Chickens stopped sleeping in coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by docjenn, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. docjenn

    docjenn New Egg

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    Jun 28, 2012
    I've had my chickens for 3 years now, 2 of them. The last couple months, the chickens started bedding down for the night on my deck instead of in their coop. I've cleaned it out several times, no mites or anything else I can tell. How do I get them to go to bed at night? I'm tired of carrying them to their coop every night.

    Thanks,
    Jenn
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Is there an outside light on your deck that you can turn off? Maybe that's why they're attracted to the deck...because the light's on.
     
  3. docjenn

    docjenn New Egg

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    They actually settle down before it is even dark (7-8 pm), but it doesn't seem to matter if the light is on or off, although it is mostly off. I'm thinking I need to retrain them by locking them up for a week, I normally let them free range my backyard, but they are so annoying in the morning when I don't let them out....
     
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    That's a good idea. That's what I do for chicks, so maybe they just need a refresher..... Hope it works for you!
     
  5. BigECarter

    BigECarter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aren't there some mites that only come out at night? I would treat the roost board just to be safe. Also, is there adequate ventilation in the coop?
     
  6. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    I would spray/dust for mites just in case. Also, whats the temperature in your coop right now? Maybe it's a tad too toasty for them and they just want some air.
     
  7. mightymax

    mightymax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Red mites (also called poultry mites or chicken mites) are the tenacious little buggers that come out only at night. They live, breed and lay their eggs in deep cracks and crevices in and around your chicken's coop, so you'll very rarely, if ever, actually 'see' them on your chickens unless you check them at night. To do this, hold your chicken over a couple of white paper towels and brush the feathers backwards. This should be enough to shake the mites loose and cause them to land on the towels below. Red mites are small and relatively slow moving and can range in color from a light grey to a reddish-brown. They turn red after they've eaten the blood from your chickens. If you find you have these, you'll most definitely have to clean and re-treat the whole coop and your chickens at least one more time.
     
  8. mightymax

    mightymax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh...BTW...occasionally it will still be in the low to mid 70's here when I go out to shut them in their coop for the night. So sometimes I'll find a few of them roosting on the railing of my back porch. So if it has been warmer where you live lately, I wouldn't be surprised if they're wanting to sleep outside.
     
  9. Hermes

    Hermes New Egg

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    I had this issue before and I currently have it again.
    Both times it had to do with brooding.
    The first time, one of my hens decide to brood her "imaginary" eggs and she started sitting under our table on the balcony on the backyard. The other hens, for reasons unknown to me so far, decided to keep her company. The rooster who was feeling that he should protect the coop was sitting above the table.... (Imagine that...) At first, I thought that this behavior was due to the summer heat so I wasn't worried. This was happening only during the day for the first couple of days. Though, surprisingly enough, two nights after, when I went to the kitchen to lock the door (around 2:00 am) I found them all on the same position... over and under the table!!!! (The door coop is like a "dog-door" in order our chickens to be able to push it and go outside whenever they want to do so, as from time to time we had hens who liked to wake up too early for my taste...!!!)
    We carried them all back one by one and the morning, once again we found them on the same position.... We cleaned them one by one, we cleaned the coop, we sterilized the coop, we even built a brand new coop.... nothing... they preferred our table regardless what we did... Finally, we "located" the hen who started all these and we moved her in our bedroom. The other hens and our rooster, then were back to the coop, but our broody one was like a prisoner on Alcatraz!!!!
    Then, we finally found a doctor who could visit us at home and he was explained to us what happened. We kept the broody hen separately and when the broody period was ended everything came back to normal.
    Few days ago we noticed the exact same behavior with another hen... Thankfully now we know what is!!! The problem though is that now we have only this hen and a little rooster, so we can't isolate her, as our rooster is feeling already lonely due to brooding. If we remove her and he will not see it at all, I think he will be even sadder... So we leave her at her new nest (for some strange reason, she too is sitting under the table... maybe our table inspires brooding and we should change table instead to change coop!!!) and we carry both at their coop at night.
    So for the moment the only thing that we can do is to wait Cosette to stop brooding and keep Hermes amused until then!!!
    I don't know if this is your case, but I think our story proves that chickens are more clever and independent than we think, so my advise is to watch their behavior during the day. This way you may understand better why they don't like their coop lately...
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  10. Cheepies27

    Cheepies27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Four of mine have been doing this recently too! I've tried cleaning my coop and all of that and the only thing I can think of is it started shortly after my two older hens started laying and the four younger ones now sleep on top of the couch instead of in it I have to put them in every night, so I'm wondering if that's the issue my two dominant ones are kicking them out
     

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