1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

5 chickens refuse to go into coop at night

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by moms Tree, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. moms Tree

    moms Tree In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2013
    Out of 15 chickens, who have all been going into the coop at night for over a month... 5 have decided they want to huddle under the coop and go to sleep there. I have to go out every night and pick them up, and place them in the coop. This has been going on for about a week, and although it's dark, and I can't see them well... I think it's the same 5 chickens. What happened? They used to go into the coop at night with everyone else. I thought it might be the yard security light... maybe too bright... but, they aren't wandering around, pecking, like they think it's still day... they are huddling down together to go to sleep. I also have a heat lamp in the coop, since the chickens are so young, and it's cold outside... is it too hot for these 5 particular chickens? The heat lamp has been in there the whole time, the yard light has been there the whole time. And, this new behavior is all of a sudden this week. Any suggestions would be welcome. I'm totally baffled.

  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Songster

    Aug 4, 2013
    How old are they? Did you get them all together? It could be the heat lamp is too much, someone is pecking them, there isn't enough room, something scared them, or lice/mites.

    1) If they are fully feathered they won't need the heat lamp anymore.
    2) Check to see if anyone is picking on anyone else. Watch them if you can when everyone goes into the coop at night.
    3) Make sure there is enough walking room with all of them in there for everyone to get in at once. I have had one that would hunker down where ever she was if she could not get back into the coop before dark. I had to shorten her yard for about 2 weeks and convince my other girls not to block the door way to fix her.
    4) If they normally sleep high and something scared them they will go low and vice versa. Check to make sure nothing is trying to get in or fell on the roof (the smallest unnoticable branch will do it).
    5) Check the vents and base of the wings for any bite marks or signs of mites or lice getting them. Mites will run them off a roost or out of the coop quicker than anything else.
  3. LeviParker

    LeviParker In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2013
    If all of that checks out as not noticeable.. Try feedin around the time they like to go in. Feed them in the coop and they'll start coming in every night to eat and sleep
  4. moms Tree

    moms Tree In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2013
    You know... I'll bet the problem is that they can't get back in. It's a very small doorway, and I have seen chickens blocking it. I have 2 great big doors... I'll make ramps for those doors, and see if 3 doors in will solve the problem.
  5. JessesGirl

    JessesGirl In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2013
    Western Iowa
    I have about 15 birds and I got 7 of them from a friend. They all integrated quickly and seamlessly and went into the coop to sleep from the start. Except one. She would hunker down in the tall grass near the coop. I would have to go pick her up and take her into the coop. But still she was too fat (I thought) to get up on the roost so I'd have to set her up there and she'd squawk and flip out and fall off. After 4 days of this I told my friend who explained that chicken almost died from heat last year and since then she's a little off in the head and has stability issues. Thus "Dizzie" was named.
    She still won't go in the coop at night on her own but as soon as we come outside to shut up the coop she pops her little head up above the grass and comes running. She walks all the way to the coop with us and halts outside the door. We then have to pick her up, put her on the roost while cuddling her close or she flops all over the place and falls off, and then give her loves and kisses and tell her how awesome she is once she's balanced. Every. Night. And it's one of the best parts of every day. :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by