Hens staying out of coop at sunset after first snow...

ErinLeah

Chirping
Apr 13, 2020
48
46
66
My hens have an automatic door that opens/closes from a light sensor. Like clockwork, since they have been in this coop ( since May), they have gone in before the door shuts the final time ( it opens once more for stragglers). We just got a very cold snow storm and last night after dusk and the door had shut, one of the birds was perching under the coop on a crossbar and tonight two different birds were perching on a crossbar with the other two hens safe inside. I have a flock of 4 that are very close. Any idea what is going on?
 

CatsandCrops

Songster
Apr 7, 2020
198
306
146
Cleveland, OH
My chickens were very confused about life with their first snow ("the sky is falling and PILING UP MOMMMMM LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK"); they all stayed out later than normal but eventually went in. Maybe they were exploring and missed the door closing time frame?
 

ErinLeah

Chirping
Apr 13, 2020
48
46
66
Was this their first experience with snow? Or possibly, if there's lights on your lot/shining onto your lot, they could possibly reflect off snow brightly enough to confuse them a bit.

This was not their first time in the snow and that’s why I was confused. But it was their first time in the snow in a solid month and a half and our neighbors always have their café lights on every single night they go on right at dusk. I bet that reflecting off the snow confused them. It freaks me out because with the automatic door I often check on them during the day make sure their food and water is good that they are all healthy and then don’t check on them at night because they’ve been so amazing it going in with the automatic door. A good reminder to check every night that all the girls are in!!
 

ErinLeah

Chirping
Apr 13, 2020
48
46
66
Was this their first experience with snow? Or possibly, if there's lights on your lot/shining onto your lot, they could possibly reflect off snow brightly enough to confuse them a bit.

This was not their first time in the snow and that’s why I was confused. But it was their first time in the snow in a solid month and a half and our neighbors always have their café lights on every single night they go on right at dusk. I bet that reflecting off the snow confused them. It freaks me out because with the automatic door I often check on them during the day make sure their food and water is good that they are all healthy and then don’t check on them at night because they’ve been so amazing it going in with the automatic door. A good reminder to check every night that all the girls are in!!
 

ErinLeah

Chirping
Apr 13, 2020
48
46
66
Out of the box - Do you have a self-important hen who sits blocking the door all day? The two outside may have given up getting in past her and decided to sleep out there.
Totally good thinking but no – they pretty much go in to lay an egg and then come out singing their egg song to join the others. I definitely have an alpha but she was one the one outside the first night! Good news though- they all got in tonight on their own! It might’ve just been the adjustment with snow and my neighbors bright café lights.
 

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