Chickens don't go in the coop at night?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Hansen6dad, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Hansen6dad

    Hansen6dad Out Of The Brooder

    41
    2
    36
    Dec 30, 2012
    Long Beach, Mississippi
    I have 3 Barred Rocks and 1 Silkie in my run, they are about 13 weeks old, and during the day they will go up and down into the coop and back out, but in the evening they wont go up to the coop to bed. I have to go out there at dark and pick them all up and to put them in for the night. I tried when I first put them out to leave them in the coop for 3 days befor letting them out but it did not seem to work. They have been out side for 3 weeks now and they have probably only gone up in the evening maybe 3 times, the rest of then time I have to go get them while my wife laughs at me! Any suggestions. Should I just leave them out? It is only getting down in the 50's at night. what do y'all think???


    Hansen6dad
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,233
    28
    168
    May 6, 2011
    Maryland
    I have a couple who don't like to coop at night. They roost in a tree. I don't feel it's safe, sometimes I'll put them in the coop, although they've been doing this for a year, I don't think they'll change.

    Try keeping them in the coop again. Try it for 2-3 days. Maybe they'll learn this time?
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,495
    3,890
    506
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    At that age temperature sure is not a problem. I’ve had chicks less than half their age in an unheated coop when it got below freezing. No problems at all. But predators might be a problem. I don’t know if predators are a concern for you or not.

    Three weeks is a long time to have to put them in. I’ve had a few be stubborn like that but always at least some go in the coop pretty easily. I do have a lot more chicks than you though. As few as you have, averages don’t mean a whole lot.

    Chicks that are not yet roosting usually sleep together in a huddle, often on a corner or protected place and usually fairly low where they consider themselves “hidden”. When you open the coop and let them in the run, they may think a place in the run is a safe place to spend the night. I go through what you are talking about practically every time I open up the grow-out coop to the run. Even though they may have been in that grow-out coop a week or more, I usually have to put some into the coop after dark. Sometimes just doing it once is enough for them to catch on, but some have lasted a couple of weeks. I think part of the problem is that my grow-out coop is elevated and they like to sleep lower down until they start to roost.

    Most of mine tend to start roosting about the age yours are. When they start roosting, they should go in on their own. Before they roost, I usually do get them to sleep on the floor inside the coop,

    Another potential problem is that chickens cannot see too well in the dark. Sometimes the insides of the coop get dark earlier than the outside so the chicks don’t realize it’s time to go to bed until it’s too dark to see inside the coop. Some people have solved this by adding a small light inside the coop on a timer so they can see to go to bed, or a better option in my opinion, add a window.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by