Flock refuses to come in from the cold and rain..What to do?????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jvilichka, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. jvilichka

    jvilichka Hatching

    Apr 14, 2010
    I have the dumbest chickens and ducks out there. i free range, and a 12x14 shed converted into a coop. i tried the 5 day lock down, that seemed to introduce them to it, but they still choose to stay outside, they dig under everythong to get out of the cold and wind, but forget about going into the shed. i have food and water raised up off the ground just inside to shed door to invite them in. they will go into eat, but come nighttime most will roost outside in the rain the wind. what am i doing wrong? how will they survive the winter and snow of new jersey?

    19 chickens 2 ducks 2 turkeys i nervous keeper, that's me!


    JROOSTER Songster

    Mar 3, 2010
    Go outside every night and put them inside and lock the door. [​IMG]
  3. ruthless

    ruthless Songster

    Nov 7, 2010
    Mount Vernon, Mo
    CAn you show us some pictures of your shed and the inside? What are the measurements of the shed? Do you have a roost for the chickens?
    Also where are you located? I am sure some will have \\helpful suggestions if more information is given.
  4. jvilichka

    jvilichka Hatching

    Apr 14, 2010
    the shed is 12x14 i have a wooden floor with plastic pallets on to of the wood and straw on top of the pallet. i have bales of hay stacked 2 high to cut down on the draft and bamboo between the 2 layer of bails to hold steady for them to roost on... its clean and out of the wind and rain. wh they refuse to go in at nite is beyond me.. a few do, but most stick together and remain outside under a bush or in the window wells... i have an igloo dog house out ther with plenty od straw in it nadda. sounding them up each nite seems to stress them.. i've waited until the are settled in where ever that might be and pick them up and put them into the shed, the ducks are too fast to catch. the turkeys, well thats another story, one calls my laundry room home at nite and most of the day... i left the doo opened when i was taking ut laundry to hang outside back when it was nice out, he walked in plopped his but on the dark clothes on the floor and that was it, now he waits at the sliding glass door looking in until i go and open the door and let him in, so they are trainnable, or i'm trainnable i'm not sure who's the teacher and student here. but, the rest of the flock/gang seem to do their own thing.
    If i were home at a normal hour each nite i would have no problem. i thought about the 5 day lock down again, but they know the shed is there, they/some go in and eat some lay their eggs in there i just do not get, why they will not sleep in there.

  5. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    How big around is the bamboo???
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    They may be getting "caught" in the dark if they haven't learned that the shed is "home" yet. And by the time darkness begins hitting, it's darker in the coop than outside, so it makes more sense to stay outside, and then it's too late (all assuming they haven't learned that this place is "home" yet). If you have electricity available, put a small wattage bulb on a timer inside the coop to come on (to draw them inside to the safety of the light) about 30 minutes before dark. It can go off about 30 minutes after dark. I think you'd only have to do that for a week or so for them to learn to go inside as it gets dark...
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Bamboo is pretty slick. I'd replace it with something else, probably a 2x4 with the corners rounded a bit so the sharp corners aren't uncomfortable and to remove splinters. The way I read this, the roosts are only a foot or so off the ground. If you can raise them, it would not hurt.

    The light inside might help if you can do it. My coop gets dark pretty early compared to the outside and I don't have that problem, but others have reported that a small light helps.

    For whatever reason, your first attempt at keeping them in there to teach them it is home did not work. I'd try that again, but probably keep them in there a couple of weeks this time. I don't know about ducks and turkeys, but chickens can be taught. Sometimes instead of a love tap, though, you need to use something a little heavier.

    I have had problems when I have young ones that the older chickens pick on the younger pretty bad while settling in on the roost. The younger ones often look for a calmer, safer place to roost, sometimes outside the coop. Your coop should be big enough so that is not a huge problem, but you might consider spreading the roosts out a bit to make sure they have plenty of room. It does not sound like this is one of your problems, but I'll mention it anyway.

    Good luck!

  8. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Straw is a good hiding place for lice and mites. If this is the problem, you should be able to see sign on the chickens, particularly if you look after dark (if you can.) Mice and snakes are another possibility. If the shed is well ventilated, the next thing I think of is some sort of pest, when chickens won't go in.

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html -- fact sheet on lice/mites.
  9. SparksNV

    SparksNV Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Spanish Springs, NV
    I give my girls a bit of BOSS & cracked corn as a treat. Before I feed it to them, I scoop it in a plastic cup and shake it so it makes a sound. Then spread it on the ground & they chow down. Now they have associated the "shaking sound" to yummy treats.

    I usually let my chickens free range in the afternoon. When I was ready to put them back in the run where their coop is, it was hard to "herd them in" (like herding cats!) and usually consisted of kind of scaring them to move forward into their run. Now I just get a scoop of treat, shake it loudly & they come running! It is the funniest thing to see those little fluffy butts come crashing into the run! Then I give them their treat, close the gate and they are happy.

    Now it's no problem getting them back into the run. However, mine willingly go into the coop to roost at night.

    I couldn't tell in your posting if you have some high, comfortable roosts for them to sleep on. I use a 2x4 placed with the wide side up. Is there something in your coop scaring them?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010

  10. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Songster

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    Bamboo is probably just fine. But; it IS rather smooth. Just take a rasp/file to it to give it some texture [​IMG]

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