Girls won't return to the coop at night, why????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicken_Hubster, May 11, 2010.

  1. Chicken_Hubster

    Chicken_Hubster Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2010
    Dillsburg, PA
    So they have been in the coop for about 1 1/2 weeks now and they haven't gone back into their coop yet. Its not a huge deal i just worry right now cuz its cold at night. I've been manually putting them up top with the heat lamp but i'm hoping they get the idea soon. I was wondering how long it took your chickens to want to sleep in their coop at night? Here is a pic of mine to give you an idea.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    Hi ! I'm on my 4th "brood", and it took about 2 weeks of me actually putting them in where they are to be 'til they finally got it. It was the same with each brood. You'd have thought they'd follow the older hens in, but no, they kept wanting to go back to where they were before I introduced them to the coop. Don't worry, they'll ge the hang of it. They're "wired" to go home to roost.

    Jen
     
  3. Jody

    Jody Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2009
    Epping, NH
    Maybe the ladder is too steep for them, or perhaps they have no idea that they can climb up. Me, I think that ladder is way too steep for them.. They may have a hard time getting up there.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  4. Chicken_Hubster

    Chicken_Hubster Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2010
    Dillsburg, PA
    i don't think that it is the ladder being to steep. I've stood with my hand at the top of it with a treat and had two come the whole way up and into the coop.
     
  5. Papadavid

    Papadavid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2010
    If thats them in the picture, I agree that the ladder is to steep. Put a temporary roost closer to the ground until they get the hang of it. good luck.
     
  6. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    Quote:Just realized you're from Dillsburg! My aunt is from New Florence [​IMG]

    Jen
     
  7. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    - Did you confine them to the coop for several days before turning them loose in the run? If not, do that now. It convinces them that that is their safe haven...the place to go when it gets dark and scary outside.
    - Are you waiting long enough for the girls to go in on their own? Many will not go to roost until about 1/2 to 3/4 of a hour after the sun is below the horizon.
    - Are you leaving the feed in the run? I don't. The feeder is always in the coop, which they have access to all day. I only feed them greens, table scraps, and toss a handful of feed on the ground in the run a couple times a day.
    - Do you have a light in the coop? That's a big encouragement. I turn the light on in my small coop about an hour before sundown. I turn it off when I go out to close the pop door once everyone is inside.

    If none of this works for you, you might consider raising the roof on the coop area to give them a little more space. That looks like a really low ceiling to me. My girls like to go into the coop and hop up on their roost which is about 24" off the floor.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  8. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    One more idea - add more cross pieces to their ramp. They'll have better traction and feel more secure going up.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Is there a window in that top part, there? Maybe there is... but unless it is a *big* one, I am suspicious that it may simply be way too dark in there for them to wanna go in there. Chickens see extremely poorly in the dark and do not like to go into areas where they can't see, and of course the less windowedness, the sooner it gets 'dark' in the coop as compared to outdoors. You might consider adapting one of those really lame little cheap solar driveway lights, so the solar panel is outside and the light is inside; it'll fade after a few hours, but that'd be enough to let them see their way in.

    Just a thought,

    Pat
     
  10. Chicken_Hubster

    Chicken_Hubster Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2010
    Dillsburg, PA
    They finally ALL returned themselves last night!!! yay!
     

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