Hen won't go into coop at night

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by vinita1980, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. vinita1980

    vinita1980 New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jan 18, 2015
    Hi! I am writing because for the 6th or 7th night out of the last 2 weeks, I've gone to check on my hens and found Gertrude sitting on top of my little coop, rather than in it. I have an automatic door that I created that closes half an hour after dark. She's already settled on top of the coop before the door closes so she definitely has had time to go inside. (The other 3 hens are all inside.) Any suggestions of how I can break her of this new habit? Thanks!

    PS: They have 2 roost bars and the coop I have is the Clubhouse coop.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  2. countrygirl345

    countrygirl345 Chillin' With My Peeps

    198
    9
    78
    Apr 17, 2014
    Michigan
    The one surefire way to fix this problem is to lock your chickens in the coop 24/7 or let them out in the middle of the day only. If you make sure they are all in a few hours before dark and lock it up, and do this for a few days to a week, then you should break the bad habit.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,736
    6,861
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That coop is barely big enough for 4 birds.....roosts are kind of close to wall and each other......that is probably why she is roosting outside.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    18,874
    6,274
    526
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    That coop is less than 5 square feet inside. The standard recommendation is for 4 square feet per bird in the coop, and 10 square feet per bird in the run. The perches are so close together and so close to the wall that I doubt that any of the hens could even roost on the back perch. Have you looked at how they are roosting at night? Seen if that back perch is being used? The perches look to be quite small in diameter. May be uncomfortable for a hen's feet. The gal who's roosting outside the coop... Is she at the bottom of the pecking order? An other issue may be that the perches are so close to the floor. Chickens like to perch high. It's part of their instinctive drive to avoid predation at night. So, she may feel more secure on top of the coop. But unless there is a secure run enclosing the whole coop, she's at risk to every night time creature out there. What is your climate? It's so helpful when folks put some general information about their location in their profile. It helps when trying to problem solve. Hopefully, you can get this problem solved for her.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  5. vinita1980

    vinita1980 New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jan 18, 2015
    Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. Seems like I need to build a new coop or extend the coop. A good project for the spring.

    I don't think she's the bottom of the pecking order--but I think she's a bit blind, so it may be she can't see the roosting bars well. The others haven't seemed to mind. I have a large run (10'x16', see picture) but I understand why coop size might be too small.

    [​IMG]

    In terms of location, I'm in Silver Spring, MD. Temps have been in the 40s on nights when I've gone out and found her on the roof.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    18,874
    6,274
    526
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    At least your coop roof has a cover OVER it, and appears to be somewhat predator proof.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by