chickens not using sleeping quarters

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Pollyanna, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Pollyanna

    Pollyanna New Egg

    Nov 27, 2011
    My 3 new pullets (14 weeks old) persist in spending the night huddled in a corner underneath their A frame coop. This coop is within a larger run and is raised off the ground so there is a ramp for them to access their roost. I put them in there one rainy night and they did stay but it was a stressful exercise for all concerned and they haven't gone in again. Do I just leave them to it and hope they will eventually work it out? Any hints would be greatly appreciated as I love my girls and want them to be happy.[​IMG]
  2. kimf

    kimf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2011
    Seminole County, FL
    I am very interested in hearing some replies. I have 7 six week old chicks doing the same thing. We moved them into the coop about two weeks age and kept them closed in--the run wasn't done yet. We finished the run almost a week ago and the chicks huddle in the same corner under the coop at night. They go in and out all day, but won't go in at night. So, I go out and put them in and close up each evening.....[​IMG]

    Any tips or suggestions?? [​IMG]
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum!! [​IMG] Glad you joined us!! [​IMG]

    They are obviously not roosting yet. I've had some that started roosting at 5 weeks and some that took over 12. Many people report their chickens took much longer to start roosting. I don't know why there is such a difference, but there is. It is not anything you are doing. Until they roost, they tend to huddle together in a fairly low place they feel is protected. You may be able to clearly see it is not the safest place for them to spend the night, but they think it is.

    I'd suggest a few possibilities. You can lock them in the coop for a few days if you have room in there. Let them get used to it as home. Don't let them into the run at all. Chickens are creatures of habit. If they get in the habit of sleeping in the coop, they may start going to bed on their own in there.

    Another option is to physically put them inside the coop every night and close the door so they cannot get back out. They should get the message. I've had to do that and some pick up on it after one or two times. Some can take weeks. If possible, set them on the roosts so they get in the habit of sleeping up there. For this to work, it probably needs to be dark enough they can't see to come down. At 14 weeks, if you can get one or two used to sleeping on the roosts so they go there on their own at bedtime, the rest will probably soon follow.

    I don't know what your physical set-up looks like. When they do decide to roost, they will look for the highest place they can find. That might be some place in the run instead of in the coop. I do think you are better off training themn to roost where you want them to instead of totally leaving it up to them. It is usually a lot easier to get them in a good habit to start with rather than trying to break a bad habit.

    Good luck, and once again, [​IMG]
  4. zengrrl

    zengrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Oakland County, MI
    I had to lock mine in for a few days so they understood this is where they are to sleep. Now no issues however, I have 4 silkies and they don't roost. Just a big pile in the corner, silly birds.
  5. Malita

    Malita Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2011
    McKinney, TX
    Make sure the roosts are the right size and reachable. They will figure it out in time. I have additional perches in the fully enclosed run to give them more room on days they cannot run the yard freely. So now I have two or three that sleep outside the coop but go inside to lay. Only once have they slept insife of their own choice and that was a windy rainy night.

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