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Hen not wanting to go into coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chicken Mama D, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Chicken Mama D

    Chicken Mama D Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2012
    Hills of KY
    For the past few weeks, there have been three of our Amber Link hens that have lingered outside in the run, not wanting to go into the coop. They just stand around, until way past sundown. Just standing there. And no matter how much I call for them to go into the coop, they won't budge. A few times, they got left out in the cold! For a while after that, they made sure to get in the door and on the roost early so as to not be left out. Well tonight, they're back at it! I coaxed two of them to go in, finally, but one simply refused! So I'm going to leave her out there for a little bit and go back out in an hour or so and see if she'll go in. Why are they being so stubborn? They know that their food and a warm bed to sleep in is inside, especially in this cold weather. I don't understand. Has anyone else ever had this problem? And if so, what is the solution? --Chicken Mama D
     
  2. Linn Bee

    Linn Bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep! The chickens I had last year - Australorpes and Dark Brahmas - were not as speedy as I wanted at bedtime. The Brahmas especially would traipse around the coop with seemingly no intention of entering. It would have to be nearly full dark before all of them went inside.

    This year, the new flock seems to be ready for bed well before the sun sets. I will check at 3:00 pm and find them all roosting so I get to lock things up early and no longer have to chase the girls in the dark at bedtime.

    What's the solution? Beats me! Good luck!
     
  3. Chicken Mama D

    Chicken Mama D Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2012
    Hills of KY
    Last night, when I decided to leave her out for an hour or so, it was full dark when my husband came home and went out to put her up, and she still didn't want to go in. He had to physically put her in the coop. I assume they can withstand the weather, to a certain degree, but I'd prefer they all be tucked away, safe and sound when night comes. Our run outside the coop is completely enclosed with wire roof, and although we've not had a predator get in yet, I'd rather not put the temptation before them to try in earnest. I just can't figure her out! It seems like she would go in, especially when all three of our roosters have already called everyone in and are on the roosts themselves, softly dozing. Go figure!
     
  4. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I had a girl that wouldn't go into the coop and I then realized that she was waiting until it was so dark outside that she couldn't see at all inside. I put in a small light and that solved the problem, she began to go right inside. I turn the light off when I go outside to close up the coop when it's fully dark and everyone is inside.

    If you're not going to be around, you could put the light on a timer. While the girls seem to want the light to get into the coop, they hate it being on once they're in there and ready to go to bed and will "BAWK" until I turn it off!
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Is your coop lighted? That could throw them off. Plenty of roosting space? Could they be getting bullied?
     
  6. Chicken Mama D

    Chicken Mama D Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2012
    Hills of KY
    Only the back part is lit, but it's separate from the main room where the door is. And it's a heat lamp to help keep them warm. There's plenty of roosting space for all the chickens and some of them like the front half of the coop, others like sleeping in the nesting boxes and others sleep in the heated area on the other roosts. And they all seem to get along just fine. They get out of the run each day to run around the yard, so they aren't 'too close for comfort' in the run all the time. I don't know what to do. I guess we'll just have to physically put her in each night. Thanks for your input though.
     
  7. Chicken Mama D

    Chicken Mama D Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2012
    Hills of KY
    The back half of our coop is lit with a heat lamp for warmth. It stays on all the time and I've never noticed them bawking at it being on. All is always quiet at night when they're sleeping. As a matter of fact, several of them sit on the roosts under the lamp to be closer to the warmth. So they can see the soft glow of the light from inside the coop when they're outside, so I don't think that would be her problem. She just sits out there on the ground too, the crazy girl! As if being outside isn't cold enough! There isn't any type of 'shelter' for them in the run, because I wanted to encourage them to go in when they got cold or wet and when it got dark. Oh well. At least I don't feel alone, hearing that others have had the same problem as me! :)
     
  8. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    You say the coop is lit with a heat lamp for warmth. Did she quit going in before or after you started using the heat lamp? Was wondering if the addition of the lamp spooked her or maybe she's too warm. My girls won't sleep with the light on and will make noise until I turn it off. So funny as the noise quits immediately.

    Chickens are funny, fickle creatures and trying to figure them out gives me a headache! [​IMG]
     
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd take out the lamp. As long as your coop is free of drafts, they don't need the heat. Chickens are well suited to the cold. See if that changes their behavior.

    And yes, in the meantime, keep putting her in every night. I learned the hard way just how tiny of an opening it takes for a predator to kill a chicken - it's not a nice memory.
     
  10. Chicken Mama D

    Chicken Mama D Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2012
    Hills of KY
    Well, it's not totally free of drafts just yet and we haven't finished insulating it. That's why we put the heat lamp in, hopefully temporarily. It's been so cold, we were afraid it would be too cold. But we'll try that and see.

    Yes, we lost our first six to a combination cat and raccoon and it was something I'll never forget. I'm probably a little over protective of them now, but I love my babies and I don't want anything to happen to the twenty four we have now. Thanks for the suggestion and I'll give it a try, as soon as our draft problem is settled. Until then, we'll just have to physically put her up.
     

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