Cold(ish)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mstakes, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. mstakes

    mstakes Out Of The Brooder

    27
    1
    24
    Mar 8, 2016
    My hens have a run attached to their house. They rarely use the house at night. They prefer to roost in the run. Now that it's greeting colder a night, should I put them in their house? Or let them choose where to roost?
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,879
    2,531
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Get them to use the house. If nothing else it provides an additional layer of protection. You may need to figure out why they are not using house currently as a roost and correct it.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,472
    7,682
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Um...yeah, for sure.

    @mstakes
    How many birds?
    Pics and dimensions of your coop/run/roost.
     
  4. mstakes

    mstakes Out Of The Brooder

    27
    1
    24
    Mar 8, 2016
    3 hens - 9 months old.

    The coop is 4'x4' plus two egg boxes. The run is 4'x8'. There is ventilation on all four sides. Probably 6 square feet of total ventilation. All the birds use the egg boxes to lay. My production red roosts in the coop every night. All three roosted in the coop every night for 3-4 months until our head hen decided to stay in the run on a roosting bar all night, I attributed their staying outside to the South Texas heat. I don't think they are adverse to the coop.

    Why is being in the coop important?
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,748
    5,692
    436
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Frankly, if your run is as predator proof as possible and you can keep them dry and out of direct winds, your winter climate is generally warm enough that it isn't important at all. I still have some Silkies who don't want to go into the coop, preferring to stay in the run in a corner all snuggled down. We will have temps in the 20 below range, with snow and wind. Every chick in all of this year's batches are roosting quite happily in the coop along with the older girls. But not those Silkies! I put in a lower roost for them because they don't fly well. Nope. I tried a solar night light - all that did was keep the others awake. I tried putting them in there and shutting the door - night after night after night after......... Nada. Locking them in the coop for several days isn't an option. The other girls need the nest boxes and need to come and go freely. I can't afford to build a second setup, nor do I have the room.

    So we're building them a huddle box. Our run is as predator-proof as mechanics can make it, and it's covered with clear, mesh reinforced greenhouse type plastic so they are out of the wind and the snow. A huddle box in the corner where they always sleep seems like the best option for me and for them at this time. It's comfortable enough in the run for me to be able to raise chicks out there even though chick season - the springtime - we are still seeing temps in the teens and twenties. So the score is Silkies 1, Blooie 0. [​IMG]
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,472
    7,682
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Yep, predators and bad weather is the reasons for a safe coop at night.

    Wonder if the roost in run is higher than the roost in coop?
    They like to roost as high as possible.
    Or you could remove the run roost, that would probably send them into the coop at night if it's necessary for reasons mentioned above.
     
  7. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    599
    37
    93
    Jan 16, 2016
    Do you have a roosting bar in the cop? Chickens want to roost up higher than the nesting boxes. Coops are best at night for predator protection and weather.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by