Abandon coop!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jprs, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. jprs

    jprs Out Of The Brooder

    22
    2
    24
    Oct 4, 2008
    OK. So I've had four chickens for about 8-9 months now and everything has been going fine. Lately they are not returning to the coop at night, and instead are sleeping and pooping in places I don't want them to (like the deck, my work bench, etc). They do return to lay their eggs, but don't seem to want to sleep their anymore. What gives? It has to be warmer in the coop than on the railing of the deck. I can physically put them in the coop at night, and they will stay there until morning, but they used to be soo good about doing this on their own. What gives?
     
  2. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    I like the title of your thread.

    Not to state the obvious, but if you want them to sleep in their coop, put them in there and lock the door. Otherwise, they will sleep wherever they want.

    Do they have a roost in the coop?

    Second thought, have you checked for external parasites that may be residing on the chooks and are in the coop? If they are present, the chooks will be hesitant to sit there and be bitten all night.

    Oh, and pooping where you don't want them to? They all do [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  3. jprs

    jprs Out Of The Brooder

    22
    2
    24
    Oct 4, 2008
    No evidence of any parasites, but I'll look again. Mosquitoes yes, but they are gonna get to them no matter where they are, I am in florida, and we pretty much have mosquitoes year round. The roost isn't very high feeling in the coop, so I'll try changing the height as they seem to be roosting on things higher off the ground.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    I could remove the poop drawer maybe and then they would feel higher up. I think I will also put a roost outside of the coop, but inside of the cage and see if they will start using that.
     
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    727
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    They may be just looking for a higher spot to sleep. I guess they aren't kept in the enclosed run? Maybe you could toss some scratch into the run and shut the door after they go in for it- then maybe they'll put themselves to bed? Another thought, at one point I had a mouse problem, and my chickens started refusing to go into the coop at night. I guess all the rustling was freaking them out, maybe you have a rodent problem too. Anyway, just a couple more thoughts. Good luck!
     
  5. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    Nice run!
     
  6. Ehirning

    Ehirning Out Of The Brooder

    94
    3
    41
    May 18, 2012
    Nice coop!

    I agree, you may have a parasite/rodent problem that they're trying to get away from. You may have to lock them in each night until they get the idea again!
     
  7. MorgansManor

    MorgansManor Chillin' With My Peeps

    228
    7
    83
    Jul 12, 2012
    Southwest Arkansas
    Really cute coop!
     
  8. KristyMN

    KristyMN Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Feb 26, 2012
    Minnesota
    My hens have been sleeping in a dirt pile in their run instead of in their coop for the past week. Every evening, I pick them each up and lock them in the coop instead. I am in Minnesota and it is freezing cold, so they are insane chickens! I already checked for mites/rodents and there are none, so I pretty much boiled it down to--chickens get weird habits. I am just hoping they get back on their roosts alone one of these evenings. Crazy hens.
     
  9. MorgansManor

    MorgansManor Chillin' With My Peeps

    228
    7
    83
    Jul 12, 2012
    Southwest Arkansas
    I agree hens. My do that periodically out of the blue the will stop going in the coop and then after a few nights of putting them back in the go back to their routine. I know sometimes it is because of roosters and other times the just want to be big chickens and roost on the lawn chair. Crazy...
     
  10. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    The roost looks pretty small, could be their feet are getting tired and sore from trying to perch on that all night. Mine roost on the wide side of a 2x4. Or maybe the coop needs another window so it's not so dark? Who knows, good luck trying to figure them out! My birds have a big, open sided coop, lots of light comes in etc. and most of the time they put themselves away at night. But every so often they'll go through a faze of roosting in different places in my goat barn and I have to go put them away. After a while they are back to going into their coop on their own. I have yet to figure out why. This is also the reason an automatic coop door would never work for me! I always have to go out anyway and make sure everybody went in.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by