Chickens not leaving the coop


Jul 6, 2015
I have had my little flock of 3 birds since early October. My girls are about 24 weeks old. This is my first time with chickens. They have a coop that is enclosed in a secure run. Their food and water are in the run. The coop has a door I made and they know how to use it (clear floor mat cut into flaps that I trained them to use). I don't think the door is a problem because they used it with no problem until recently. In the last couple weeks, I have noticed that they are not leaving their coop until I go entice them out in the late afternoon - today it was 2:30 before I decided this behavior can't be good.

It's been cold and I assume they just don't want to get off their cozy roost. At first I was telling myself that they will leave the coop for food and water when they need to, but I'm getting worried. Should I go make them get out of the coop in the morning? Will they self-regulate food and water? I appreciate any advice.


BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Mar 9, 2014
Northern Colorado
Is there snow on the ground in the run? Mine will all refuse to go out if there is snow in the run.
How cold is cold for your area?
Cold here is anything below 10 degrees and sometimes days on end not getting above 0. If cold is 30 where you are they should come out to get food and water.

If you are concerned about them not eating or drinking can you put a small feeder inside the coop and perhaps some water. I know with that few the coop is likely small so may not have room to do it.

I did this on a tiny coop I made for growing out chicks.

This is a 7 dollar rabbit feeder on the inside of the clean out door. Below you can see the coop was small but I did manage to get a one gallon water dish in there.

The rabbit feeder now holds oyster shell in the big girls coop. The same could be done by cutting a hole in a plastic coffee can and attaching it to the wall.


Mar 19, 2015
central NY
My four will hang in the coop all day on really cold, windy days. We've had a very mild winter compared to our usual so far, but when its been in the teens they've stayed in. They are also very nervous about snow- I've read that chickens have no depth perception, so the snow really messes with their ability to see where they're going. A few handfuls of pine shavings will usually help.
I think there've only been two days so far they haven't come out for at least part of the day. On those days I stuck a small food and water dish into the entrance of the coop.


Jul 6, 2015
Thanks for the tips. I put water and food in their coop and they promptly ate and drank it all. I think they are just hiding from the cold. Usually 30 is cold for us here in Tennessee but we had haven't gotten much out of the 20's lately and in the teens overnight. I appreciate your help!

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