Just joined BYC - Question

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Pressman, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Pressman

    Pressman In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2014
    East-Central Idaho
    So is it best to have the food and water in the chicken coop or outside in the run? I've just purchased a coop and attached it to the end of the chicken run my Golden Laced Wyandottes have been in all summer. They are six months old and at present I have their food in the coop. They go in and out all day just fine, but at night won't go into the coop to roost. I have been putting them each night but if I leave the light on (wanted to extend production time through the winter) they fight like crazy. They don't fight during the day in the run. When I shut the light off they go to sleep in the shaving on the floor, not on the roost. How do I get them to go into the coop at night and roost?
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to BYC. Turn the light off, if you have to put them on the roost do so. Birds don't want to move in the dark. After several times they may start doing it themselves. I'm not familiar with that breed but, big, heavy birds can get injured jumping down from a high roost,. Maybe your roost poles are too high up for them, or too close to the wall etc., so they cannot turn around comfortably. Is there enough room on the roost for all of them without crowding?

    If you showed us a photo of your roosting area maybe we could pinpoint the problem with them.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] There is no need to put the food and water inside the coop overnight and in winter it's better to leave the waterers outside, so you don't add to the humidity levels in the coop, which increases the risk of frostbite.

    The lighting, if you want to increase their day length by adding artificial light it is better to add the light in the mornings, so you don't mess with their normal roosting behaviour. By the sounds of things they are confused and upset about the evening light and this would in turn affect their egg laying at the end, so it's a no winner. Set the light on a timer so it switches on in the mornings early, just long enough to extend their days to a total of 14 hours of light.
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. I always keep water and layer feed inside the coop and never had any problem with it. What you may need to do is to lock your birds up in the coop for a week so that they become acclaimated to the coop and it is imprinted on them as home. Afterward, open the coop door, and let them wander out on their own without any physical encouragement on your part. At first they may be a bit hesitant to leave the coop, but they will eventually get around to it, particularly if you put some kind of treat for them out in the run. Also, I've never used and suppemental lighting in the winter and my hens (at least my better layers) have continued to lay in the winter, but if you are going to use supplemental lighting, I agree with sumi; add it in the mornings, not the evenings, so you don't mess up their normal roosting behavior. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    I have two coops. One coop is built so that the henhouse portion is pretty small. For that coop, I hang the feeder and waterer outside. Otherwise, there wouldn't be much room. I keep the feed and water inside for the other coop, as it has lots of space. My birds don't seem to really care either way. At night, chickens won't be eating or drinking, so they don't need food inside where they sleep.

    As suggested above, try locking them in the coop for a week or so. This may teach them that they should sleep in the coop. Continue placing them into the coop at night as well. Eventually, they should learn. And, switch the lighting to coming on in the morning.

    Good luck!
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    You have been given some great advice here. There is no need for food and water in the coop if they spend all day outside. Chickens will not go into the coop to find water or food, so you are not doing them any good to keep the food in the coop. So keep it outside somewhere near the coop.

    Turn off the lights. Many breeds lay right through the winter. Your Wyandottes should lay well this first winter. Birds need at least 8 to 10 hours of complete darkness for good health.

    Good luck with your flock and enjoy your babies!
    1 person likes this.
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    X2 on all the advice above.
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    I'll co-sign the advice already given above with regards to the lighting and encouraging the methods to encourage them to roost where you desire.
  10. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! I agree with the above advice.

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