Chickens sleeping ON the coop, not IN it

pieville

Chirping
Apr 8, 2018
23
21
61
Moorestown, NJ
I added 6 new chickens this year, they’re 8 months old. From the time I integrated them in with my older 4 chickens, they’ve chosen to sleep on top of the coop. There’s plenty of room for them inside & when they’re outside they all play together. I’m worried now that winter is coming that they won’t move inside at night. I’m in South Jersey, nights can drop to teens and below, & we’ve gotten lots of snow the past couple winters.

Can they survive out there on the roof? Has anyone else had nutty birds do this? There’s no way I can catch them & corral them in the evening - they’re too fast for me.

Four are golden sexlinks, two are Wyandotte’s, if that matters.
 
Nov 5, 2018
788
1,482
237
Birmingham UK
Go out after dark if possible and move them inside the coop while they are sleeping. They will be easier to manoeuvre then. You might have to do this for a few days but after a few mornings waking up inside the coop they should get the hang if it. I would not leave them to sleep outside the coop.

I would question though if there is any bullying from the older hens or if there are space issues. I have a newer pullet who seems well integrated with my older birds during the day but when it comes to bed time and she joins them on the roost they peck her mercilessly!
 

L1sa

Songster
Jan 25, 2017
432
1,001
211
South Australia
I've very often had to 'put birds to bed' when they won't go in, sometimes for weeks until they get the idea!

Going to bed is a big deal for chickens and this is where the pecking order has a big part to play. Top dog has the privilege of entering the coop first, therefore usually Roosters will go in first, followed by top hen, then if you watch, the entire pecking order will be played out infront of you. And any hen that tries to go to bed out of order will be told in no uncertain terms that she has to wait for her position. I guess some hens find it much easier and far less traumatic to find somewhere else to sleep! Don't think I blame them really!

My poor 7 week old chicks have to wait until it is almost dark until they're 'allowed' in, they all huddle together outside swaying with fatigue until one of them tries it again and again and then they all go in en masse.
 

pieville

Chirping
Apr 8, 2018
23
21
61
Moorestown, NJ
I will try putting them in after bedtime, there’s no way I can run them down while they’re wide awake. IDK what goes on in the coop after bedtime - what happens in the coop stays in the coop. The Wyandotte’s were staying in there at the beginning, but quickly followed the lead of the sexlinks & started sleeping on the roof. I’m away for the weekend, can send photos later.
 

adstowe

Songster
Aug 8, 2016
387
518
181
Colorado
Size of coop? Number and length of roosts? Also lay out of roosts. I could be as simple as adding another roost, but we need to know what your set up is now.
 

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