Chickens sleeping on the roof

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by madibhai, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. madibhai

    madibhai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2012
    I live in NY. Long Island NY.

    I have a small chicken coop.

    I have the coop that I bought on Ebay enclosed with a huge run.

    So the coop is within the run area. It is completely enclosed by chicken wire, roof and everything.

    The problem is that all of a sudden my chickens who have just begun to lay eggs ( they aren't laying in the nest boxes but in the chicken coop itself on the floor)

    Now out of the blue they have begun to sleep on the roof of the chicken coop.

    I have read online that others have had the same problem. The others were concerned due to the chickens being eaten by racoons or foxes. That isn't an issue for me as the coop is enclosed.

    But what about the fact that they are sleeping out in the open in the elements? Last night it snowed and they were sleeping on the roof. A few times we have put them back in to the coop but they still like to sleep on top of the roof.

    Today i put on some metal sheeting so that they can't grip the roof and i hope that they are going to go back to sleeping in the coop.

    Any advice? is it safe for them to sleep out in the open? Wouldn't it be an issue of nature knowing what to do and the chickens would be sleeping outside only if they can handle it and then sleep inside the coop when it gets too cold for them or do they need help?
  2. BullChick

    BullChick Not who you think Premium Member

    Apr 17, 2012
    Coffee shop
    If this is a new thing, it is what they want. No worries on that front. The concern is that you said chicken wire. Not hardware cloth. Raccoons reach through one inch chicken wire, grab the chicken, and eat it through the wire. Weasels slip right through the holes.
    If it is chicken wire you are using, put them inside.
  3. madibhai

    madibhai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2012
    the chicken wire is very strong the one that i am using and i have had the coop for almost a year now.

    no issues.

    but what about the cold? what about the fact that they are sleeping in such cold weather outside in the elements?
  4. chicken dude

    chicken dude Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 26, 2012
    I had the same problem with my chickens when I first got them. I would let them out of the house during the day to free range and I would leave the door open. Every night I would go outside and put them back in the house. After a few weeks of doing this it was like they got it. They just started going inside the house on their own.
  5. BullChick

    BullChick Not who you think Premium Member

    Apr 17, 2012
    Coffee shop
    They will go in if they are cold. You said it is a new thing, so they know they are "supposed" to go in. Unlike new birds that have not figured it out yet.
  6. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    They feel safe up high, and that's why they prefer to perch. My layers (soon to be visiting freezer camp) only have a "tent" to roost on, but they sleep in the old, banged up dog igloo, that I've bedded and keep clean bc it's something above 10 F at night now, and 7 warm, fluffy bodies are a lot warmer. RE: where they lay, you're gonna need to get some golf balls and "train" them to lay in the next boxes. I don't free range my birds for many reasons, and one of them is that the hens will lay where they please, and you won't find some of their eggs until they rot.
  7. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Could be, not seeing your setup as far as number of birds, size of coop ect, that they don't like the quality of the air in the coop and choose to sleep outside where all the fresh air is. Maybe take a look at the ventilation of your coop. Is it damp or frosty inside on cold mornings? If it is, you are going to have to open it up more, to get better air exchange.
  8. CluckAcres

    CluckAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2012
    Silver Lake, Indiana
    I had the same problem with my chickens sleeping on the roof and I even had the metal. They would get on the peak and sit there. I would have to go out every night and put them back in and it was a pain because i had to use a ladder. lol They eventually got the idea that I didnt want them sleeping on the roof. If they use to go inside and just now started staying out then it also could be that they feel crowded or unsafe in the coop. I not saying this is your problem because I dont know how many chickens you have or if they are picking on each other. Sorry this post might not help you but I had the same problem so i figured i would share.

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