Hens won't sleep in coop, and I can not figure out why

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BrynSun, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. BrynSun

    BrynSun New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2014
    I am getting more hay for their coop, but I don't think heat is the problem. Recently they have been opting to sleep on the cement under the awning of our garage or on the cement on our back porch. Yesterday morning I found one roosting on my sons sandbox. When this first started happening I checked to see if anything was in the coop or if there had been something wrong with it. Since nothing was wrong I figured something had scared them out, but had gone away. We have a fence around the coop to ward off dogs, but the chickens can get out of it. So even when I throw them in there so they are close to the coop they don't use it. When I put them in the coop they run out and look at me like I am crazy.
    I cannot figure it out. Oh and I have a dog box outside for stray cats, so there is hay in there. The chickens have used that before as a sleeping spot, but have been refusing to use that now too. I don't know whats going on, but since it is December and snowy out I want them warm. Anyone with any clues?
     
  2. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You didn't happen to instal a heat lamp or anything in there did you?
     
  3. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It takes time for chickens to get used to a roosting spot. Rather than trying to fathom the mind of a chicken, your best bet is to physically put them in the coop at night and leave them in there for a few days. This will get them used to their home and allow them to feel safe in their coop. Good luck.
     
  4. BrynSun

    BrynSun New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2014
    No, I haven't changed anything about the coop since we got it.
     
  5. BrynSun

    BrynSun New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2014
    Thanks, my husband suggested that as well. Whats weird though is that they have had the same coop since March, and its been in the same spot. The fence around the coop went up in the summer and this behavior didn't start until last week. Or at least I haven't noticed it until last week.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    What part of the country are you in? How big is your coop? How many chickens? What do you have in there for perches? How many linear feet, and what are their dimensions? My thought is that you have an infestation of red roost mites. You're not likely to see them, as they come out at night to suck the blood of the chickens as they sleep on the roosts at night. Or you could have mice or rats which come out to harass the chickens at night.
     
  7. BrynSun

    BrynSun New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2014
    I'm in Ohio, and my coop has two nesting boxes in it with about 5ft of running room, 3ft tall. Two perches, they are right beside each other, next to the nesting boxes, and they are maybe 2.5 feet long? I have two chickens, I used to have four but the dogs around us got them hence the fence around the coop. I actually considered bugs since I couldn't see anything else, I had no idea there were bugs that did that. Is there a way to check for those?
     

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