Chicken Coop / New Routine Question????.........

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sandysylvester, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. sandysylvester

    sandysylvester Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2011
    If anyone who is more familiar with chickens than me I would appreciate your opinion on what my best option would be? Options are limited this year though.......
    1st off, I have 4 production reds. They are free range during the day. The only time they are secured in their run/coop area is at night after they go in or if we are away for a few hours on the special occasion we may have morning or afternoon plans(not often). The run is fully covered. They have slept prior in their coop together, but the past couple weeks I have 2 that continue to sleep outside. I am trying to decide if I should do anything at this point or leave them be. I have tried to force the 2 "campers" inside, but they continue to come back out after I attempt to put them in. Here is the setup:

    This is the overall. Run is 4x12, coop on top is 3x4

    Initially the coop was 4x4, but we decided to recess the doors and give them a 12" ledge rather than have to come down the plank or go inside immediately. This is their "ledge" with coop doors shut:

    Here is the inside of the coop. They were sleeping on the roost or in the shavings, or perhaps one in a nest box up until recently:

    I noticed they formed a recent habit of sleeping on the coop floor so I decided to try this to give them more floor room but I still have 2 sleeping out on the ledge:

    I know it is still mild enough they are fine regardless. I do plan on seeing if it is a bossy hen pushing them out prior, but if the nights get bitter I do have concerns about the 2 on the ledge.

    My options are to reset the doors flush giving them 4x4 coop, or leaving it be. My concern is if I set the doors flush I fear the 2 will go further out in the run and sleep on their outdoor roost rather than the sheltered ledge?

    Would love to hear your opinions and thoughts....
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  2. bleith

    bleith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2010
    West Dundee IL
    I'm. Not sure if you tried to post pics or not, but I wouldn't worry about it. They'll go in if they want to
  3. sandysylvester

    sandysylvester Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2011
    That is what I thought as well, but I am the overly protective chicken mama, that when I see a new behavior I question it.
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    First off [​IMG] [​IMG]

    As soon as it gets real cold they will go in. How come you do not force them in for a few nights or every night by dropping the door and drop the pop door and force them to get comfortable inside the sleeper by dropping the pop door?
  5. debs_flock

    debs_flock Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 14, 2011
    Shingle Springs, CA
    Quote:There is no pop door, just a hole.

    It doesn't look like the inside of their coop is very high. My guess is they are going outside in order to have a higher place to roost.

    I would just put them in the run and shut the run door at night. If you aren't going to lock them into the coop, I'd give them a higher place to roost in the run. They'd feel more secure.

  6. sandysylvester

    sandysylvester Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2011
    ok got ya. Maybe what I will plan on doing is this spring revamping the coop and building an A-frame roof, or pitching the roof to have one side higher.

    I feel bad in honesty. I was so desperate for chickens the the 1st opportunity I got the DH to agree on the whole deal we bought this pen. I then proceeded to complain because the run at the time was 1/2 the size. He doubled the length to shut me up.[​IMG]
    I am now starting to whine I want a fancy coop with a shingled roof, windows, the works....Well lets just say I need to take it one step at a time. LOL...[​IMG]
  7. MVchickens

    MVchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2010
    Martha's Vineyard MA
    Give them a proper roost inside the coop and you will be all set.
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    It seems kind of small for four full grown chickens to me [​IMG] Especially with those nesting boxes.. You really only need one nesting box for four hens.

    I have never had an issue with mine going in for the night. They have done so since day one. I find a light inside the coop helps coax them in.. Is the run really secure at night? It would be awful if a raccoon got in and attacked your girls.
  9. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:I agree. Can you move the nesting boxes outside and add roosts inside? I'm sure they would love the high roosts inside.
  10. sandysylvester

    sandysylvester Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2011
    I am pretty sure that run is about as secure as you can get. It is hardware cloth around the entire pen. The pen is bolted onto 4x4's. Something would have to spend an awefully long time working on ripping the pen apart and I am sure my beagles would alert me.

    Yes that nesting box is very large. The DH bought that and it cost a pretty penny for what it is. Not sure he would be too pleased if I told him to scrap it...[​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011

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