In the coop, out of coop - ARGH!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HennysMom, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Okay - so, my girls are 8 months now - been laying since 15.5 weeks and been in their coop since they were little, so they've been using it to sleep in forever. For the past 3 weeks now they've been sleeping outside! Its driving me INSANE! Yesterday it was pouring rain and there they are, all 6 of them - looking like wet little rats (even though part of the run is covered, they choose to go in the uncovered part). So I pick them up, put them inside the coop, and out they come! [​IMG]

    When its cold outside (like its been lately, 30 degrees or so, add rain, its worse), they're still sitting on top of their covered feeder thing we made, asleep - so back outside we go and put them into the coop; except now we're closing the pop door to keep them in. If we dont do this, they're going to freeze come winter. Only 1 will go in now at dark and stay inside (smart one obviously).

    I dont get it [​IMG] - they were all going inside before, nothing's changed inside the coop, no rats, snakes, nothing. We checked it all out. they'll lay inside of it every morning without a problem, but they just wont go in and stay in during rain or at night when they used to.

    So.... what do ya'll think it is? Anyone else having this issue? I hate having to trek out there in the rain and at night and keep putting them in and I dont want to lock them in during the day but I also dont want to have them sick from being wet and cold either. They're out pets and I dont want to lose any of them to illness. Today its still raining and guess what... they're out standing in it... ugh - [​IMG] crazy birds!

    [​IMG] frazzled.... - thanks in advance...
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  2. sunnydee

    sunnydee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Maine
    I had this problem when I started putting on a heat lamp for them at night. They are used to it now, but I do close their door for the night so the heat stays in as well as the girls.
     
  3. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Florida
    It could be that mites have infested the coop. They come out at night so that is the best time to check. It sounds like a good time to clean/disinfect the coop. Then when you set it back up, DE will help discourage mites.
     
  4. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    they do have a ceramic heat emitter (no light) but its been on forever and there's also a thermometer in there to monitor the temp (usually its around 40-50 in there most mornings given how cold its been here), the vents are open so air is flowing still - so its not too hot or dry inside. I tried a red light and a regular light LOL! FORGET IT! They looked at me like I was trying to cook them inside an oven! [​IMG] [​IMG] Yeah..if looks could kill [​IMG] - I would've died on the spot from 6 chickens giving me that "Run! She's the devil! We must kill her NOW!"

    I've looked for mites - little red bugs right? I dont see anything there. Their coop gets cleaned out in full and disinfected once a week - all bedding (pine shavings) changed fully. I looked at their legs, feathers, etc - nothing....

    I just dont get it...

    what else could it be?

    Where does one get DE food grade btw? my co-op (southern states) doesnt carry it. They only carry something that says "hazardous to humans and domestic animals." Uhm... I dont think I want to put that on my birds! The lady said its for chicken mites..however.... anything that says "hazardous to.." I dont want to use.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  5. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Florida
    Well is sounds like you are taking great care of them. I bought a 5# bag of DE from Randall Burkey when it was on special. There are other online sources though. Some people use stall dry.
     
  6. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    thanks everyone for trying to help me, much appreciated.

    I DID happen to find a Perma-Guard DE dealer here in our area (found on the Perma-Guard website) and for a 50 lb bag it is $25.00! WHOO!! [​IMG] what a deal that is! And they deliver right down the road from me like 5 minutes. From everything I've found online from other dealers/sites, a 10 lb bag of DE is like $18.00 plus shipping, so I dont think thats too bad!

    They also make their own organic feed, a 50 lb bag is $24.00 - next time I'm out (just bought some, so too bad for me) I'm going to buy it from them and have it delivered as well!

    I didnt see any mites on the girls but I'm going to look again when it gets dark - maybe I'm not seeing them because its day time? I also now have to read about how much to put in their food, how to dust their coop and the birds themselves because I have no idea - I've never done it before.
     
  7. Sequin

    Sequin Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    I am wondering if perhaps a predator comes out at night that tries getting into the coop? Maybe that is why they don't want to go in there, because at night something tries getting in there that scares them? During the day the predator is not around and the coop is safe again. ?? Maybe? I don't know, but it is the only thing I could think of. You might have to reinforce the coop and seal every nook and cranny then lock them in there a couple nights in a row until they figure it out that the predator can't get in. Or maybe station a dog or two outside by the coop for a few nights to deter the predator.?.
     

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