Are my chickens stupid?? Seriously I need help here

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Newchickenguy, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 20, 2012
    Ok this is my first winter with chickens. I have a coop and run. In my run I placed a roost just for something for them to play on during the summer. Last night it was 21 degrees here where I live in W.V and they stayed on there outside roost and didn't go inside the coop. And I just checked on them tonight and is like 36 degrees and raining and there on the outside roost and not inside there coop.

    Are my chickens stupid? I bought them from a hatchery so they never had another chicken to learn off of. Should I take down the outside roost and hope they go inside the coop to roost? Or are they just tough and don't need to go inside. Its very cold, wet and windy here. Plz help
  2. GaryDean26

    GaryDean26 Chicken Czar

    Dec 22, 2011
    McAlester, OK
    My Coop
    I had the same problem and took down the outside roost as well as had to move chicken from out side to inside for a few days until they learned there their bed was.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  3. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 20, 2012
    Well I just took no risks, I just went outside with my wife in the rainy dark coldness and took the roosts down with some mad chickens on them. I then went inside and turned the inside coop light on. I was able to catch 3 chickens and put them inside the coop. The others are underneath the coop. I am hoping they will here Nemo the rooster inside and follow him in. Otherwise I don't know what will happen. At least the ones outside are now dry underneath the coop. Before they were just outside in the rain.
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    With new birds, you have to physically put them inside the coop in the evening. Do this for 3 or 4 days and they'll eventually get the hang of it and will go inside the coop by themselves. First starting out, I lock them inside the coop in the evening so they wont wonder back out.
  5. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    Good first move! I am in Ligonier in western PA. Quite the weather we are having, huh? Poultry go towards the light. Leave the coop light on 24/7 to keep the roosters comb from frostbite. Put all the food and water inside the coop. No treats or roosts in the run. Keep an eye on them this night . They are asleep by now. Pull them out from under the coop and put them in the coop. If you have sufficient room for all your birds in the coop ( about 4 sq. ft. per adult large fowl)...close the coop door and leave them in there for several days. They will learn to love their comfort and on days where the weather is ok, they can go outside. If your run size allows, drape a cheap silver/blue tarp over room supports to cover the run. Leave it there for the winter. They will get plenty of fresh air from the open walls. If you have a prevailing wind that always comes from one direction, put a tarp up on at least 1/2 that side wall of the run ( top to bottom, not just 1/2 way up). Do not leave them to fend for themselves. They can freeze to death in this weather. I know you are concerned about this from your letter. Batten down the hatches for this storm. Give them food and water for several days.
    Light Sussex
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  6. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 20, 2012
    So my coop is 40 sq ft and I have 9 birds. So I should be able to make due inside the coop. My wife and I are going out to catch the other 4 chickens shortly and lock them in the coop with food and water. How many days should I leave them inside for the to get the hint? I just want them to be smart enough to go inside the coop when weather is bad. I didn't know chickens were this unintelligent.
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    When I want my chickens to know where home is i leave them in the coop for 5-7 days 24/7. However, I let them in the run during daytime. I agree on having a light on inside the coop when they are going in for the night, but that light goes off 1/2 hour after dark. Chickens won't rest if they have a light on at night. I would leave the roost out of the run at least until next spring.
  8. hennedout

    hennedout Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 25, 2013
    I am also have bad weather and one of my girls insists on roosting in a pine tree. Shes too high up for me to get her. Hopefully shes okay for night!
  9. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 20, 2012
    Well on every ones advice my wife and I went outside and caught the other 4 chickens and put them inside the coop. The crazy things were all perched on top of a trash can I had inside the run. So I put food and water inside the coop with the chickens. My only leghorn didn't look so hot. I hope she pulls though as I had high hopes for egg production as the rest of my chickens are duel purpose and in theory wont lay as good as her.

    My hands are numb ; its so cold outside.
  10. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I coop trained mine for 3 days and haven't had a problem, they all come in at dusk. It also helps if there's a light on in the coop at dusk at least for the first few days, they seem to be drawn to the light.

    My girls have a decent sized coop and several of them chose to spend the entire day out in the pouring rain and muck. Guess the wet doesn't get down through their feathers but they sure looked nasty. They did come in when it began to get dark, though.

    Good luck!

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