About Going to Roost for the Night- Are My Girls Slow - Or is it ME?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cindylo, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. cindylo

    cindylo Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2011
    Idaho Falls, ID
    We've got a problem. The "run" is a 10X10 ft dog run with a tarp roof. 3 RIR's have a small "habitat" chicken house on one side of the run and my 3 games have a similar habitat on the other side. Both haver nice roosts, pine shavings and two good nesting boxes each. All of the girls who lay do so in the RIR habitat boxes. The reds used to go to sleep inside their coop without being "led" inside. The games joined the family and it was too close of quartrs for them all. So I bought another similar coop for them. Trouble is, all 6 of them want to roost on the roofs - not go inside except to lay eggs. So I have to go and play "god" at night swooping down and placing them one by one into their respective coops. Will turning on a low wattage lightbulb inside their coops urge them to return to the (real) roosts at night?
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    I have a number of breeds that prefer to sleep outside. Not great when it is cold or rainy.

    You may want to lock them inside the coop for a a few days (when the weather is ok) to encourage them to sleep inside.
  3. Hiram

    Hiram Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    Have you tried locking them in for a few days? Mine started to roost in the coop after a while.
  4. JusticeFamilyFarm

    JusticeFamilyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2011
    Southern California
    Can you cut off access to the roofs? That way they could not get up there to roost and would go inside to their proper roosts instead? I had some outside roosts, but then my girls didn't want to go inside to roosts at night, they always wanted to be outside. So, I had to take away anything outside that they liked to roost on, and immediately that night they were inside the coop on their roosts when I went to close the chicken door. Once they've been doing it for a while I might try adding a roost or something back into the run so they have stuff to hop up on outside as well, but only if they still go in the coop at night.
  5. cindylo

    cindylo Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2011
    Idaho Falls, ID
    Hey thanks everyone! I'm going to try to make the roofs inaccessable and see how that goes. Involuntary confinement for a day to three is next!
  6. cassidy22

    cassidy22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
    Front Range - Colorado
    The 2 previous suggestions are great ones.

    We noticed with ours that as the sun starts to go down earlier and earlier, last winter, some of the birds were caught unawares and decided to bed down under their coop (our coop if the back end of an old pick up truck) There are also 100+ chickens living in it. Takes a long time to move them one by one! So we started putting a light in it, so that when they realized "hey it's dark!" they would see the light and see their friends inside. It helped, but it still took 2 solid weeks of moving everyone in, and the weather dropping at night for them to realize they wanted to be in the truck, not under it. We had one stubborn Brahma, with her fuzzy feet, and she would snuggle up and keep the others warm, she was always the last to go in. We unfortunately lost her to a coyote attack this year, but I am hoping last winter's birds will continue to teach this year's birds that there are fun perches in the truck, and plenty of room, adn it's never windy, wet, or snowy inside! It's not a lot of fun trying to catch 30 chickens with a hook and convince them to go in the truck. I think the light did help.

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