Chickens won't sleep in the coop!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nanny Linn, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Nanny Linn

    Nanny Linn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2011
    Hello fellow chicken lovers,
    My 6 month old chickens have decided that roosting in their pen is preferable to their coop. The weather has been rainy and cold (they're protected from rain), but they won't go in their coop! I have one big Light Brahma that roosts at the top of the ramp. At first I thought she might be keeping the other 4 from entering. I watched for awhile and even when she leaves they still remain on the outside perch. This morning (4:30) I peeked out and saw that they were ALL sleeping in the sand in the pen! They still go in to lay their eggs. Any ideas? I was thinking of just taking that particular perch down, hoping that they'd find the only roost in the coop.
     
  2. gram of five

    gram of five Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2011
    I am new to keeping chickens, but here is my take. We have 16 hens and 3 roosters (rir, auracanas, silkies and barred rocks). Most are bred for cold weather. For most of the winter they have all been sleeping out in a sheltered run. The run has a straw "igloo" that protects them from rain and wind, the weather here in NY has been relatively mild this year, but even when it was at zero this year, most slept outside. I worried at first, but then figured, that is their decision to stay outside. Some do go in at night, some stay out. I would feel worse if I were to get them all in each night and close them in. I think they are all pretty hardy and just like the freedom and fresh air. Just me and my opinion. If you do a search here on byc you will find lots of different opinions. Good luck with your chicks.
     
  3. Nanny Linn

    Nanny Linn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2011
    Thank you. I suppose I just wanted someone to tell me that it's not entirely unusual. You're right, it is certainly their choice.
     
  4. Two Dog Farm

    Two Dog Farm New Egg

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    Mar 7, 2010
    Last month I had the same problem with my young Barred Rocks. They are in a huge chain-link dog pen with an extra large dog house for shelter. At night they would gather in a corner of the pen instead of getting into the dog house. I was afraid a raccoon would reach through the fencing and claw them. They resisted my attempts at confining them in the dog house. I finally hung a flashlight near the ceiling of the dog house, and they voluntarily went inside at dusk. After about a week of going out late afternoons and turning on the flashlight, they now enter the dog house on their own with no light inside.
     
  5. Nanny Linn

    Nanny Linn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2011
    Thanks. We have had a red floresent bulb in their coop since we got rid of the heat lamp. I like to be able to see them at night. Maybe I'll try taking it away!
     
  6. sunnyvista50

    sunnyvista50 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2012
    Hi! I'm having a simliar situation with my little flock. One young rooster, Merle, wh I've posted about before when he got sick, and three "lady friends". We had a 6 yr old hen free ranging in our neighborhood till last week when we caught her be Use a neighbor put down rat poison which killed her mother and sickened a friends dog. Since her arrival in the pen, the entire clam has started sleeping outside the coop like she does. She's never been indoors. We worry because its gone down to 37 lately. We physically put them in and they bolt right out. The pen is covered by a large tarp to keep rain out, but we still worry.
     
  7. hamnermitch

    hamnermitch Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    I have the same problem with my hens. I have nine black australorps that are about three months old. They absolutely will not go into the coop at all. I think my ramp up may be too steep so I plan to change that soon. I have put them up at night and they just come right back out. They all pile up in a big ball underneath the coop. I worried about them getting too cold but they seem to be quite content. It has gotten down in the high teens and they seem to do just fine. I have kind of given up on making them go in but I worry about when they start laying. I guess nature will take its course??? I don't know what else to do. Scratching my head!!!
     

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