Is this normal - chickens roosting at night outside...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by certifiedchef, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. certifiedchef

    certifiedchef Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    we have 4 14-16 week old hens, I just saw that Sacrmaento is expecting freezing temps tuesday night, so I went and checked on my girls. ONly one was sleeping in the coop - on the feeder. the other 3 were in their run on the roost exposed to the weather. Is this normal? I moved all three inside and closed the chicken door, they were clucking and walking around inside, put did not want to roost, they are prefering to stay on the ground..??? I have read that chix are mellow at night time and it is easy to handle them, this must be true because Mable (our Americana, let me pet her - she's our shy girl) Are the birds ok? Their coop was reading 45degrees F, they have ventalation (I did cover the window with a towel to reduce draft since it is at teh level of their roost. This is our first year with chicekns and I do not want to mess things up - hate for them to die because of something I am doing wrong (or not doing)
    I have had a timer set for a light to come on in the coop an hour before sunrise and back on for an hour after sun set - it seems so sad to have them in the dark [​IMG] Perhaps I should not be doing this? MAybe the roost needs to be lower than the window. Here are a couple pics of what we have

    note the roost below the window - good for summer - not winter?

    this is the light I have for them - the floor is covered with 4 inches of pince shavings

    this is the roost the goofs are sleeping on at night
  2. TGreenhut

    TGreenhut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2010
    Northern, CA
    I don't know, that is quite odd that your chickens are not roosting-mine always roost but the fact that Mable let you pet her at night is totally normal because she was probably drowsy.

    P.S I see you live in Carmichael, I'm located in Shingle Springs
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Mine were older when they finally started to roost, but they always went into the coop....
    Your chickens will be fine since you put them inside.
    Very nice coop,,,
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  4. certifiedchef

    certifiedchef Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    until tongiht they have always roosted - they started little, thought it odd that they are not doing so tongiht, thanks for the post
  5. Jferlisi

    Jferlisi i dont eat chicken!!!!

    Nov 2, 2010
    Menifee CA
    Mine have roosted for about 2 months now and they are about 2 weeks older than yours. But mine have alway been put up for the night. I would try every night locking them up in the coop. After about 2-3 weeks of doing this they should go in every night. They may not roost now only because there other roost is outside and alot higher off the ground. But they should start roosting if you lock them up every night. ATM mine have 2 sides that are wire on there coop and we get to the low 40's at night but im trying to get wood shutters on those sides so if it does get to cold i can close it, So maybe that could be an idea for your windows. As for them being in the dark they will be fine since they will go to sleep until they get light.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  6. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    That is a beautiful coop, and so clean! It looks like your girls want to be outside as it's higher. They equate higher with safer. And i'm wondering if they didn't roost when you put then inside because they were groggy. They have a hard time seeing in the dark and functioning when they are sleepy. i'm a little concerned about the cold snap coming tomorrow, too. i plan on throwing blankets over most of my various coops. Most of my chickens went through some frosts, and even a mini snow storm last winter and all fared well. i've read that chickens can handle cold easier than heat.

    i leave my patio lights on all night and have Christmas string lights in a couple of my coops. i guess i feel the light keeps predators away and makes things safer. The chickens seem to sleep fine, as the light isn't in their coops. i would cover that window and i'm sure your kids will be okay.
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'd guess at least part of the problem is they were avoiding a draft from the window, even with the towel. You really need some more ventilation higher than the roost, if the vent (or two of them) is all they have. That or drop the roost so they are not in front of the window, at least in cold weather. Mine like a breeze in summer, too.
  8. certifiedchef

    certifiedchef Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    thank you everyone for the input
  9. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    my guess would be your outside roost is higher and they will tend to go for the highest roost.

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