Chcikens dont sleep in the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by The Chickeneer, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    Sometimes went I get home late and go get the eggs, there is not one chickcen sleeping on the roosts in the coop [​IMG] they sleep on the roof of the coop, the fence, and two hens on the naighbors little limon tree right on the other side of the fence and on our goat's feeding trough. Is there a reason they dont like sleeping in the coop? I see some on the roosts during the day, they also come in to eat, drink, lay eggs etc. but why wont they sleep there? There is another coop we have, and six chickens roost in there to sleep, very small but tall, it's like two refrigerator wide and a little taller, only big enough for the six hens to sleep in, and come in to lay eggs. The difference in the roosts is that the small tall coops roosts are higher, smaller diameter and the main coops are a bit lower by a foot or two and thicker/biger diameter. Both roosts in the coops are metal, as is the roof of the coop the like to sleep on, the top part of the fence the sleep on(not the tree though lol). Do chickens like higher roosts? What is the best way to get them to sleep in the coop?thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
  2. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 24, 2007
    Northern California
    Before there were chicken coops there were trees.

    By nature, chickens use to go up into trees for safety at night. Given the option, chickens will fly up into trees rather than go inside a coop. However, we train chickens to go into coops -- especially if all the other chickens do that.

    They are creatures of habit.

    Now, if you have night time predators around and there is no cover for the chickens, this is a dangerous thing.

    All my chickens sleep in trees. I tried and tried to break the habit by locking in the coop for a week. No dice. Nature is nature.

    So I had to cover my entire chicken yard in poultry netting over five fruit trees, plus I have about 20 of the blinking red lights all around the fencing and in the trees.

    The lights keep the night time predators away and the cover keeps the hawks out.

    Hope this helps.

    Geri
     
  3. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    They always used to sleep in the coop when they were younger, they started doing this the last two months. There are allot of predators by where I live, two of them being the neighbors dogs, and our dog. The little limon tree is only like 4/5 feet high, it's a wonder why those two hens havent beeen killed by the dogs yet. There arent really any big trees around so they tend to stay nearby, but I still preffer them to live in the coop. I don't want them turning out like a person's chickens down the street, they sleep in several peoples yards, cross the road, go all over the neighbor hood, until a family of foxes actualy made a den in the roof of our neighbors house behind us and finished them all off a couple months ago. We also found out that the guy that lived in that house also kinda took care of the foxes feeding them catfood and whatnot [​IMG], then the fox family got so big he couldn't feed them all, so one night they came in and raided our coop diging under it and took 16 chickens in one night! [​IMG] we have since then instaled a wire floor. Then another neighbor had poisoned the foxes and they have not shown up sice then. But there are lots of foxes out there that could come and move into the neighborhood and start the chicken vs fox drama all over again [​IMG], so thats why I think the coop should be where they sleep....
     
  4. lclough1998

    lclough1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you have a light in the coop, they may be drawn to the light at dusk and move back in?
     
  5. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 24, 2007
    Northern California
    Good information about your situation.

    You MUST keep your chickens safe above all else. You are all they have between becoming a meal for a predator.

    Since it sounds like your chicken yard is not necessarily fenced in, as mine is, you need to find a way to get them into the coop. Even if that means rounding them up every night for a while. Or, fence a yard for the chickens, around the coop, and cover it also. this way it is really difficult for anything but small birds--and maybe squirrels, to get in. It's an option and makes your life easier.

    You might also cover the lemon tree, as it is small, so they can't get into it.

    In addition, get some of those red blinking lights I told you about. They really, really work. At the worst, they can't hurt, but in my experience, for over eight years, I've never had another night time predator and they are around.

    Here is a picture of our chicken yard BEFORE we closed up the top. As you can see it was quite a job, but I had to keep my girls safe from hawks. However, up until then...using the lights, I never had a nighttime problem. It was only during the day....after several years of the yard being open on it, that I suddenly had hawk attacks.

    Took me four days to cover it and I lost three chickens in that time. But, it was worth the time and money to get it done. Now I have great comfort in their safety. Between the lights and the cover, it was worth it all for the peace of mind and feeling like a did what was right for such vulnerable creatures who depend on us. [​IMG]
     
  6. lclough1998

    lclough1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you talking about red blinking christmas lights?
     
  7. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 24, 2007
    Northern California
    Hi Ldough1998:

    Not Chrisimas lights, red solar powered lights that are designed specially for warding off night time predators.

    I bought mine through a company I found in my Backyard Poultry magazine called NiteGuard. www.niteguard.com.

    There are others now, but they were the first back then, so I'm not a spokesperson, just telling you my experience. As they
    are solar powered, no electricity is necessary. I have found mine keep working well for about five to six years each.

    They are about 4" x 4" and have a tab with a hole through it, On top is a small solar panel and on the face is a small red light. You can attach it any way that works for you.

    As dusk falls the lights start flashing- red, and yes, from a distance it would appear as though they are Christmas lights.

    I know there are folks on here that say they don't work----for them. All I can do is speak for myself. They work great for me.

    You can buy and few and try them out. As you can see from my picture, I have them all over the place, anywhere I think a racoon or other nocturnal critter may enter: in the trees, up and down the fence, inside and out. They place lights up like crazy.

    FYI---any lights that don't get enough sunlight after a while have to be moved to store energy.

    Hope this helps.

    All best,

    Geri
     
  8. lclough1998

    lclough1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, I will check that out. We have never had a coon problem and honestly, I dont know why. My husband has seen them in our driveway on the other side of the house. I figure it is just a matter of time, the silkies are locked up tight but the large breeds are in a hoop coop. Thanks for the info!
     

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