1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Bed check

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Opa, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    I was just wondering how many people check on the birds at dark. I have an automatic door opener on my coop. I had introduced 4 new hens to the flock and for several days the older hens wouldn't let the new birds in the coop at night. The door would close and they would be locked outside. I would have to take them and place them in to the coop. After about a week they're being in with the others at dark I quit checking them. The first morning after we had single digit night time temperatures I found our smallest buff orpington lying dead under the ramp to the door. Since then I've been back to checking each night. Tonight I conducted "bed check" and found I was short four. Checked outside and found them huddled on the outside roost. It's cold, windy, and damp here and low nighttime temps are predicted. Had I not checked I think I may have lost a few more birds. So while automatic doors are nice, they still don't replace physically insuring that your birds are safe for the night.
  2. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    You're such a good chicken-daddy, Opa. [​IMG]

    I go out at dusk to count all of mine and lock everyone up for the night. I just wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't.
  3. Wolf Creek Farms

    Wolf Creek Farms In the Brooder

    Oct 22, 2008
    Northwest Alabama
    I lock all mine in at dusk and still usually go out around 9 - 10 pm and walk the pasture with a flashlight just to be sure. Its an OCD thing for me.[​IMG]
  4. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    I do a count when I close the gate, most of the time I let them run around my acre. I say 'good night girls' and I get low little bawks back. [​IMG]
  5. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    At first i thought your thread read "bad check"......I was like..ooh no!..they found me!...[​IMG]..
  6. ChickaD

    ChickaD Songster

    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    We count heads, just to be on the safe side. At dusk recently, when all the other birds were already inside the coop, I discovered during an early check that one of our BA was trapped in some rolled fencing and just passively sitting there - not making a peep. I was so glad I'd checked, and could get her inside before she froze.
  7. Ellie

    Ellie Songster

    Aug 10, 2007
    Redding, Ca.
    Always count and pet good night. Even though they go in by themselves, I lock the doors.
  8. johnmayersquare

    johnmayersquare Let's Talk About Chicks, Man!

    Nov 17, 2007
    Port Orchard, WA
    My teenage son counts and locks them in every night at dusk.......they go into their roosts on their own, but we count and check them before we lock them up for the night........just to make sure everybody is there! [​IMG]
  9. FrChuckW

    FrChuckW Father to all, Dad to none

    Sep 7, 2008
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks for the advice. Even though for the time being my birds will be housed in a run, I still will conduct a bed check.

    I have 6 MinPins ranging in age from 1 5 yo, 2 6yo's, 2 7 yo's, and one 10+ yo. Everytime I let them out in the backyard I count heads when they come in. Usually it's the 10+ who sits just outside the back door trying to decide if she wants to come in or not and then if I go to pick her up, she hightails across the yard. LOL

    She and the youngest one are not only pals, but they are fierce hunters, the other 4 are couch (make that bed) potatoes.
  10. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I usually get home from work well after dark. So it's well after dark when I go out to lock up the coop and check the chickens. With only 5 hens, it's really easy to do a head count.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: