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Chickens refuse to go into coop, stay in run

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jschultheiss, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. jschultheiss

    jschultheiss New Egg

    Jan 11, 2013
    I have read several threads regarding chickens refusing to go into the coop at night. I have a coop with a 6 foot run included, that extends below the actual coop. The chickens have been in the coop for 2 months now, however they refuse to get in the actual coop section, they stay in the run, usually below the coop. They are safe being in the run section, as it is secure from predators, but they have NEVER gone into the actual coop. This worries me as they will be laying eggs in October/November and their nesting boxes are in the coop. Why would they never go into the coop, instead preferring to stay in the run?
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  2. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    I would physically set them in the coop one by one after dark. Eventually they will get it and go in there on their own. It may take a while depending how stubborn your flock is.

    I've had to kick mine out of the coop and into the run the last 3 due to the heat! My flock is pretty cranky over the switch. My run is pretty secure also with two strong wires both buried in the ground. I also have roosts in my run too.

    The only time I had issues with egg laying is constant free ranging. They start making their own nests outside the coop.:/

    You can put fake eggs or golf balls in the nest boxes and they will see that's where they are suppose to lay. I did this when I got my first flock.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  3. jschultheiss

    jschultheiss New Egg

    Jan 11, 2013
    Thank you so much! I will give it a try. I am from Texas, so the heat may be why they are choosing to stay under the coop instead of in it. We have had a few unseasonably cool evenings, so I had hoped they were spending the night in the coop. Looking inside it looks untouched. I really thank you for the pointers...these are my first chickens. They do free-range all day, so I will try to get them use to the nesting boxes before they start laying eggs.
  4. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    Treat them to Happy Hen Treat (freeze dried mealworms) in the coop. First feed it to them (treat), it won't take long they'll do anything for that treat. Then condition them with the shaking of the container, soon all you need to do is shake that container and they will come running. HHT is my training/taming tool, works great. My 6 pack know it's bedtime and usually hanging around the coop waiting, they are in before I get a chance to open the container. They are fun...

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