Chickens quit sleeping in the coop at night.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by marenwise, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. marenwise

    marenwise Just Hatched

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    Dec 12, 2016
    Paradise, CA
    Hello. I have three 23 week old chickens (an easter egger, buckeye and a blue andalusian) and they have been coop trained since we moved them from the brooder. I never had any problems, I confined them to the coop for 3 days and voila, they went back to the coop every night to sleep without ever missing a night.

    All of a sudden two weeks ago I discovered they are sleeping on the roof of the coop instead of going inside at night. I've been putting them in the coop each evening. Is there something that can be causing this? My coop is clean, it was when they started this new trend and I've cleaned it since this new habit. They aren't scratching excessively so I don't think I have a mite problem. The only change is that I opened up the nest boxes since the blue andalusian started laying at 21 weeks. Could the laying be causing this?

    My husband and I are building a new coop in a few months that will be bigger and the roof wont be accessible to the chickens. I went with a pre-made kit for our first coop with the intent of building our own, exactly how we want by summer. Perhaps when we move to the new coop that will take care of the problem itself? Should I simply keep putting them inside every night until then?

    Any suggestions would be great. I will be integrating 2 new pullets I raised from chicks in a couple months and I'd really like to have this bad habit kicked so my new gals don't quit roosting in the coop at night too.
     
  2. marenwise

    marenwise Just Hatched

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    Dec 12, 2016
    Paradise, CA
    Here is a photo of my coop and run:
    [​IMG]

    Thanks again.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I'm wondering if it's a lack of ventilation, or the coop is too warm. If the coop is infested with mites, you might not see the birds scratching b/c the mites only come out at night to feed.
     
  4. marenwise

    marenwise Just Hatched

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    Thanks Lazy Gardener. I do know my coop doesn't have the best ventilation so it could be that. Since the run is completely predator proof, I was keeping one of the doors open in addition to the sliding windows to hopefully help with the ventilation issue, but maybe it wasn't enough. And I didn't know that about mites. How would you go about attacking a mite problem in a coop?

    I used to freeze the pine shavings before I put them in the brooder to kill mites that might already be in the shavings. This is my first go at chickens so any info would be great.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Freezing will not kill mites. First you need to determine if that is an issue. They come out at night to feed on the birds. GO out with a flashlight, and inspect the coop carefully. This will help you to identify: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermanyssus_gallinae

    If you do have an infestation, you must wage an all out war: dust the birds, thoroughly clean the coop, destroy the bedding, wash down all surfaces (I'd use a bleach and liquid Dawn solution). Then dust all cracks and crevices with permethrin, and repeat the whole procedure a week later.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Gonna be hard to examine birds and coop at night...unless the roof opens in that little coop...but:

    Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.
    Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
    Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.
    Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

    If you do find some...check out this thread:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1134783/permethrin-spray
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. marenwise

    marenwise Just Hatched

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    Dec 12, 2016
    Paradise, CA
    Thank you Lazy Gardener and Aart. I'm going to try and take a look in the next couple of nights. You both gave some great tips. I'm crossing my fingers I don't have a mite problem. It sounds awful.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. Just Darren

    Just Darren Just Hatched

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    My chickens mostly roose just out side the coop as well still under a roof but not in the coop it self though I find poop in the coop when I clean it so I know they go in there. I only hope they deside to lay there egs in there nesting boxes when the time comes. they are only 7 to 8 weeks old.
     
  9. rrgrassi

    rrgrassi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine did that, but it was because a possum decided to move in. Little lead poisoning took care of that issue.
     
  10. Just Darren

    Just Darren Just Hatched

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    Apr 5, 2017
    did you eat that possum they make good grave or stew, Possum has very tasty meat.
     

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