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Chickens won't come in from the rain. (???)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by itzmesd, May 20, 2017.

  1. itzmesd

    itzmesd New Egg

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    May 20, 2017
    I'm baffled. Chickens are about 9 weeks old. We have a large metal shed with everything they need (hay bedding, roosts, ladders, food, water, nesting boxes), as well as an attached large (10x10) dog kennel for a run.

    Not only are they opting to sleep in the run in a big pile at night (vs going inside), they also stay out if it rains after dark. I just had to put my rain boots on, remove sopping wet chickens from their heap in a mud puddle, and hand carry them into the coop in the dark. Any idea why they won't seek shelter? They DO go into the coop if it rains in the daytime. And they always pile up in the same spot - by the gate that opens out into the yard.

    Thanks, everyone! :)
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  2. Jrobinsonmtplus3

    Jrobinsonmtplus3 Out Of The Brooder

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    my first guess would be a nocturnal predator that is too close for their comfort.... But I am a total newbie.
     
  3. Fairview01

    Fairview01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're getting wet and you're not. Don't see a proble here, lol

    put a light in the coop near the entrance set to go on like 15 inutes before they dog pile each other and for 15 minutes after it get dark. 7watt bulb will be enough. polarized manual on/off timer is about $3 at HD.
     
    biophiliac and centrarchid like this.
  4. itzmesd

    itzmesd New Egg

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    Thanks for both suggestions. Been wondering if a light would help. As for a nocturnal animal bothering them, I'm betting there is a mouse in the coop. Are chickens generally afraid of mice?
     
  5. Fairview01

    Fairview01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens eat mice.
     
    zoey2015 and biophiliac like this.
  6. biophiliac

    biophiliac Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    If they are only nine weeks, they probably need you to train them by taking them in at dark and putting them on the roost. Once it's dark I don't think they will go back out. Just a few days and they will be trained. Good Luck :D (and especially if they are your only chickens, no older ones to follow or if they are timid of the existing flock)
     
  7. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    A little dim light like mentioned on for a little while and if needed--You place them inside a night or two----they will get the idea. When transferring them to the coop from the brooder the first time---I place mine in the Coop area just after dark with this dim light on(mine stays on 2 hours). The next day I let them decide when they want to go into the run area----then that evening when the little light comes on just before dark they always put theirself back into the coop. After a few nights, you can remove the light. Good Luck
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
    biophiliac likes this.
  8. Eckielady

    Eckielady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is this a new thing or have they never gone in on their own? If they're new in that run you need to train them to go in at night. I think babies are so busy running around they don't know it's getting dark. By the time the sun goes down they just huddle together and sleep. I wouldn't let them do that at night. Especially in the rain. We just moved our 7 week olds to the coop and every night I go out and move them in. Someday they'll surprise me and do it on their own.
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  9. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Are you using a dim light at first dark. I deal with 100's some times----that will wear you out having to roost that many. I use a smallest bulb on a timer(actually a flash light bulb hooked to a battery on a timer--only solar/battery there)---once it gets dark---the light inside the coop draws them in.
     
  10. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You said metal shed. Do you have adequate ventilation? Metal sheds can get pretty hot and stuffy.
     

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