Chickens won’t use coop right

PappaAlfredo

Hatching
Aug 20, 2019
1
3
7
My two Americana hens roost on top of their coop instead of inside their coop. Ever since I introduced them to the coop they refuse to return to the inside and nest at night.
At first I’d come outside and pick them up one by one from the roof to put them in the coop. But lately I have given up trying that because it didn’t seem to help them know where to go. I’ve tried putting food in the coop to lure them in but that doesn’t work either.
They haven’t started laying yet but they’re almost there. I would rather not search the yard for their eggs instead of the nesting boxes I built them.
I don’t have to worry about predators now because of where I live but soon I’ll be moving to a wooded property. I’d like to fix this roosting habit before the move.
 

ValerieJ

Pampered Peepers Farm
Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,882
58,808
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Washington State
Did you name them Snoopy and Woodstock?:lau

On a serious note, I had to RIR's that slept in an apple tree for a couple years. They went into the coop to lay their eggs when the time came, so that was not an issue. The issue I had was that one of them made quite the big deal out of the whole thing and attracted the golden eagle. Well, after she was plucked off the tree, Rosie never went up there again. I'm saying this because that is not the way to teach them, and you're right, you need to break them of the habit. Perhaps clipping their wings will help.

Here is Little Red Haired Girl giving the daily benediction. I've posted this before, but I just thought she was so darned cute...until it wasn't cute anymore. :(
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
11,707
21,652
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Photos of your coop? There's probably something they don't like about it and they're showing you that by not wanting to go in.

Personally I'd rehome them to the coop by locking them inside for a few days but that will only work if there's sufficient space and moderate enough temperatures to do so safely.

Also you mentioned "nesting at night" - they should not be encouraged to nest at night, but rather to use roost bars. If you haven't provided roosts that they like, that may be another reason they won't spend the night inside.
 

21hens-incharge

Slightly nuts
6 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,293
83,426
1,542
Northern Colorado
Photos of your coop? There's probably something they don't like about it and they're showing you that by not wanting to go in.

Personally I'd rehome them to the coop by locking them inside for a few days but that will only work if there's sufficient space and moderate enough temperatures to do so safely.

Also you mentioned "nesting at night" - they should not be encouraged to nest at night, but rather to use roost bars. If you haven't provided roosts that they like, that may be another reason they won't spend the night inside.
∆∆ This ∆∆

And measurements of the coop.
How many birds?
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,383
602
Idaho
Mine won't go in if wasps have snuck in, theres a snake, or they just plain don't like what it offers for them, but the only ones I ever had on top of anything at night was the roosters keeping an eye on threats to their hens, because the hens didn't like the fancy insulated coop, even in -30 they would not go in it, they chose a open horse stall. the only thing they would use the insulated coop for was when they wanted to brood. the crappy well ventilated one I hobbled together my current flock loves, has a ladder and perch on one side, and they took over the other side too for winter laying and if they want to brood, them girls tossed out the tools I had built the other side for lol
 

goldysgirl

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2010
367
769
252
Photos of your coop? There's probably something they don't like about it and they're showing you that by not wanting to go in.

Personally I'd rehome them to the coop by locking them inside for a few days but that will only work if there's sufficient space and moderate enough temperatures to do so safely.

Also you mentioned "nesting at night" - they should not be encouraged to nest at night, but rather to use roost bars. If you haven't provided roosts that they like, that may be another reason they won't spend the night inside.
Yep, locking them in may do the trick. I would do it for a week or two to try to break the habit. I have done that when transferring birds to a new coop and it usually works. Sometimes I have to return them to the coop at night, but never for longer than a week after first letting them range.
 

goldysgirl

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2010
367
769
252
Mine won't go in if wasps have snuck in, theres a snake, or they just plain don't like what it offers for them, but the only ones I ever had on top of anything at night was the roosters keeping an eye on threats to their hens, because the hens didn't like the fancy insulated coop, even in -30 they would not go in it, they chose a open horse stall. the only thing they would use the insulated coop for was when they wanted to brood. the crappy well ventilated one I hobbled together my current flock loves, has a ladder and perch on one side, and they took over the other side too for winter laying and if they want to brood, them girls tossed out the tools I had built the other side for lol
Yep, I had a roo once that wouldn't go in his house for about a week. Then I looked inside and there was an opposum in there. I think I had been shutting him in with it every night! It wasn't a huge opposum, but big enough to not be a good roomate haha!
 

ValerieJ

Pampered Peepers Farm
Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,882
58,808
1,207
Washington State
Yep, I had a roo once that wouldn't go in his house for about a week. Then I looked inside and there was an opposum in there. I think I had been shutting him in with it every night! It wasn't a huge opposum, but big enough to not be a good roomate haha!
Ah poor rooster. So glad the opossum didn't attack him!
 

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