What about free range hens that do not have a run to protect them from predators?
why are my chickens sleeping outside?????? - Page 2
This is the same coop they have been living in for the past year, why the sudden change to outdoor sleeping?
Because it's nice out?
My coop build thread
My coop build thread
Okay, I have introduced a hen and 22 week old pullet to my original 24-26 week old pullets. The 22 week hides until the others are on the roost. The hen refuses to go in to the coop. I pick her up and put her in the coop and she just lays on the floor. This evening I thought "yea! she's going in" she turns around and pecks the crap out of my only egg laying girl. I got ****** and said "Fine SLEEP outside." She is on the outdoor roost and the others are settled in fine on the roost inside. Pecking order is one thing but to not sleep inside and peck the crap out of one that is trying to get in is so stupid. I know I'm thinking like a human plus the brewski doesn't help.
Seconded Player - my young birds refused to go in the pen at night on their own...so when dusk appeared for a few days, I would actually just place them in the coop and close the door. Did this for a few days. After these few days, I went outside to place them and found they'd already put themselves to bed.
But as others have said, if they're in an enclosed run, why bother them? Maybe they are more comfortable at night when they sleep outdoors. The weather in our area is only in the 50s to 60s at night; if I had outdoor roosts, I'm pretty sure I'd have some birds "camping." :-)
The only concern I'd want to check for is mites, though. Verify the birds are not avoiding the coop because of a potential pest that comes out once the lights are out. They're pretty sneaky creatures (mites) and hide during the day.
Edited by abenardini - 10/20/15 at 9:20am
I had this problem a few months back. They were roosting on the fence and an old fallen tree. After weeks of moving them into the coop each night onto their roost, only to have them return to the fence and the tree, I finally posted here and got a lot of suggestions, mostly to remove their tree :( They love climbing on the tree so I hated to remove it.
We went camping one weekend and I left them all shut up in the coop for the entire weekend. Worked like a charm, with nowhere else to go they started using their roosts. Like a bunch of other people said too, a light in the coop.... I have a light plugged into a timer and it comes on at 6:45am and goes off at about 7:15pm right after it starts getting dark. Lights seem to draw them in like moths to a flame. They learned quickly how long they had to forage in the litter on the floor before the lights went out, and now everyone is in their place come time for the light to shut off.
I like to think its a good idea to get them into the habit of roosting on the roost you provide in a safe place, that way when the weather is bad or something they don't get "stranded" outside of the coop, as chickens apparently see about as well as I do in the dark, which is not well at all. I'm totally night blind and I think they are too.
I have the same problem, although my girls are not free range, they have a nice size run and two nesting areas, that holds six full grown chickens comfortably. They were all raised together, and tonight three of my girls are sleeping on top of one the houses, why are they sleeping outside
Well, I think that sometimes, chickens decide that they have picked out a better place to sleep than we picked out lol. Maybe they like being able to see their surroundings, maybe they like the breeze, I don't know, if I was a chicken maybe I could give you an answer lol. But I do know that if you put a light in the house on a timer to go off after dark, they will more than likely go inside to have a little slumber party before bed! For some reason they are drawn to the light like moths to a flame. If i'd have known the light was going to be such an easy solution for me, I could have saved myself weeks of going out after dark and moving chickens into the coop to no avail, and saved myself tons of worrying about them.
Is your whole run enclosed/predator proof? If so I wouldnt worry too much about it, but if it really does bother you (it would me) I'd try the light first. If that alone doesnt work, I would try closing them in where you want them to roost AND put a light out there, and leave them closed up in there for a day or two. That is what fixed my problem. I don't know how close you are to electricity with your coop, but I would just get a brooder lamp, plug it into one of those timers, have it come on in the morning after the sun is up, and go off after the sun goes down at night, and they should start roosting inside where you want them to. At least mine did, and I fought them for WEEEEEEEEKS! Hope this helps some!