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My chickens are staying outside at night?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by claireschicks, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. claireschicks

    claireschicks In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2013
    It's freezing cold and my chickens wont all go into the coop at night they just keep roosting outside!
    Should I make them a coat to keep them warm? I'm worried about their toes!!!
    It gets to -1 at night now but 2 wont go indoors...
    HELP!! [​IMG]

  2. I normally home them. Keep them inside for a few days, atleast a week, then they would go inside at night,
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    Where do you live? I doubt you have to worry about their toes unless your nights are down below -20 F.

    Lock them in the coop for five days or so. Then, if they still don't go in at night, put them in every single night. They'll have it figured out in less than a week.

    And no, don't make them coats. They already have extremely efficient winter coats on, and trying to help them by adding something over those feathers would actually be harmful.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  4. claireschicks

    claireschicks In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2013
    They have lost alot of feathers by pecking eachother!
  5. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    How old are they?

  6. claireschicks

    claireschicks In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2013
    Erm about 17 monthes, got them at 24 weeks since last Christmas [​IMG]
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Just make sure the roost is wide enough that they can cover their toes.

    It gets below zero here. One of our meetup group members has a very nice coop and covered predator proof run with roosts in both. Her chickens use the coop for egg laying and feeding, otherwise they're outside. Last winter they never spent one night in the coop, opting to roost in the run with no protection from the weather was the roof. They didn't freeze. No respiratory problems which I attribute to the fresh air.

  8. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Songster

    Mar 13, 2013
    My Coop
    Hmmm.... pecking each other is often (but not always) due to over crowding. Is it possible that they don't have enough space inside the coop and/or run which might also contribute to why some of them do not come into the coop at night to roost?

    If you're experiencing a lot of feather loss, you might want to try to figure this out as your first step. Generally (again, not always) happy productive chickens don't peck each other to the point of feather loss. An occasional "I'm reminding you that I'm higher than you in the pecking order" peck is normal but it happens very infrequently once the pecking order is established and it rarely results in any more than 1 or 2 feathers coming out. Also, with enough space, the chicken who gets pecked simply runs away, flies up on something or hides behind something. If they don't have sufficient space to get away, the chicken can get easily cornered and that causes further feather loss and more bad/undesirable behavior.

    Unhappy, crowded or bored chickens peck each other and one it starts, it can be hard to break. It can also be dangerous, causing one chicken to get ganged up on and on occasion, killed by the others. Maybe try to figure out why they're doing this and if you can do anything about it. Maybe give them more room in their day space or in the coop at night or whatever. It's hard for us to give any good suggestions given that we don't know your set up and situation.

    Solving this might solve the problem of some of the chickens not going into the roost at night. Again, it's hard to say but... if the chickens that don't want to go inside at night are lower in the pecking order, it could be because they're afraid of being confined/in close proximity/bullied by the more bossy chickens. So, they prefer to just stay outside rather than go in the coop. Not sure but maybe it's really something along these lines.

    Hope this helps,
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  9. Alicatt

    Alicatt Chirping

    Sep 10, 2013
    catskills, New York
    Are you sure they aren't molting? This time of year the hens will lose a lot of feathers, or are you seeing the pecking? I think you should pick them off the roosts and pop them into the coop at night, I had to do that, eventually a couple got it and the rest followed. During the time they were roosting outside I put tarps on the pen to cut back on the breeze. Good luck!!

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