Are they smart enough to move inside when the temps drop?


9 Years
Apr 18, 2010
So...I shut up the run at night for safety's sake, and I have been leaving the door to the coop open - it opens into the run. In HOPES that they will move indoors should it get that cold. See...what had happened was....

I got my little starter flock...then it got added to (long story) but those babies were 6-8 weeks behind we kept them separate until recently. Then they free ranged together...and the very first night everyone pretty much put themselves to bed in the run (well, the older ones went in the coop because they are just that well behaved...the younger ones went in the run and I found them sleeping next to the coop door / roosted on the branches I have in there like a little jungle gym). I have been noticing that a few have been sleeping in the coop with my first babies (now full grown ladies). But the majority choose to stay out on the jungle gym area I made.

So I have been leaving the door open to the coop. But should I go ahead and teach them to go in at night by doing a lockdown? Or will they go when they see fit? It hasn't even rained since the first big day of free I don't know if that will make them go in...

Where's the experts? Someone tell me what to do!
I'm confused again....silly chickens work my nerves!
we got some that insist on sleeping in trees.... rain, hail and snow...... sometimes they walk around in the morning with frost on their backs....
hey all the good experts are in bed at this late hours lol they all up at break of dawn. we dummy are up at this late hour

yes i would teach them to go into the coop due to bad weather n cold n predators. you teach baby to walk n talk so u have to do it these babies too.
LOL - I know most people sleep these hours, so I have adjusted to asking questions, napping, and looking for responses later when I am awake again
Actually...I usually forget what I meant to ask, so I have to do it when I remember to
It's just frustrating because they are clearly smart enough to come back at night, but will they be smart enough not to freeze to death if it gets cold again here like it did last year? because I killed an aloe vera plant last winter...made me sad....i know a needlessly dead chicken would make me cry...
I had trouble at first too. What worked for me was to take them after they began to settle down, and lift them up to the roost. Every day or 2 more got the hint. Some held out for a while, but within a week or 2 all of them automatically went up to the roost on their own. Then one got too big to fly up, so I built a ramp up to the roost and he goes up all on his own now. Personally, I wouldn't do a lock down until I'd tried this first. But if you want to do the least work possible, a lockdown would be the way to go. Good luck!
Unless your run is built of solid walls, like your coop, it is not safe for them to sleep in the run at night; nor is it safe to leave the coop door open at night, even if it does open out into the run.
The safest place for a chicken at night is locked in a predator proof coop.
Are your older birds standing at the door to the coop at dusk, discouraging the youngsters from entering? That could be a problem.
Best thing to do, IMO, is to lock them in (the coop) each night for a couple of nights until they get the hint.
Just run them off their outside roosts and into the coop each night until they get the hang of it. I have a younger flock right now that are reluctant to go inside to roost...I find them in the barn on top of the hay, in the apple name it. I just run them out of these places and they go straight to the coop. Come colder weather they will naturally go inside at night to roost where all the other warm birds are.

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