chickens not returning to house at nite

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PineLaneFarms, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. PineLaneFarms

    PineLaneFarms Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 13, 2011
    hey everyone i have a quick question......ever since my 8 weeek flock left the brooder and went into the house they always were waiting for me to lock them up at nite..well the last two nites i have had to get them out of the pine tree thats right beside thier house and run about 8 feet up. Even with their food waiting for them inside they will not go in by themselves. Is there something they dont like about being locked up at nite in the house? should i let them stay in the tree at nite? is there such thing as letting them free range too much??
  2. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    Did you leave them locked in the coop for a week or so before you let them back out? They need time to "learn" where home is.I had a couple of BR that wanted to start roosting in I turned the hose on the tree every night for 3 nights...they decided the tree was no good because it "rains" in the tree every night!
    Also,could something have bothered them in the coop so they no longer feel safe in there? A rat? A bird? A new dish? Sometimes the silliest thing can cause a panic.
    If you decide to let them stay in the tree at night...most likely they will all become food for a predator.
  3. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA

    you really have to train them that the coop is the safe haven for them, leaving them locked up for several days to a week will do this. I kept mine in for a week and when I finally opened the pop door poured for another 3 days so they decided not to go out in the wet stuff, but when they did go out they just loved it and they put themselves to roost no matter what at 8 pm every single night!!

    mind you when you lock up to train them they might be loud and crabby for the first day or so, just be sure to leave them with a cabbage and few other treats, lol.

    however if there is something in the coop that spooked them out, you need to take care of that, so a thorough inspection is definitely a must :)

  4. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    My girls refused to go in the coop when I put an additional feeder near the pop-door. I had to move the dang thing out of sight of the door and then pitch them in the pop-door one at a time for a couple of nights. This was after going in at dusk like clockwork since October. One morning they were freaked out when there was a mouse in the "mouse-cube" I leave in the coop to catch intruding mice.

    I would sure look for an intruder, though. Maybe a snake up in the rafters or rats under the bedding. There are horror stories about what predators can do when they are shut in a coop with chickens overnight.
  5. MarinMama

    MarinMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    I have some 7.5 week old chicks that have been in the coop for almost 1.5 weeks now. When I put them in the coop I locked them in for 3 days so they could learn that the coop was their home and safe zone.

    At first when they were in the coop the would dog pile near the coop door that I access to change food and water and would practically tumble out the door when I opened it so for 3 nights I would have to move them to the back corner that was a better place to sleep...cozier and away fro feeder and water.

    Now they know to sleep in the back corner.

    When I finally let them out of the coop into the run, I would have to heard them back into the coop every night for almost a week but at day 6 2 buff orpingtons put themselves into the coop and chirped for their friends to follow. The next night 4 chicks put themselves in the coop...last night 9 put themselves in...hope in a few more days the rest will figure it out.

    Also a couple nights ago some of the chicks started roosting through the night as well.
  6. sillysparrowness

    sillysparrowness Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    When I got them last year, it took my chicken about a week to find their way in the coop on their own. I didn't lock them in, I just went looking for them in the garden after dark and carried them into the coop, one by one (I've got only four), day after day. Eventually, they got it. Be patient. AND DON'T LET THEM STAY OUT AT NIGHT! Far too dangerous. I live in the middle of the city and even here, we've got at least one marten...
  7. MarinMama

    MarinMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Just a quick update, they all went to the coop on their own tonight. It was day 9 since the coop was open to the run.
  8. SoFluffy

    SoFluffy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Just lock 'em in for 5-7 days then let them out, worked out perfectly for me [​IMG]

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