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3 out of 5 not sleeping in hen house at night.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Zeida98, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Zeida98

    Zeida98 In the Brooder

    Jul 11, 2014
    Northfield, MN
    I have 5R I R hens who are approximately 20 weeks old. They have been sleeping out in their henhouse every night for about three months. This last week I keep finding 2 to 3 birds sitting up on top of their henhouse at night instead of roosting inside. These three girls are the more dominant birds in the flock. Any suggestions on what I should do?

    I have been going out at dusk and putting them on the roosting bar before bed. Sometimes they jump off the roosting bar and then come outside and climb right back on the coop house again. I know some of them did that last night as I found a lot of poop on the roof of the house. The hen house is completely fenced in by the run.

  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    You need to 'reset' them to sleep in the coop. The best way to do this is to lock them in the coop for a few days to week with no outside time. They'll be a little grumpy about it, but it'll get them sleeping in the coop and they'll be much safer there so it's for the best.
  3. tacmomma12

    tacmomma12 In the Brooder

    Aug 31, 2012
    Eh, I'm not sure I'd force them to reset. If it's enclosed and they are safe, I'd let them sort it on their own. I have one Buff Orpington, Carly, who will sometimes try to sleep outside for a few days to a week at a time. I go out at night to shut the light off and will put her back inside them- she's not happy, but my coop roof is not inside my run so it's really not safe for her out there.

    She eventually resets herself and I stop finding her outside for a few weeks until it happens again.

    Good luck- your girls are still young, so probably need to figure out that inside is where they sleep. :) Keep putting them on the roosting bar though, that will help.
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    I would say it would be okay to keep putting them in at night and just closing the door after them to make them stay like tacmomma said too if you're okay with that and she's not out there in the dark for too long before you do it. That could get her reset too. However, I most definitely would not let them roost on top of the coop all night any more unless the run is totally enclosed - including the top. Owls like a good chicken dinner too.
  5. Sustained

    Sustained Songster

    Sep 17, 2014
    Last week all of my hens suddenly decided they wanted to roost on the gate to their run and on my lawnmower. I made sure to herd them into their coop at night but after 2 nights I still had one girl who was determined to roost on the lawnmower. So every night after dark I went out, picked her up and carefully set her on the roost in the coop and locked it down. In the morning I went out to let them all out. I did that for 3 nights in a row and after that they've all given up and are sleeping in their coop again. Just my personal experience but it worked.

    Good luck! I'm not sure if you have a run roof but I don't and I wouldn't take a chance on letting them roost outside without overhead protection.
  6. LanceTN

    LanceTN Chirping

    Aug 31, 2014
    The dominant birds want to roost higher up then the others, so that fits with what you're saying.

    Is this a safe place to roost? If it is your may just not bother with fixing it.

    Otherwise maybe make it harder for them to get up there. Clip a wing or attempt to remove anything they are using to hop up their.

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