hens won't go inside coop

Tmatthews

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 17, 2009
84
5
41
Cadiz
I have 16 hens. 5 of them are the youngest and just started laying eggs. They lay their eggs in the coop but at night they insist on sleeping outside. Outside the coop they are in a critter proof enclosure but its not completely out of the weather elements. I've tried to put them in the coop only to have them come right back out and this is at night in the dark. Is there anything I can do? The problem is winter is on its way and they need to be inside. Most nights I don't have to close their little door they get in from, so I need to get these 5 hens to go in on their own to get out of the weather. Just not sure what to do. And during the day they are not being bullied by the other hens so that shouldn't be a factor.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,932
27,403
1,077
St. Louis, MO
Are you in Cadiz, Kentucky or Spain?
At any rate, they don't HAVE to be inside as long as they're in a predator proof enclosure.

Chickens love fresh air.
Friends of mine have a great coop and predator proof run. Their chickens never sleep in the coop and have been on the run roost throughout the last 2 winters and it's colder here than either of the cities I mentioned.
Just make sure there's a bit of roof over where they sleep outside.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,235
19,972
857
Southeast Louisiana
At that age they are still afraid of the older hens, though since they are laying that should not last much longer. Mine normally integrate into the older flock once they start laying eggs. Until then it is like separate flocks that tolerate each other. The older hens may not be going out of their way to bully the younger ones but the younger are still afraid of them.

I don’t know how big your coop is or how much roost space they have. If you have sufficient room you could close all doors and put them inside with the doors closed so they can’t come back out. It probably won’t take too many nights of doing that before they start going in on their own. But if space is too tight, that might be more difficult to accomplish.

I once spent a winter outside of Cadiz, Spain. It did not get cold enough for the cold to be a concern for chickens sleeping outside though it did get plenty cool enough for me to get chilly. The only heat in the house was a fireplace in the living room. But with their down coats chickens do fine there sleeping outside.
 

Tmatthews

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 17, 2009
84
5
41
Cadiz
I live in Cadiz, OH. There is a roof over them. I'll give it some time because its not very cold yet. Thanks for the advice! I won't be so worried now!
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