Help! My chickens wont go in their new coop!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tallcedarpharm, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. tallcedarpharm

    tallcedarpharm New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Apr 29, 2010
    I have built my first coop, and I thought it was great...however, the chickens wont go inside. They prefer to sleep on the roof. Its 4' by 6' and about 4 feet high at the roof peak. It has perches along the back and up in the rafters. The floor is 3 feet off the ground, so they have a ramp to get in and out. I have 9 black sex-link total, 6 hens and 3 roos. They went outside at 7 weeks old and are now 12 weeks old. When they first went outside, I would round them up and put them in it at night. But, they would all crowd around the tiny pop out door, and wouldnt even explore the inside. [​IMG] They still only will go inside occasionally, and only for a few minutes. It has a vent in the back and the front has a big screen area above the door. During the day, they have the run of the backyard, and go into their pen at night, but will only roost on the roof. Its okay with me if they sleep there, but I am afraid they will freeze in the winter. Does anyone have any suggestions that might make it more appealing to them? I figured they would just go right in, but I guess not.[​IMG]
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    For a week, try turning a small light on inside the coop about 30-45 minutes before dark. They will most likely go inside toward the safety of the light. Once they're inside, simply turn the light off. You can use a flashlight if you don't have power available, or one of those circular, battery operated push lights. And you may need to think about expanding your coop or reducing your flock come cold weather, as it seems your coop offers less than than 3 sq. ft. per chicken, and once those little guys are grown, your tight quarters may present some problems such as bullying issues, etc. Hope the light "trick" works for you!
     
  3. tallcedarpharm

    tallcedarpharm New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Apr 29, 2010
    Thank you so much for the advice! Actually the 3 Roos are going soon to my friends farm, he has a petting zoo. Ill try it and see if it works!
     
  4. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Chillin' With My Peeps

    962
    3
    131
    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    first all you say it 4by 6 that is 24 square ft
    that is enough room for 6 chickens not 9 chicken so get rid 3 chickens or built a bigger pen
    for 9 chickens you would need 4 ftx9 =36 square ft the coop size can be 6x6
    in a coop each bird needs 4 ft

    also i would put water and feed in the coop and 2 2x4 with the 4inch flat up for perches in inside
    btw where r u locate?
     
  5. tallcedarpharm

    tallcedarpharm New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Apr 29, 2010
    We are in southern NJ. Its hot and humid here this summer!!! I only plan to keep the 6 hens, but I havent been able to give the roosters up yet. They are too funny! But they are going soon. The perches inside are 2.5 inch round dowels for some and 1" by 4" planks for the others. I am going to get a night lite like teach1rusl suggested and try that for a few weeks. Originally the food and water were inside the coop but I moved it out when they wouldn't go inside.
     
  6. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

    842
    32
    153
    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    I bought a solar walkway light at Home Depot for $3.88 that I use to light up my coop at night. That way all I have to do right now is go out and shut the pop door. I opened up the one I bought and moved the light sensor so that is senses the light inside the coup making it turn on just a little bit earlier. It's been over a month now and works great!
     
  7. tallcedarpharm

    tallcedarpharm New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Apr 29, 2010
    WOW thats a great idea! It will also involve my husband going to Home Depot which will make him happy! Thanks!
     
  8. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

    229
    0
    99
    Jun 13, 2010
    You mention that the peak of your coop is closed in with wire. Is it possible that there is a draft up by where the roosts are? Chickens really don't like to sleep with drafts...
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    52
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Quote:Chickens don't like to roost in drafts unless it's the summer and it's hot, in which case, that's exactly where they try to roost. Excessive heat is actually more dangerous to chickens than cold.

    As I look at the coop in question, two things come to my mind. It's dark in there, and chickens often don't like going into dark places. The other thing to consider is that it might be hotter in there than outside.
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    52
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Quote:You might find that your chickens prefer flatter, wider perches than round dowels. Give them an option and then see where the droppings are next morning. Then you'll know which they prefer.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by