Chicken prefers to stay out of coop at night

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by The Balcom Clan, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. The Balcom Clan

    The Balcom Clan In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2015
    We have 5 chickens in our little backyard flock whom we've had since they were all a day old. We have a chain link run attached to their coop that is covered from the lovely rain of the PNW but we let them out in the mornings and free range most of the time. We gather them to the pen/run as it gets darker at night and close the gate. There is an automatic door that closes the coop later in the night. We currently have a lamp in the coop so they can find their way in. (we had the lamp in there for the heat during the winter when they were still young but when we turned it off, none of them could find their way to the coop!) I have since installed a timer on the lamp so it will help them find the coop door at night and then go off around 10pm.

    However, we're noticing that Fancy, the Easter Egger/Americanan, doesn't like going in the coop at night. She can usually be found perched on TOP of the roof of the coop or a near by clothes line and puts up quite a chase when it's time to go back to the pen/run. (she's always the one to jump the fence every day!) We will take a peek at night when the door is already closed and she's sitting in the run, usually on the awning of the coop door. When we try to put her in the coop she has a fit.

    My husband is worried that she's picked on, and that's why she doesn't want to be in the coop. (it is a bit small for the 5 birds and we're working on that.) Should we worry about her being locked up at night if she doesn't want to be? We don't have many of the typical chicken predators in our neighborhood, but I guess it just takes once. :( We live in the Seattle area and will have a couple of frosty nights left this spring, but for the most part, it's not crazy cold. We've been having some pretty good spring storms but the run is covered, so any birds who don't make it in at night (by choice or not!) aren't completely exposed to the elements.

    This is our first experience with backyard birds and we've done pretty well so far. We're just not quite sure how to navigate this one.

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Some teenage birds will try to roost in different spots sometimes, you didn't mention their ages, so I'm assuming they are younger. Not all chickens like sitting up tight next to the others and it's possible she's the bottom bird and is just trying to get away. If you plan to make a bigger coop I would try to get that done, crowded birds are trouble, you should have enough roosts so everyone can get away. If your run is secure you could leave her or go out at dusk and put her in. I would also quit with the light as it may be making the coop too hot and stuffy just before bed.

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