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Hen suddenly won't go into the coop at night

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by petswithbenefit, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. petswithbenefit

    petswithbenefit New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2016
    My usually sensible year old barred rock has suddenly decided she won't go into the coop at night. My hens are free range in my large backyard and tonight she has decided she is sleeping under the stairs of the deck. I have had trouble with predators before, but I can't get to her to get her out and I am worried I am going to be running around the backyard at 2 am in my pj's because some animal is after my hen! (it has happened before, when I had a new member in the flock who was not yet used to the coop location), but this time there is snow in the backyard! Brrrrr! What can I do to entice her back into the coop at night? I am pretty new to the whole chicken ownership, so any suggestions will be appreciated. :)
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I would go out and pick her up and put her in the coop, then find out why she isn't going in, I would check out the behavior of your flock to see if she's bottom hen or being picked on, make sure you have enough comfortable roosts so everyone can spread out, not enough roost space is the main reason chickens look elsewhere.
     
  3. petswithbenefit

    petswithbenefit New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2016
    I wish I could get her and bring her in, but there is not enough space for me to get at her. I am going to empty out the coop tomorrow morning and put some fresh new straw in, maybe she is just being fussy... :) I just hope she survives the night... I only have the two chickens for now (more in the spring), so space is definitely not the issue. The two have always seemed to get along just fine, even grooming each other, so I don't think that is the problem either. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Thanks for your quick answer though!
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    When I want to collect a hen who has gotten into an inaccessible place, I just save myself a whole lot of effort and throw out come dry cat food or scratch, anything chickens can't resist.

    Then you might want to screen over those tight places where chickens get to that are impossible to retrieve them if they should go broody and establish a nest or die in there, universe forbid.
     
  5. petswithbenefit

    petswithbenefit New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2016
    I tried that; she usually goes apes#$t over raisins, but even those were not enough to get her to move. However, it is now the next day and apparently (I am at work,but my son is home) she has come out and joined her sister, so I asked my son to close off the entrance to her new "retreat"... I will keep her in the pen/coop for a few days until she re-establishes it as her safe place... Thanks for all the suggestions.
     

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