Is it ok for them to be in the run 24/7?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ditto, May 31, 2011.

  1. ditto

    ditto Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2011
    we have a nice coop and attached run. nothing fancy, but comfy. but these girls do not sleep in the coop, they all huddle together in a corner of the run at night. even in the rain, i come home and they're soaked but in the run. i'm thinking they stayed outside most of the time at their original home and since they were already 4 months old when we got them, it's just their habit. i finally had to put their food pan in the coop just to get them in there at all. wondering where they'll decide to lay an egg, maybe the coop is just one big nesting box to them [​IMG] Anyway, is this ok? i guess it is for now, but what about winter time? should i shut them up in their coop for a day or so to let them know that's the place you're supposed to sleep? or do nothing, and just enjoy silly things!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't know where you are located so I have no idea what your winter weather is like. I don't know what your run looks like. My concerns would not only be the winter weather but high winds and thunderstorms if they are sleeping in the run.

    Also, and this is a big one, how predator-proof is your run? Many predators come out at night and they can often work undisturbed for hours on how to get through the fence. If there is any weakness in your run, they can find it. It is possible to predator-proof a fairly small run, but the larger the run, the harder it is to make it really predator-proof. Don't get complacent of they have been sleeping out there a few days without any predators showing up. My parents never locked up their chickens and they would usually go years between predator attacks. Then a fox, dog, something would find the flock and they would start losing chickens until they dealt with the predator. You don't necessarily get a predator attack the first night you don't lock them up. You get that attack when the predator finds the chickens.

    As I said, I don't know what your weather is like or what your run looks like, but I would suggest teaching them that sleeping in the coop and you locking them in there at night is a wise move. You can do that by either locking them in the coop until they decide that is home or by putting them in each night until they get the message.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Tripp16

    Tripp16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    I had your problem when I first got my girls......but I just kept locking them in the house every night and after about 2 nights they got the point. Now they are in to roost at night before I can shut the door. Lol [​IMG]

    They also go in when it rains. Dont worry I felt the same way you did at first just keep working with them! [​IMG]
     
  4. ditto

    ditto Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2011
    gotcha. that's what i shall do. at least they're easily trained, it seems. thanks
     
  5. philintheblank

    philintheblank Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2011
    Edmonton
    mine would wait until i turned on the light in the coop at dusk, maybe they were scared of the dark haha,
    never could get them to go into the dark coop by themselves
    until the weather started getting cold. then i couldnt get them out of the dang coop lol.
     

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