My chickens will not get out of the rain, even at night

NHchicks

Songster
May 13, 2010
548
11
184
New Hampshire
WOW was that hard. I put every kind of treat in the coop - green peas, oats (that I have for seed), I sacrificed a can of Goya corn, bird seed (from my indoor birds) -- and nothing could get them all to go in the coop. They have been used to feeling like they are totally outdoors in that run all summer. So I enlisted my daughter's help because it was getting dark, and by this time they were starting to fly on top of the run! Forget that! So she said the same thing that was suggested here - let them go in the run, jump on the roost perches, then pick them up one by one and pop them thru the chicken door into the coop. I stood at the chicken door with my cardboard box to block the entrance after each one was popped in, and she picked them one by one off the roost. It's dark out so they weren't all that excited, but who knows if they'll sleep on the floor or the perches in there. They'll have to figure that out. The chicken door is blocked with the cardboard box.

There is clear plexiglass on the main door and also on the partition to the run, above the chicken door.

May have to do this every night for a while, but if I leave them in there till noon or so tomorrow, they may start to realize it's not that bad of a crib. Forecast to be 22F tonight, no way I can let them sleep in the great outdoors. They are creatures of habit. Lesson learned: Do not let them get in habits that they cannot stay in all year long. Good luck changing their routines!

btw, the coop is 4x8, the run is 16x20. (I had said 12x16, but was wrong.) Who wouldn't rather live in a mansion than in an efficiency apartment? (They also have a large front yard which is fenced in with an electric fence, and also houses my beehive.)
 

BDutch

Crowing
May 19, 2015
1,938
6,185
387
the Netherlands
My Coop
Well you never know with chickens.

Originally I had only 4 tiny chickens in a prefab coop. I rebuild it and added an airy extension to this coop: a sheltered place with roosts to hang out during the day. It is attached to the small coop/run, which was rather small. They preferred to sleep in the extension too whole summer. I converted the hang out place a bit into a sleeping area (with poop board). When winter came they didn't want to go back into the small coop. I accepted they prefer this bigger and airy ‘mansion’. That first winter I just covered most openings with plastic (from a new matras) and some left over building materials.

Now we are several years later and I ‘added’ 3 younger chickens. Two of them (sometimes one or all three ) find the small prefab coop a better place to stay for the night. Never told them to do so. I think they just don’t like to share the same bedroom. 😂
 

NHchicks

Songster
May 13, 2010
548
11
184
New Hampshire
At least your extension has a roof. Mine is just hardware cloth all the way around, but I did/am growing grape vines and hardy kiwi vines that have grown up to cover the roof so that they form kind of a "living" roof. I wanted it this way so the rain could wash the run out, while allowing some degree of shelter from rain. It's not enough to protect them completely though. We had a drought all summer and it barely rained so it wasn't an issue. Now there will be snow, we usually wind up with a 1-2 foot ground cover of snow here much of the winter. If they don't acclimate to the coop I'm going to be in big trouble, because manually stuffing them into the coop every evening is not going to be fun.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
87,920
106,238
1,737
SW Michigan
My Coop
Mine is just hardware cloth all the way around, but I did/am growing grape vines and hardy kiwi vines that have grown up to cover the roof so that they form kind of a "living" roof.
That could be a problem with 1-2' of snow on top....not mention vines can destroy structures.
 

NHchicks

Songster
May 13, 2010
548
11
184
New Hampshire
Just do as @aart suggested and remove the roosts in the run.
True, could put them back up in the summer.

That could be a problem with 1-2' of snow on top....not mention vines can destroy structures.
True, there are supports throughout the run but I should add new ones now, it's been probably 7 or 8 years since the run was built. The good news is the snow melts and drips through the hardware cloth so it doesn't stay accumulated, but it does get heavy, especially when it rains after it snows. Don't want a collapse in there. About the vines destroying structures, seems to be holding out okay so far.
 

NHchicks

Songster
May 13, 2010
548
11
184
New Hampshire
I've had chickens sleep in trees through rain, snow and strong freezing wind. They were quite healthy.
I was wondering about that, just how bad of weather chickens can endure. We can have temps that hover around 0F tho, with winds. Occasionally we might have nights in the negatives. I think that might be too cold.
Oh, well, proof that it's fine.
I think it may have deteriorated over time. All that weight all those years, they're wood, need to check those supports and redo.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
32,141
25,502
997
St. Louis, MO
I was wondering about that, just how bad of weather chickens can endure. We can have temps that hover around 0F tho, with winds. Occasionally we might have nights in the negatives. I think that might be too cold.

I think it may have deteriorated over time. All that weight all those years, they're wood, need to check those supports and redo.
I have a friend here who has a nice coop and predator proof run. The chickens only go in the coop to eat and lay eggs. They've slept on roosts in the run all these years. They prefer the fresh air.
We frequently get down to zero but a few years back it hit -19 at my house and my huge windows are wide open. No sick birds.
How do tiny sparrows and wrens survive in those temps? They go to bed wearing their winter coat.
 
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom