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Chickens up all hours of the night... help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kaylee gee, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. kaylee gee

    kaylee gee Chirping

    Jul 5, 2012
    Lehigh Acres, FL
    I wake up early in the morning (not always by choice since i have two small children) and am mot able to stay up very late (usually Im in bed by 9pm). I have 9 RIR "teens" who are about 15 weeks old (5 roos and 4 pullets). Normally i would go out and do a head count and lock up the two coops just after dark, no later than 7:30pm. For the last few weeks though, every time i go out to lock them up every single RIR dashes out of the coop. I cant chase and catch them every single night so i just go back insode amd wait about an hour. Rinse and repeat about 3 or 4 times. Its gotten to where i have my husband lock them up when he gets home at 3am. I dont know what to do. I would hate to have to sell the buggers but this is stressing me out. My other chickens have no problems being in their coop as soon as its dark enough to be called dusk.

    The RIR though all run out and eat and drink like they havnt all day. I tried putting food and water in the coop but nothing changed. Help?!

  2. kaylee gee

    kaylee gee Chirping

    Jul 5, 2012
    Lehigh Acres, FL
    And now one roo is missing :/ i just went out to lock them up and there are only 8.
  3. Gittx

    Gittx Chirping

    Jul 3, 2012
    Edom, Texas
    I really don't know, but when I first put some young Plymouth Rocks, they just grouped in a corner of the run instead of using the coop. I put a light in the coop, and they all piled inside. I still keep it on at night, just in case since it's been cold at night. It's Really hard to know what chickens could be thinking, but maybe that would be worth a try for you.
  4. TennesseeChicken

    TennesseeChicken Songster

    Mar 26, 2011
    Ethridge, TN
    Hmmmm- at 15 wks they should be roosting on their own. I know I have had to go and put the chicks on their roost at times. Have you checked out the coop and made sure nothing is in there that would make them not go in? I have had that happen a few times...everyone outside at closing time and all are outside squawking! But, I go in there, check it out and, nothing there, no snake, nothing. Then they all filed in, hopped up on their roosts and all was good. We also have a decoy hawk and owl on the top of our egg mobile, to try to keep those predators away. One time one of the roosts collapsed after the Hubs and I installed them..LOL Noone hurt. It was Poultry Pandemonium, I tell ya!

    Do you have a fence around your coop? Even though ours are 'locked up' for the evening, I still have one of those electric fences (that isn't hooked up) around it for 'extra security'. LOL When I open it they all know how to get in and out for free ranging.

    Hope you find out what's going on! Keep us posted! Sorry about the Roo...maybe he's just hiding out. A good Roo lost is not good!!! Thought I lost a hen last year; when I went to open the egg-mobile the next morning, she came out from underneath! I was very relieved!! I'll have to post a pic of our egg-mobile--it's a converted old camping trailer. Chickens love it!
  5. aggiemae

    aggiemae Songster

    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    Some hens don't sleep through the night until they start laying, when they were pullets ours spend hours arranging themselves on the roost!

    Do the recognize the sound of you coming with a treat? My hens will follow me anywhere if I am shaking a can of sunflower seeds. One they follow you put a yummy treat into the coop ( my hens will do just about anything for a scrambled eggs mixed with rolled oats and pumpkin). Hens make a happy sound when they are chomping down on a good snack that should bring the other hens running. Then you can shut them in. It shouldn't take more that two or three days for them to follow you with a shaking can even if you don't feed then every time.

    That all being said...I have a Hen (Wellsummer) who will stay out after dark and then try to smash she way in through the top of the nest box. Now our kids stick their heads in the coop door and count the hens using a flashlight right after dark... I don't fit so have to open the clean out door to count.

    BTW, I think there is a pretty good chance that your roo is hunkered down somewhere. and I bet he will be in the coop by nightfall from now on!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013

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