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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hensonthefarm, Jan 18, 2014.
My hens have started to sleep in thier yard. Should I let them?
Probably not a good idea if it means they will be exposed to weather and predators. You might want to investigate why they are choosing not to go in their coop at night. See if it is too crowded, not enough ventilation, no natural light, mites.... who knows but worth checking into.
My flock hads some mites about a week ago but the mites seem to be gone. The only predators in my area are hawks and dogs. could it be te rabbit that lives in a cage in the coop. Te outside sleeping has just started a fewdays ago. Thank you for the info.
If it were my hens , I would not let them do that, because
they are more likely to get eaten( and are much safer in
a chicken pen.) How many chickens do you have ? (It it is difficult to get 24 hens back into
their chicken coop at night) , but if you have 4 or five like I do it is easy.Just herd them in. How long have you had your chickens (or did you just get a new chicken pen?)
When I first got my 4 hens, I left them in the chicken tractor for a month or so,
so that they would get used to this as their home .......and go back to roost at night .
I fed them no other place BUT the coop, so they would know where their food was. It might be helpful if you feed them in the coop before bed . Just call them the coop and feed them(make sure all of them are there, first) and then quickly close the door. I free range them now, and I have no problem with them roosting in trees at night. They go straight back to the chicken pen
when it gets dark. Make sure your chickens have access to the coop at night ( make sure the door is open and all that when it is time for them to go to bed).
It's best in the first instance when you get chickens to lock them up in the coop before letting them out. They then begin to feel secure in this coop and will recognise it as a place to roost, lay and run to if they feel any threat from predators.
Chickens will generally take themselves off to bed when it begins to go dark which makes it easy to make sure they're all in the coop and safe so you can close it up for the night. It might help if you have a roost bar in your coop. Chickens like to get up high at night.
Good luck !
I hope this helped you some!
If you noticed mites be sure to retreat the birds and the coop as well every 7 to 10 days until they are gone. Very hard to get rid of and they come out at night to feed on the birds. I would recommend stripping the coop and spraying it thoroughly with Sevin. They are so hard to get rid of because if you miss even just a few bugs they repopulate very quickly.