automated door going..

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6 Black Australorps, one house cat, citrus trees, raised bed square foot garden.  Recently added 6 straight run sex link chicks and 14 EE.
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post #3 of 45

Well..if they're grounded for something..(picking..or fighting..or pooping on my swing..) then they go to bed early! but if they've been good i let them stay up till dusk.   tongue

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I prefer an ugly truth to a pretty lie. If someone is telling me the truth that is when i will give my heart. ~ Jack Nicholson 

Look! A ladder!! Maybe it leads to heaven, or a sandwich... 

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post #4 of 45

HUMMM. I like the automatic door! Awesome.thumbsup
Anyways, our chickens are roosting, before DARK. So interesting, they were still out....maybe it just HAPPENED to be THAT night?hu

Time is too precious. Photos and memories are what I live for. My husband and 2 children are my world. Our furry and feathered friends just make it more fun!
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Time is too precious. Photos and memories are what I live for. My husband and 2 children are my world. Our furry and feathered friends just make it more fun!
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post #5 of 45

Sometimes it takes some training to get them to go into the coop, as well as onto the roosts.  They usually get the idea pretty quickly.  Meanwhile, you need to get them onto the roosts before whatever hour you choose for the door to close.  Justp put them where you want them nightly til they get the idea.

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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post #6 of 45

Mine are always roosting about an hour before sunset. I think they get chilly and just decide it's time to go to bed.  My poor cochins can't get up to the roost though, I think it's too high. Sometimes one of the other chickens will 'brood' with them at night because they sleep in the nesting box.

post #7 of 45

About dusk my little roo starts calling the girls to the coop.  They ignore him most of the time but they follow me right in the coop.  I walk down and step inside and say "Okay biggie girls let's go" and they come piling in the door.  then I lock em all up, turn on their radio and they go to sleep.

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Member of SDWD  RIP My Precious Thor 9/7/09 - 7/14/10 

RIP to the Love of Speckledhen's Life, Zane 2007 - 2012
Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty, well-preserved body. but rather, to skid in sideways, totally worn out and exhausted while shouting loudly "WOW! What a ride!"

For Sale: http://ladyhawksmenagerie.webs.com/forsale.htm
http://ww...

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post #8 of 45

My roo likes to stay out till the last lil bit of light vanishes over the horizon- but only if I'm out and about, too, and I have to scold him! Otherwise, he's in bed just before dusk- unless I put him in the garage early cause were in the line for severe weather. Then he scolds ME! barnie

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Ever wonder why "ignorance" and "idiot" sound similar?
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post #9 of 45

My roo boy usually has all his gals in and at roost before the sun sets.


Edited by misty7850 - 5/15/09 at 4:16am
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Don't take anything for granted, because one day it will be everything you wished you had back !

When all seems to go wrong, wipe your tears, but on a smile and say: Such is life
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post #10 of 45

I put my hens in year-round just before sunset...they are so used to it that the moment I arrive, they greet me!  lol

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Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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