chickens won't go in coop at night

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lovelandjakes, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. lovelandjakes

    lovelandjakes New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Jul 15, 2010
    Hi!

    This is our first time raising chickens - they live free-range in our back yard and have a lovely A-frame coop. For a long time (after they were old enough to be outside, of course), they would go in the coop when it started to get dark outside, and all we had to do was lock them in there. Lately, however, they have started to roost in a tree rather than returning to the coop. This leads to us getting them out of the tree, then running around and chasing them until they go in the coop. It makes for a comical evening, but we're getting tired of it. Is there something we are doing wrong? How can we encourage them to go to the coop in the evenings?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide,
    Lori
     
  2. helloroe

    helloroe Chillin' With My Peeps

    215
    3
    111
    Jul 16, 2009
    Cetral FL
    First of all...Welcome

    With the recent heat my babies hate going into the nursery coop at night. I realized it was too hot and not enough air flow. So I fixed that with fans and they returned.

    Usually chickens wont go where they do not feel safe, have you noticed any predators marks of trying to enter?

    Not sure if either of these ideas helps but starting points.
     
  3. lovelandjakes

    lovelandjakes New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Jul 15, 2010
    Yes, actually -- we've had a fox trying to dig into the coop. He is so bold and comes between 5:30 and 6:00 am, when it is already light out. We are planning to replace the chicken wire on the coop with hardware cloth (thanks to some advice in this site) - -- - any other ideas?

    Thanks!
    Lori
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    23,677
    1,641
    476
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC! You'll have to lock them in the coop for a few days and provide them treats,(bribery) do this each day they are locked in the coop at the same time in the evenings. Then when they free range and they see you bringing treats to the coop, they'll come running...problem solved.
     
  5. lovelandjakes

    lovelandjakes New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Jul 15, 2010
    Great idea! Can't wait to implement this solution. I'll keep you posted in the next several days. :)
    Lori
    P.S. We are in love with our chickens. We even got our first egg this week! Yay!
     
  6. HeidiG

    HeidiG Out Of The Brooder

    27
    0
    22
    Apr 12, 2010
    Hampton, VA
    There's something they don't like about the coop. Have you changed anything? New bedding material, new nesting box, etc?

    Or... like another poster said, it's too hot in there for them. Put a thermometer in and see what the temps are when it's time for them to go in at night.

    Hardware cloth is definitely the way to go for keeping out predators. Make sure you bury it in the ground all the way around so nothing digs under it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by