Chickens won't roost at dark

Angry Perch

In the Brooder
Nov 9, 2018
3
14
21
I have 5 hens around 12 weeks old. They've been in the coop/ run for a few weeks. They will move from the run to the coop at/ before dark, but won't get on the roost. I go out after dark, open the door, and shine a flashlight up to light the roost, and one by one they jump up, and stay for the night. Should I keep doing this (or something else) or just let them figure it out?
Thanks
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
5,017
9,186
621
Connecticut, USA
A nightlight in their coop so they can see to get on the roost. Shut off the light when you lockup.
If you don't have electricity in the coop, a battery operated light will work. Turn on an hour before sunset.
I have one in my coop, (in case the power goes out) that I got at a grocery store in the light bulb isle. It looks like a wall switch. It comes with sticky tape to hang it and screws. I screwed it to a beam next to the people door. I can lift up to remove and change the batteries. I also have a couple in my house in case the power goes out. GC
 

starri33

Crowing
Feb 28, 2016
1,404
4,094
407
Golden Valley AZ
Thanks for the question and the answers so far, I live in the desert and when there is no moon, it will be blacker than black, I'm in the process of building a new coop, would lighting you think be needed? Mine have perches in their old coop and seemed to do ok with it.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,173
28,989
1,002
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Thanks for the question and the answers so far, I live in the desert and when there is no moon, it will be blacker than black, I'm in the process of building a new coop, would lighting you think be needed? Mine have perches in their old coop and seemed to do ok with it.

It's fine if it's pitch black in the middle of the night. It just makes things a lot easier IMO to have windows that can catch the fading light at dusk, so that lighting the coop won't be necessary.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,064
125,833
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Windows are good and important for many reasons...
...but with young birds that light at dusk can really help.
I have used a battery operated puck light to lure them in as GC raptor describes.
Should only take a few nights......or more..some catch on quick, others not so much.
Have had one batch of chicks get it after one night, other batches took a couple weeks.
 

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