Getting the hens to roost in the coop instead of outside


In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2015
Hi everyone! We are on our second small flock of hens in Maryland. Our first flock always roosted in the coop. As our first flock was dying out and we had baby chicks, we set up some roosting bars outside of the enclosed coop, in a protected caged area for the hens to roost in over the summer because it is so hot here. The young hens loved it and have roosted outside ever since. For a time, we had one flock roosting in the coop and the new flock roosting outside. All of the old flock is gone now so the inside coop is just sitting empty.

Now that its getting cold, it seems the hens don't know that there are roosting bars in the coop (they go into the coop to lay their eggs but that is all). Last night I was up worrying about them as it was rainy and windy. They are in a partially sheltered area on the outside roosting bars but they could still get wet and it's open air.

I'm hoping someone can give me advice on how to get the hens to start roosting inside. Do we remove the outside roosting bars? One night we tried physically transferring them one by one onto the coop bars but they just jumped down and went back to their outside area. Any advice you have would be so appreciated! Thanks, Liza


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Removing or lowering(lower than inside roosts) the outside roost might do the trick.
Moving birds to coop roosts after full dark will be more successful.
Use a dim head light and keep it pointed up away from roost and floor.

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