Chickens leaving coop at night

kearstin17

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 28, 2012
195
4
91
Grand junction
My chickens are 22 - 27 weeks old. They have been outside in there coop / run since about 10 weeks. The run is enclosed so I just leave there coop door open at night. Never had any issues. They go to bed on there own when the sun goes down and come out when the sun comes up. The past 3 nights though I will go outside at midnight or 1am and will find 2 or 3 of them just walking around the run. At first I thought a cat or something was in there cause I could just barley make out movement but when I got my flashlight sure enough the chickens were just walking around like it is a normal day. What could be causing this? This is my first set of chickens and I am learning as I go. I would shut the coop to prevent this but as a mom of 4 the mornings in my house is CRAZY and I am so afraid that I would leave here one morning and forget to let them out. anyone have any clue why all of a sudden some of them are coming out at night?
 

ChickensRDinos

Songster
7 Years
Aug 19, 2012
2,242
241
208
Los Angeles
Are you sure that you have enough roost space for all of the birds? It could be that as they are getting older and bigger they are feeling overcrowded and the lowing pecking order birds are getting picked on while roosting so they are looking for somewhere safe?

Is there a really bright light anywhere near there coop that could be keeping them awake or confusing them?
 

kearstin17

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 28, 2012
195
4
91
Grand junction
I think they have enough space. i am not sure the size of the coop, run or the roosting area but we bought the coop from a place that builds them and they said it is good for up to 16 chicken and we have 11. My porch light was on which I turned it off as soon as I saw them out there but the light isn't that bright plus my porch light has always been on every night from day 1. But the light was my first thought also and that is why I turned it off. It's just crazy that the light never bugged them before and now it is. I will have to make sure I leave my porch light off these next few days and see if they are still coming out of the coop or not. can it hurt them if they are awake at night?
 

buffy the eggslayer

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 2, 2010
17
1
23
Yorkshire, UK
Hi,

if they all go to bed ok and settle down and sleep for a few hours then pecking order dominance or lack of space is unlikely to be the problem. Parasites or vermin could be however.

Leaving the pop hole door open could mean that something is getting in and unsettling them so closing it would eliminare this problem as long as the coop is vermin proof.

If you check on the birds an hour or so after they have gone to bed and they are scratching or appearing to be bothered by biting parasites then redmite could be the reason. Though they often display a reluctance to enter the coop at dusk if red mite is present as the quickly learn that Bed =bites!.


If left to their own devices most chickens prefer to roost in the open, on fences and in trees so they could be getting a little over heated in their coop and searching out a more natural or comfortable place to sleep.

Closing to pop hole at night would reduce the light from car headlights, security lights etc stimulating the birds but if your run is secure, covered and has perches then you could just allow them to sleep in there if they please. If you would prefer to confine them to the coop at night but opening the pop hole on a morning is an issue for you then an electronic pop hole opener may be the answer.

I hope that helps,
 

7L Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
4,635
89
231
Anderson, Texas
I'm with chickensrdinos they need more space on their roost. I'd invest in a auto pop door. There great. I bought one for one of my coops & have it on a timer. I've had it for over two years & its a life saver. I paid around eighty dollars for it.
 

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