Chickens won't go inside and stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dammlm, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. dammlm

    dammlm New Egg

    Oct 6, 2010
    Hello, I have a flock of 17 hens and 1 rooster. The have a very nice coop with ample floor and roost space, but the silly chickens will not go inside at night to roost. They all stay out in thier fenced-in yard and roost on the roots of a big tree. Two or three sometimes sleep inside but when they do, it in a nest box. Also, I should add that I live in Alaska and it is starting to get cold here at night, into the low 30's. Am I correct to assume that they know what they are doing and will go inside when it gets colder?

    Another question, they have also all but stopped laying. I know that the dimishing daylight hours have a lot to do with that but they never go inside except for eating and drinking so having the light on inside the coop doesn't seem to be doing any good. My husband is now installing and outside light to light up their yard. Might that help?

    Thanks in advance for any answers to these questions.

  2. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    i think in order to teach them to go in on their own and roost in there you might have to lock them in for a few days. Once they know and find their spots in the coop they will likely stop roosting in the tree at night. Anyhow that is what I would do if I was in your shoes, but someone else on here with more experience could possibly give you a better solution hopefully.
  3. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    Quote:I agree. You might try throwing some of their favorite treats in there, then shut the door for the night. They will eventually get the hang of it. Good luck.
  4. Noodle

    Noodle New Egg

    Aug 27, 2010
    I'm having the EXACT same problem! I have Speckled Sussex hens and they're supposed to be quite cold hardy and will lay even in the winter. but they've stopped laying this week and its only October [​IMG]

    I was thinking that maybe if I could get them to sleep inside the coop they might be less cold stressed and then start laying again.

    I wish you luck! Let me know if you figure anything out and if adding the light works for you!
  5. alaskachick

    alaskachick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Wasilla, Alaska
    I would try making what is so comfortable to them uncomfortable. Can you put things on top of the tree roots like old cans, bottles, etc. to make them want to look for other sleeping quarters. They will probably get more interested to see where the other 3 chickens are sleeping. Just make sure what ever you put in place that they cannot roost... sharp edges and jagged would be good. It will be a temporary eye sore until your hens have learned to go inside.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Check and make sure that the coop is not infested with red mites. Possibly the mites were feeding on them when they roosted inside. Check crevices, cracks- move the roost. They hide during the day and come out to feed at night just like their larger cousins-bedbugs.

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