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Did she forget where the coop is?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DawnCols, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. DawnCols

    DawnCols Songster

    Dec 17, 2010
    In my little three-hen flock, I have a Polish bantam who has suddenly taken to roosting outdoors at twilight. The other two girls head to the coop and settle in--but I find Jazzy sleeping out in the yard on top of a cage or on the fence. (Which can't be comfy-both are thin wire to stand on.) I scoop her up and she doesn't object to when I put her on the roost in the coop with the others. Which is fine for now, but with winter coming, soon I won't be able to get home before dark to lock everyone up. I'm planning to get an automatic coop door. But if Jazzy doesn't head into the coop at bedtime, I'm really concerned she'll just end up locked out.

    Is there anything I can do to get her back in the habit of going into the coop on her own?

    This behavior started a week ago, which is about the time I came home to find a raccoon in the run with the chickens, eating out of the feeder at 4:30 in the afternoon. (The poor girls were frantically trying to squeeze themselves through a 2-inch gap in the gate to get away from it.) So maybe home doesn't feel as safe as it used to? Since then, I reinforced the run really well, and am pretty confident it is raccoon-proof now.

    Until last week Jazzy usually headed to the coop nearly an hour before the others. Now it's almost like she's trying to roost in the farthest spot from the coop she can find.

    Suggestions, anyone?

  2. The Kibble Goddess

    The Kibble Goddess Songster

    May 24, 2009
    Sylvania, Ga
    Try confining her to the coop & run for a week or two to re-train her to where to roost. Worked for me.
  3. secuono

    secuono Songster

    May 29, 2010
    Is the door of the coop hard to distinguish from the rest? Could the others be pecking her off the roost?
    Can you rearrange the inside of the coop or clean it real well? She might be afraid of being attacked again or you can go and toss her and the others into the coop early for a week and lock them right up. After a week, try again to let them go in when they feel is the right time.
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    I had the same thing happened and decided to watch what was going on. It seemed like every time the my girl tried to go in the dominate hen wouldn't let her, so after a while she quit trying and just settled in where ever she could, I broke the habit on my days off by going out and pushing back the dominate girl till all were in, she finally got the idea and was let in. It took a couple nights but now everyone lives together peacefully. Good Luck Michele

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