Chickens won't sleep in their coop

pattir612

In the Brooder
Aug 10, 2017
13
7
36
A couple months ago I noticed my 4 hens weren't going into their coop for the evening. They roost on a branch in the pen, even in the rain or cooler evenings. We live in north Florida so a cool night for us is in the 40s. I tried closing the door to the coop (I left a small opening so it wasn't completely shut) then put them inside for the evening. Waited outside to make sure they were settling in and all seemed fine. In the morning found 3 outside and one dead inside. Tried putting a treat inside at dusk they run in, eat the treat then out to roost on the branch. I've put a flashlight inside the last few evenings to see it that would work. No. They go in the coop to lay their egg.
Any ideas or should I just let nature tell them where to sleep? We do have a few days in winter that get into the low 30s so would like to get them trained to go inside before then. One hen is 2 yrs old and the other 2 are 1 1/2 yrs. Thank you.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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St. Louis, MO
How did the one inside die?
Assuming there isn't something lethal in the coop, you'll have to lock them in for several nights till they develop the habit of sleeping in there.
When you throw the treats in there and they run in, shut the door.
What are the dimensions of the coop and what is the size of ventilation.
Birds usually prefer to sleep outside until they imprint on the building as a safe place to sleep since they survived the previous night.
 

pattir612

In the Brooder
Aug 10, 2017
13
7
36
How did the one inside die?
Assuming there isn't something lethal in the coop, you'll have to lock them in for several nights till they develop the habit of sleeping in there.
When you throw the treats in there and they run in, shut the door.
What are the dimensions of the coop and what is the size of ventilation.
Birds usually prefer to sleep outside until they imprint on the building as a safe place to sleep since they survived the previous night.
They used to sleep in the coop until about 4 months ago. enclosed pen is 18 ft x 10 ft with standard commercial coop. Has a ventilation window on one side that is kept open. Door/Opening to the coop used to be open when they would sleep in there. I'm hesitant to lock them up at night again for fear they will kill one again. There is nothing dangerous/lethal in the coop. They just won't sleep in there any more.
 

Cryss

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
4,415
11,012
757
Northwest New Jersey
Are you saying the other chickens killed one of their own?
What are the internal dimensions (sq. ft.) of the coop?
My thoughts exactly. Your run seems like plenty of outdoor run room for a lot more chickens. Now the question is what are the di.entions of the floor space inside the sleeping space that you want to close them into without including the measurements of the egg nest areas.
 

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