Chickens want to sleep outside

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LauraP, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. LauraP

    LauraP Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 29, 2009
    High Rock Lake, NC
    Hello all.[​IMG]

    My 3 australorp hens have slept on the roost in their coop since they moved outside as chicks. They are about 6 1/2 months old now.

    Suddenly, for the past week, every night when we go out to shut the chicken door between their run and henhouse, they are not inside like they used to be. Instead they are on the roost that is in the run. I can't figure out why! They have plenty of room in there, the poop board stays clean enough, and the roosts are at about the same height. Since it's been cold at night I've been leaving their window closed more, (They still have ventilation at the top of the henhouse) So I tried leaving their window open, in case they were staying out because they liked the cool air. They still didn't go in. They also do not seem afraid to go in at all during the day. They lay their eggs in their usual places, and come and go in and out throughout the day, so I do not think it's a predator problem.

    I'm getting tired of having to move full grown chickens into the coop every night! [​IMG] Any suggestions?
  2. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Get rid of the outdoor roost in the run. It's the only way you'll get them to go back inside.
  3. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have six black australorps. Twice I have had one sit on top of the coup and not in it, but I moved it in and then next night it went inside the coup. Of course, it is was plenty warm outside here when they did that, so I assume they liked the breeze and extra space. It does sound like yours like the open air over the closed windows. Good luck sorting it all out.
  4. LauraP

    LauraP Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 29, 2009
    High Rock Lake, NC
    I should have also mentioned that it gets down to the mid 30's a lot of nights now. If they do like the open air better, is it safe to leave their window open once they do go in? (Again, I am referring to a large window from floor to ceiling in the coop. They do have other ventilation at the top of the coop.)
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Agreed. No matter how well built a run is, it can't be as safe as a well built coop. Remove the outside roost. If you want to leave the windows open (I do until it gets lower than 40 degrees at night), it would be a good idea to cover the windows in hardware cloth in addtion to the screen.
  6. LauraP

    LauraP Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 29, 2009
    High Rock Lake, NC
    Agreed. No matter how well built a run is, it can't be as safe as a well built coop.

    I agree. They aren't allowed to stay out on the roost in the run at night. I never had problems with them wanting to until last week. They have always moved indoors at night, although they enjoy the outdoor roost in the daytime. All week I have been moving them inside myself after dark.​
  7. 25bengood2me

    25bengood2me Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2009
    Ohio ~ Mid-Ohio Valley
    My lil' hen is adamant about NOT being cooped up in a run or pen. She roosts in a pine tree behind the pen. Her perch is 20 feet off the ground. she's only 4 +1/2 months now. No eggs, I believe she stayed a virgin- even tho we locked her in the pen with a 2yo roo for a few days.
  8. thechickmagnet

    thechickmagnet New Egg

    Nov 1, 2010
    I have two chickens that I have been introducing to my flock of 8. I put the two in the coop when it got dark and the night was smooth. In the morning it was better than I anticipated, but a couple of the other chickens do peck a bit at the new two.
    During the day when they roam free in the backyard they are fine.
    At night the two that I am trying to introduce come to the back porch and roost on the patio chairs.

    My question is, should I leave them on the patio chairs or pick them up and take them to the coop with the rest of the girls! Will they ever go to the coop?

  9. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    My roo tries to sleep outside now and then. He goes through phases...maybe he likes to stay out when its that time of the month? I don't know....his ladies pick on him a lot. It seems as tho he stays out when their picking is more aggressive. I just shove him back in and eventually he will go in on his own, but then forgets again a few weeks later and I have to put him back in at night. He's also not the brightest bulb in the chandelier....
  10. Shiloh Acres

    Shiloh Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2010
    I always insist that mine sleep in the coop. We've gone through phases where they want to roost in the trees, but with owls, raccoons, bobcats, and who knows what-all, I don't allow it.

    It's "time" to go in before dark, so I go out and lock them up. If anyone tries to stay out I fuss at them and make them go in. At times I've had an overzealous roo chase others out, and it makes them not want to go in, but there is more than enough room and they are far safer in there.

    They will learn where they are to sleep (poster with new birds) but anyone can have chickens that decide not to go in after they already know too.

    I used to let broodies stay on nests at the old place -- no predators. But here nobody gets to sleep out of the coop, and I always try to make sure any cracks, knotholes, or ventilation areas are covered with hardware cloth. Weasels are tiny and can wipe out a flock overnight.

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