Chickens Suddenly NOT going in coop before automatic door closes


In the Brooder
Jun 11, 2015
Over a month ago we installed an automatic door which I hesitated to get, fearing that a chicken or two would get left out in the run. Our run is 100% predator proof with 1/4" hardware cloth from top to bottom so I'm not worried about anything happening to them, I just prefer they sleep in the coop out of the cold and rain, at least during the winter. At first it was great and all chickens were going in on time but for the last two nights they've stayed out in the run and I've had to put them in the coop one at a time. The only thing I can think of is a couple weeks ago we put a roost out in the run thinking that might be nice for them during the day. Well this is where they've been the last two nights, ugh. Something else I should mention is we're using lights this winter in hopes of keeping egg production thru the shorter days. Our girls are only 19 weeks so we don't have eggs yet but hope to soon. I have the lights going on at 4am and off at 6pm. The door was also closing at 6pm also which wasn't an issue at first because they were going in the coop around 5pm'ish. Just in case, I changed the lights to shut off at 5:45pm for tonight but that didn't work. Probably because it's too dark. Any suggestion?


8 Years
Apr 6, 2014
Melrose Park Illinois
Remove the roosts in the run temporarily, and see if the girls go into coop. If they feel comfortable in run on roost there. ( chicken thinking:: why leave, It's fine here.)
Second thought. If they are not laying yet, there is no advantage of adding light at this stage. Added light does help hens already laying. The time of year and colder weather also decreases egg production also.


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Light can help pullets coming into point of lay during winter.

But having light come on earlier in morning and not having it on at dusk,
can help them go to roost with the natural sunset.

Is roost in run higher than roost in coop?
Either remove the run roost or lower it to lower than coop roost.

How big is your coop(feet by feet) and how many birds do you have?
Pics would help.

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