Getting the Birds Back to the Coop

teriz1091

Songster
5 Years
Oct 6, 2015
154
156
141
Kansas
Our flock lives in an old chicken house. A lot of times I let them free range all day, but lately they haven’t been going to bed at night, trying to roost on our porch instead, so I left them locked in their house yesterday.

Poor decision. The birds have been refusing to go to bed because of a possum getting in. I lost a good productive hen to it, chomping away on her in the chicken house. :( i let the birds out today.

They didn’t go to bed. They’re all on the porch again. Ugh.

How do I get them retrained to go to bed? The possum is dead, but sleeping outside is a death sentence for them. And I’m annoyed that I have to waste 30 minutes rounding up all the birds to lock them up for the night.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,720
78,089
1,452
Wisconsin
Unfortunately you can only keep rounding them up until they feel safe again. If a possum could get in than you could get more predators, so your chickens could have a reason to fear returning to their coop. You may need to make it more secure, and keep at them.
 

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~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
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Caliente Nevada
Unfortunately you can only keep rounding them up until they feel safe again. If a possum could get in than you could get more predators, so your chickens could have a reason to fear returning to their coop. You may need to make it more secure, and keep at them.
I agree. Go into the coop and take a look around there may be some obvious issues that need attention. Chickens will tell you by their behaviors when somethings wrong. So think like a chicken....really not trying to be funny. Winter is coming perhaps a nice going over in prep for winter (protection) is just what’s needed. Best wishes
 

teriz1091

Songster
5 Years
Oct 6, 2015
154
156
141
Kansas
I’m fairly certain the possum got in due to my own inattention. The chicken house is divided by a chicken wire “fence”, & we use the smaller portion when we get meat birds. We butchered meat birds last weekend, & I didn’t bother to shut the door to that pen when we finished. I’ve never bothered to check the interior dividing fence for holes, as the perimeter is enclosed. I’m guessing it walked right in through the open door & found a hole in the dividing fence.
 

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