Adult hen staying outside

MelSeay14

In the Brooder
Aug 24, 2019
7
55
49
Has anyone faced behavior changes where a single hen will hang outside the coop in the evening and eventually get locked out while everyone else goes to bed early?

For the past couple of days, one of my adult hens has been missing the closing of the automatic door on the coop and I have found her roosting outside the door in the dark when I go and check on them. She is pretty laid back, doesn't fight with the others and basically marches to the beat of her own drum. There have been times where she has "missed" going in before but not like this.

This spring one of my friends gave me 6 adults (5 hens and 1 Roo) and I raised 12 from babies from a couple days old. They are starting to integrate together and get along well, from what I can tell. The coop has an automatic door that I have on a timer to open at 7 am and close at 8pm. They are usually roosting by 7:30 pm. They are in a huge outdoor run and free range when I am around. Because they are so reliable, I go out and close the outdoor run when I get an opportunity but it can be dark when I go out. I haven't had any issues with predators and I just put up aviary netting today. I imagine she would be pretty safe but wonder about the behavior change.

Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Some hens linger to the last minute - is it completely dark at 8pm? You may want to set the timer to close a bit later or turn it off(?) for a few days and close it yourself just to see IF she will eventually go in by herself.

Something else to look at would be space - if I read right, you have 18 total? How much coop space (sq ft) is there?

Lastly, it's always a good idea to check her over in case something else is going on with her - lice/mites, crop not empty in the morning, body weight good, etc. Could she also be staying out a little later to eat/drink because she's being kept from food/water or is she being kept from entering the coop with the others at bedtime - just a few things to mull over.
 

MelSeay14

In the Brooder
Aug 24, 2019
7
55
49
Some hens linger to the last minute - is it completely dark at 8pm? You may want to set the timer to close a bit later or turn it off(?) for a few days and close it yourself just to see IF she will eventually go in by herself.

Something else to look at would be space - if I read right, you have 18 total? How much coop space (sq ft) is there?

Lastly, it's always a good idea to check her over in case something else is going on with her - lice/mites, crop not empty in the morning, body weight good, etc. Could she also be staying out a little later to eat/drink because she's being kept from food/water or is she being kept from entering the coop with the others at bedtime - just a few things to mull over.

It is completely dark by 8pm and she was in this evening so she may be starting to adjust. The size of the coop itself is a 12X12 with a full roost for them all to be on. The outdoor run they have is a circular enclosure with a 40 foot diameter and 125ft circumference and aviary netting over the top. I let them out when I am home in the evenings and on the weekends. I haven't seen any pecking or anything so not sure she is being kept from food or water. I think she just does what she feels like when she feels like doing it.

Thanks for the response. Hopefully she will go in tomorrow night by herself.
 

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