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Chickens won't sleep in the coop

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Over the last month or two my chickens have begun sleeping in some tall bushes that are near their coop. I have another one that sleeps under my grill on the back porch. I have to go out every night and put them in the coop. Any thoughts about why they stopped sleeping in the coop? Will they start using it again when it gets cold? They still lay eggs in there.

Thanks!

1 Wife, 2 Dog, 4 Cats, 9 Chickens, Thinking about getting honey bees... Life is good! @chickensoncam
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1 Wife, 2 Dog, 4 Cats, 9 Chickens, Thinking about getting honey bees... Life is good! @chickensoncam
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post #2 of 11

You could try keeping them in the coop for a few days and nights straight to see if that gets them to remembering that the coop is their home.  I had mine sleeping in bushes near their coop and just kept throwing them back in and kept them in there for a while and they have gotten the right idea finally.

post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMainException 

You could try keeping them in the coop for a few days and nights straight to see if that gets them to remembering that the coop is their home.  I had mine sleeping in bushes near their coop and just kept throwing them back in and kept them in there for a while and they have gotten the right idea finally.


x 2

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMainException 

You could try keeping them in the coop for a few days and nights straight to see if that gets them to remembering that the coop is their home.  I had mine sleeping in bushes near their coop and just kept throwing them back in and kept them in there for a while and they have gotten the right idea finally.


x3   Yep, gotta put them in lockdown for a few days.


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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

That's a good idea. I'm assuming that I would keep plenty of food and water and such in there right? Normally I have all that outside. I did some research before I built my coop and built it based on the minimum square foot that each chickens needs. There's more than the minimum recommended space.  Now looking at it I'm thinking that it may be a little small. Would that be a factor? There is plenty of room for them in there and there is a roost for them to sleep on. Here's a link to the coop. http://chickensoncamera.com/2010/04/custom-chicken-coops-my-story/

1 Wife, 2 Dog, 4 Cats, 9 Chickens, Thinking about getting honey bees... Life is good! @chickensoncam
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1 Wife, 2 Dog, 4 Cats, 9 Chickens, Thinking about getting honey bees... Life is good! @chickensoncam
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

How many days do you recommend?

1 Wife, 2 Dog, 4 Cats, 9 Chickens, Thinking about getting honey bees... Life is good! @chickensoncam
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1 Wife, 2 Dog, 4 Cats, 9 Chickens, Thinking about getting honey bees... Life is good! @chickensoncam
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post #7 of 11

Hi There,

If you have 6 chickens, they each require a about 3-4 sq ft of coop space.  Not a huge bid deal if you're free ranging all day if they are only using the space to lay or roost.  To be honest, the coop looks a little tight.  Chickens get very very warm and while they do like to sleep close, if there's a pre-bedtime squabble, there's not much room to move around in there.  But it could just be the camera angle of the dog house.  What are the dimensions without the nest boxes?

-Jackie

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Put some shizzle in your frizzle and you'll sizzle
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Guest blogging at http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/blog/
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

It's bigger than it looks. It's not huge though. I'm not sure off the top of my head as to how big it is but it should be close to 18 square feet. The chickens are free-range. They're not supposed to be. smile I stopped try to keep them in the pen. The pen itself is quite large, approximately 35' x 50'. I have a half acre yard that they roam all over. I'll have to catch them all and put them in the coop for a few days. It has plenty of ventilation and is in the shade all day so it shouldn't get to hot. I have to get my web camera system back up so you can see them in action. Thanks!


Edited by dnichols - 9/9/10 at 12:41pm
1 Wife, 2 Dog, 4 Cats, 9 Chickens, Thinking about getting honey bees... Life is good! @chickensoncam
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1 Wife, 2 Dog, 4 Cats, 9 Chickens, Thinking about getting honey bees... Life is good! @chickensoncam
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post #9 of 11

My girls did the same for a the first few nights I had them. I had to put them in lockdown for a few days. I would only give treats in the coop, so now when it's time to go in at night, they all come running because they know I have something yummy for them. Usually a few grapes, apple chunks, cucumbers they love. Maybe try that.

"Never take life too seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway!"
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"Never take life too seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway!"
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ya, whenever I go in the pen I bring a treat or refill their food. So whenever I start walking toward the pen they all come running.  My wife calls me the Pied Piper of chickens. How many days of lock down do you recommend?

1 Wife, 2 Dog, 4 Cats, 9 Chickens, Thinking about getting honey bees... Life is good! @chickensoncam
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1 Wife, 2 Dog, 4 Cats, 9 Chickens, Thinking about getting honey bees... Life is good! @chickensoncam
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