Chickens wont sleep in their coop

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by vicny05, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. vicny05

    vicny05 Hatching

    Mar 17, 2017
    Hello I live in the north of England. We got 3 beautiful chickens in April 2016 who have been very happy and healthy with a great routine. We let them free range on days when we are home but can't when we are not home since a neighbours dog attack and almost killed one of them in may last year. It is very wet in winter so whilst they have been out a bit this winter it has not been as frequent as in summer. In Jan this year they suddenly stopped going into their coop at night and now sleep on top of the run inside their secured pen. I refresh the coop every Saturday with fresh straw and wood shavings and visit them every day. There are no signs of bugs inside and i use special powder to prevent bugs but we have seen holes in the earth in the pen that could be field mice as we live in the country. We close the holes up when they appear. But still the chickens wont go inside apart from when they lay which is 1 egg every day without fail. Any ideas as I'd really rather they slept inside so I know they are safer in case a fox did decide to have a try at entering the pen one night :-(

  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Have you tried putting them to bed each night, and placing on the roost? Sometimes they need a light on to get brave enough to go into a dark coop. If it was on timer, you could have it go off once they are all inside.
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under vicny05 [​IMG] Welcome!

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss [​IMG]

    I have not experienced this issue myself but I believe if chickens suddenly stop roosting in their coop and find alternative arrangements, it is because they no longer feel safe. Mites and lice, which you have mentioned, is definitely one reason and yes, rats and mice are another. As to how to fix the issue, I am not sure but you could try posting on this Forum:

    You might want to also pop in and say hello on your local thread: ‘Find your State’s thread.

    Good luck!

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.

    If you would like to share pictures and stories of your flock, you have come to the right place. BYC’ers never tire of these and do not back away slowly or commence eye rolling when the photo album or home videos come out [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  4. vicny05

    vicny05 Hatching

    Mar 17, 2017
    Hello and thanks for the reply! Yes since Jan 3rd I've been placing them in the coop every night but last weekend I decided to let them sleep outside it doesn't make me sleep easy though I just don't know why they changed their routine? :-(
  5. vicny05

    vicny05 Hatching

    Mar 17, 2017

    Many thanks!!! We were lucky when the dog attacked whilst it took an almighty chunk out of adelle (named adelle as she's a beautiful red headed chicken who clucks a lot haha) we took her to the vets got some great advice nursed and bathed her for a month with anuka honey and she pulled through and is very happy albeit not wanting to sleep inside. I do wonder if a mouse got in the coop so will check the other links you shared above to see if there's some tips. I'm really grateful thank you
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and a belated [​IMG]! Looks like Teila gave you some awesome links and advice so I'll just say best wishes and thanks for joining BYC! [​IMG]
  7. Coykoi

    Coykoi Chirping

    Sep 6, 2016
    Mine started doing the same thing, preferring the roof of the pen instead. If I coax them inside they'll stay there but the next night is the same story. I wonder if they just want to be higher? I also had one that had a run in with the dog and after her spending a couple of days and nights inside so I could tend to her wounds I put her back out. She stayed inside the coop almost the entire time but the other two roosted on top. Now that she's back up to speed and foraging around again all three are lined up on the roof. The only thing that changed with the coop was their ramp broke off and I replaced it with another ramp that has a different angle.

    I moved the coop today and fixed the ramp to be similar to the angle of the first ramp and we'll see if being placed in the coop for a few nights will re-acclimate them to the cozy coop.

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