Chickens afraid of our remodeled coop


May 13, 2010
New Hampshire
My husband finished boarding up the coop for the winter (over the mesh wire, with screws so we'll take it off in the summer) and I'm so happy because not a moment too soon, tonight and tomorrow we're supposed to have a lot of rain and wind and they'll be more snug. We still have the full size door uncovered because he hasn't gotten to cutting the plexiglass for that yet, so light can get into the door right now, and then there are 3" or so of venting at the top where light can get in. But the chickens were really nervous about walking into the darkened coop at dusk today - they're used to it being more open and light. Once in, one of the hens was complaining.

For those who have more shed-like coops with maybe just a couple windows, do your chickens hesitate about going into the coop at night?

I'm hoping mine will adjust in a few days and trust it more. It probably would have been better to board up one section at a time, then they could gradually get used to it. But who wants to drag this project out - no thank you.

Will they get used to a darker coop? Should I put one of those stick-on lights in there?
Ordinarily I wouldn't recommend light as it interferes with their sleep. But maybe you should.

Give them time. Chickens hat change.
I think when introducing chickens to a new coop you should keep them in the new coop for a couple or few days so they can adjust and know where their new home is. When you let them out to range after the break in period they will automatically go back into that coop without a hitch.. Just my opinion.
Thank you for the replies. I hadn't realized chickens were so resistant to change. Mine are happy as clams, but then they have the same routine day in and day out. I'll bet within a few days they'll be heading into the coop without a second thought. (Do chickens have second thoughts?
Throw a few treats in there to entice them in. Then they will start exploring and get comfortable.

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