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9 month old chickens stopped going into coop and it's 19 degrees outside - HELP!?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by zhockeymom, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. zhockeymom

    zhockeymom In the Brooder

    May 6, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    I have 10 chickens - 7 in one side of the coop and 3 separated in another side. The 7 side have never had an issue. The 3 side all seem a little slow. 1 of the chickens has gone inside without fail since day 1. The other 2, never. I've had to push them inside the coop every single night. There are lights inside, and a heat lamp now that's its cold - still stay outside. The last 3 nights all 3 chickens stayed outside ::ugh:: It's 19 degrees outside!!! I am afraid to go away else they will stay outside and become frozen chicken.

    I am at my wit's end and have no idea what to do...

  2. rainlips

    rainlips In the Brooder

    Oct 29, 2013
    Northern michigan
    Can you carry them in and lock them in for the night? I would after a few nights of doing this they would learn...

    Mine won't even leave the coop.. It's been in the 20's durning the day so I can blame them but your poor chickens need to get the hint... 19... Yeah that's way cold!!! I hope you can find a way before there frozen chicken!
  3. zhockeymom

    zhockeymom In the Brooder

    May 6, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    I close the dootrs every single night. I physically pick them up, place them through the door into the coop and close it. The reopen it again around 8am. The 2 have never learned... The 1 was going in every night, but now is outside again! UGH
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Thebest way to train them where to go at night is to lock them in the coop and run for a week. Then let them out during the day after the seven days. Give them a chance to go in on their own at dusk--having a light on is more inviting. Newer birds are going to be the last ones in.
    1 person likes this.
  5. zhockeymom

    zhockeymom In the Brooder

    May 6, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Lock them in the coop and run? You mean deny them outside access for a week? They were locked inside for almost 3 weeks when I first moved them outside because my husband hadn't finished building the outside run yet. That clearly didn't work because they still don't go inside :(
  6. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    I have read something about this problem - but not personally experienced it. What I can recall is that there can be problems in the coop that cause the chickens to be reluctant to go into the coop at night - the two biggest culprits being rats and mites, but also snakes and possums. THink we can rule out snakes here given the weather and your location.

    Doesn't really make sense to me since it sounds like you have one coop, with two sides....so if there is a problem I would think it would be on both sides of the coop. I would at least check the roosts at night to see if you see any mites.

    What breed of chickens are they?
    most breeds of chickens are fine in the cold.
  7. zhockeymom

    zhockeymom In the Brooder

    May 6, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Definitely no bad things inside :) It was actually just cleaned. The side where they won't go in is two bantam d'uccles and a polish hen. One of the d'uccles has gone inside every day since day 1.

  8. bhaugh

    bhaugh Songster

    Aug 6, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV
    YOU may not have seen anything but it's possible that there is something in there THEY dont like. My hens go in every night by themselves but just recently they were very reluctant to go in. I went and looked and have never seen a thing. A few days later I found a broken egg and thought it was them, but now not so sure. For me it could have been a wild bird in the run. I dont know but when they were unsure to go in, the first thing I thought was "Who was in the run that shouldnt have been. Maybe something happened for your hens during the night and has made even the one who did go in, not want to. Just a thought.
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    How big is your coop, and what is the temperature inside the coop with the heat lamps? Heat lamps in addition to the lights? are the lights on at night? I'm wondering if the temperature variation is too much for them. If they are enjoying being outside, they may find the confines of the coop with the extra heat to be too stuffy. How much ventilation do you have in your coop? Any odor of ammonia or chicken poop? what is the coop floor? What is your perch like? and do they have at least 10" of roost space per bird? When they have been put inside by you, check them after an hour or so. Are they resting quietly, or do you hear them shuffling around and perhaps stamping their feet on their perch? Is their pop door left open at night? check their entry to the coop. Is there anything there that might spook them from using it? Perhaps a loose board? Do they use it during the day?
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  10. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    My chickens did this when they were younger. They decided they liked a flat board that we had
    in the run better than their roost inside the coop. We moved that board inside and made sure to lock them in at night. No more issues.

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