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Hens won't return to coop at night

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jeffcohappyhens, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Jeffcohappyhens

    Jeffcohappyhens Out Of The Brooder

    16
    1
    22
    Jan 7, 2014
    Lakewood Colorado
    Hi all.
    I have 7 hens 8-9 months old and lay well. About a month ago I added two royal palm turkeys (a mating pair) 8 months old. My hens never had a problem returning to the coop prior to the turkeys arrival. At first they had separate coops. When I combined the two (it's how I designed the coop) the hens returned still and during that time the turkeys were roosting outside on top of my spruce around 20ft up. When we clipped their wings (turkeys) then the turkeys started roosting on the fence for couple days then I would put them in the coop, hens still returned at dusk. When the turkeys started roosting on top of the run attached to the coop instead of the fence the hens returned for two days and now they huddle outside the run and I have to put them in every night. They return right against the coop but not inside. Turkeys never returned to coop since I got them I always had to handle them.

    The only thing I can think of is maybe some "hardwired" instinct makes them see the turkeys as predators when they are roosted on the run and the run has the entrance to the coop.

    Hens and turkeys get along great no issues and was a super easy intro. Hens had seen and mingled but not cooped with two bb turkeys that were thanksgiving. Only had the bb's a month to finish them.

    It's January and getting rather cold in the pm 10-30 degrees and am afraid of a predator attacking my girls when they are outside. Coop is insulated and has heat lamps (red ones).

    I appreciate any and all help.

    Thanks,
    Phil
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  3. Jeffcohappyhens

    Jeffcohappyhens Out Of The Brooder

    16
    1
    22
    Jan 7, 2014
    Lakewood Colorado
    Flockwatcher, they were returning with the lights on still. I've had those lights on for a few weeks and they didn't have an issue. But it's a good idea so I will change the timer so the lights will be off when they return. I'll also switch the heat lamps for 60 watt regular bulbs as I need them to keep them laying. Thanks for the idea flockwatcher.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    449
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If you are going to use light for laying, you should consider putting it on a timer and setting it to come on around 3 AM, or whenever you need it to turn on so they will have 14 hours of daylight. This way they can go to sleep naturally, as darkness falls, and should rest better. They might also be more inclined to go in the coop around dusk if there is only natural light in there.

    When I tried this, I picked up a timer for about $10.
     
  5. Jeffcohappyhens

    Jeffcohappyhens Out Of The Brooder

    16
    1
    22
    Jan 7, 2014
    Lakewood Colorado
    They are on a timer. I have the heat lamp turning on at 630 and they were already in by then. The only thing that has changed is the two turkeys flying up on top of the run. 6 hens lay and one is molting. I just can't figure it out. I'm going to put the turkeys in early and see if the hens go back in if the turkeys are not on the top of the run.
     

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