2.5 year old hens suddenly afraid of coop and run?


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 24, 2012
I have 4 hens all slightly less than 2.5 years old. They have had the same coop and run their whole lives. They free range on our property during the day and return to their coop on their own at dusk. We shut the door to their run during the last trip outside to take the dogs out.

Tonight I went out at pretty much dusk and all 4 birds were "roosting" on our deck table. We tried to shoo them and they scattered a bit, one somehow managed to get all the way up onto tall roof ridge of coop...I went back inside and then checked on them about 20 mins (and a lot darker) later and one hen was on deck table again, other 3 were on picnic table on patio...they very obviously did not want to go in coop or run.

We cant find anything obvious in coop or run. For their safety we carried each one into the coop and shut them in. This is for sure the first time I have witnessed this. Any ideas about what's going on and how to resolve it?
Check to see that the coop is not infested with mites. Second guess is that a predator is trying to get into the coop during the night.
I will go check for mites- the thought it grossing me out tho. My son's hamster had mites last month and that was terrible enough...
Will update as I will need help dealing with that if it is the case
No, never did. I checked coop for mites etc and saw nothing. The next night the birds returned to coop as usual. I have been shutting coop door last few nights (not just run door as we had been doing) in case a predator had been trying to get in. Fingers crossed!
Most runs are not predator proof, so keep closing the coop door. Foxes can climb, opossum and raccoons can pull a chicken out from very small openings, etc. and they have all night to work on it. A good rule to remember is just about everything eats chicken.

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