A few Chickens no longer going to coop at night.


6 Years
Sep 17, 2013
All of my chickens have always gone to roost in the coop at night. But the last 2 nights, 3 hens have tried to roost up against the house. The first night they were all trying to squeeze up agains the door. It was still fairly light outside, so I cracked the door open in an attempt to scare them off (usually works), but a hen stuck her head in the door and they tried to get inside the house! I pushed them back, closed the door, & went outside. I carried them one-by-one to the coop and put them on a roost. The second night, I didn't come home until after 10pm, and noticed they were up against the house again. This time 2 were up against the door again, and the other was up on a window ledge. So again I went out and carried them to the coop. I can't figure out why they are doing this all of a sudden. The other 23 chickens and 8 chicks are still going to the coop like normal. There is plenty of empty roost space.
How many chickens do you have, in what size coop? And what kind of climate? How much ventilation does it have?

You can go into your profile and add your general location, which is quite helpful with many questions.
I'm in southern Indiana. Fall temps recently showed up & the lows got down to about 40. Coop is roughly 12' x 6' with over 33' of roosts. Ventilation isn't a problem because the south side is completely open except for a 2' x 9' strip of nest boxes across the middle. Coop is open 24/7 and they only use it for sleeping, egg laying, and bad weather. My broody & her 8 chicks are still sleeping in a nest box. The 3 that started trying to roost against the house are 2 hens that are 1 year old and one pullet that is 5 months old.
It may have something to do with pecking order, then. If you added any new chickens, other than the ones that hatched, this could explain it. In many flocks, the worst pecking order squabbles are at roost time. That's certainly how it works here. Or they may have decided to rearrange their pecking order for no obvious reason.

If your main concern is cold weather, if they were mine, I would just leave them alone and let them work things out. It has to get pretty cold to be a danger to adults, lots worse than 40. If your run area isn't secure from predators, though, I can understand your wanting them in. I really don't know of a sure way to get them in, unfortunately. Usually people just set them inside every night until they get the idea and start doing it themselves. You could try rearranging things a bit just to shake things up. Maybe change a roost to a different type of board, add something to hide under or jump on etc. -- anything to be different.

Maybe someone will come along with a better idea!
Thanks for the reply. I will just keep carrying them back for now. Last night they did it again, but we were able to discourage one of them enough that she went to the coop on her own. The other 2 were much more stubborn and had to be carried. Haven't added any new birds since May other than the broody's chicks. Crazy birds sure are entertaining!
Oh, and the yard is fenced well from ground predators, but I'd worry about a big owl still at night. The low temps only concern me because they are roosting alone without other chickens to share body heat with.
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