Hens sleeping in run instead of the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickety Charcoal, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Chickety Charcoal

    Chickety Charcoal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2011
    Westchester County, NY
    I have 2 hens out of the four that I acquired as day-Olds in the Spring that will not go up into the coop and onto the roost at night. Instead they will sleep on a very narrow basement window sill that is enclosed inside their run.
    I introduced the 4 pullets to my established flock of 3 older hens over time and had the expected picking on and pecking order behavior. I thought the avoidance of the coop was a response to this behavior and over time would work itself out like it has with the other 2 pullets who seem to have no problem going to roost at night.
    I have covered the window sill so they can't roost there and put a light on in the coop to try to attract them in from the run. They just sleep in the dirt. One of those pullets even lays her eggs in the run. (The other will go in the coop to lay but then leaves and doesn't go in again till the next day). I have even taken them from the run and put them on the coop roost after dark to 'get them used to it' to no avail.
    Any ideas?
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich True BYC Addict

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    I am in a similar boat as you are. I have 3 Polish hens that do not go inside the coop. I place them inside every evening. In the morning, I just open coop so they go out on their own. A few years ago I had a Polish hen that went into coop just like ALL the rest of my chickens. I don't know why it is such. All 3 just find a convenient perch and just sit there. Here is a pix of my culprits.
    They are mine as chicks since Father's day 2016
  3. BurntFeather

    BurntFeather Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 7, 2015
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    7 birds total?
    How big is your coop...in feet by feet?
    How long is your coop roost...in feet?
    Pics of coop and run, inside and out, would help too.
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It's been my experience that chickens have a very strong instinct to roost safely under cover of some sort when night comes. If you provide a secure coop, chickens will almost always use it.

    However, young chickens need to be taught to go into the coop when night comes. If they've never been taught to use the coop, chances are they will find a substitute somewhere.

    My first question is have you ever taught your pullets to go into the coop when night comes?

    My second question is have they been using the coop to sleep in up until recently?

    The answers to the above questions are important in the advice we might be able to provide.

    If the pullets have been sleeping in the coop until recently, I strongly recommend you station yourself where you can observe the flock dynamics around roosting time. There should be a clue to the problem there if you observe carefully.

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