My chickens won't go into their coop at night.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Pressman, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Pressman

    Pressman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2014
    East-Central Idaho
    I've read the posts on this topic which were helpful but I have a twist on my situation. My hens are Golden Laced Wyandottes and they are 6 months old. They are my "girls" come to me everytime I go out, sit on my legs when I sit down with them and are easy to catch. I just bought a chicken coop and put it at the end of the 10x20 foot chicken tractor I built for them this summer. I put their food and water in the coop and they go in and out all day just fine. At night they want to stay outside. I put them in and lock the door but if I leave the light on they fight like crazy. I'm afraid they end up hurt, but as soon as I turn the light off they go to sleep on the floor in the shavings, not on the roost. I have to get up early and let them out because I am afraid they will start fighting as soon as they can see. The coop is 6-feet long, five feet wide and 6-feet tall with a roost and six nesting boxes. I only have six hens so it should be plenty big enough. I wanted to leave the light on so as to extend their laying. Any suggestions would be so much appreciated.
     
  2. Cape Cod Chicks

    Cape Cod Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 21, 2014
    Cape Cod, MA
    My hens don't fight but have spent the summer roosting on top of their hen house and won't go in to sleep at night even though we have had our 1st frost (light) here in New England. I have 6 hens (Wyandots; silver, golden, blue. Brahma; buff, white, and 1 Barred Rock) they are 8 months and just starting to consistently get 4-5 eggs/day. Their house is 4'x8'x3' with 2 nest boxes and a hardware cloth garden level that I can close the door to isolate if need be. It's a remodeled kit house that I think was for smaller breeds. Next year I will build new. The 4x8 roof I hinged for ease of cleaning, it's sloped with a house hold passive roof vent and it's in their 10'x12 chain link dog kenel with a watertight roof, so the safe.
    The question is, how do I retrain them to roost in the house vs on top now that winter is looming? Do I need to worry or will they roost inside once it gets too cold at night? The last 2 nights (low 40s) I waited till dark then picked each up to put inside their house. Also will I stop getting eggs once winter sets in? That would stink since I don't have any power out in coop for lights and just started getting reliable eggs!
     
  3. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    The use of artificial light in your coop at night in order to extend their laying isn't the way to do it. If you really feel the need to use a light in your coop you should likely have it on a timer that will turn on around 4 am in the morning and shut off around 9 am. All you want to do is to 'trick' them into thinking the sun has risen. Leaving artificial lights on during the night, which is their normal sleeping time, is what is contributing to their fighting.

    As for the size of your coop, you have 6 large-breed girls, your coop is 5' x 6' which equals 30 sq.ft. Large breed girls (like I have) really need some elbow room, a minimum of 4-6 sq.ft. per bird. So 6 girls x say 5' equals your 30 sq.ft. You are, in my opinion, at the max for them. Then after you add their roost(s)/poop tray, nesting boxes, feed and water, there ya go....you're really at your max.

    My suggestion would be to never turn on your light during the night...that is disruptive to their normal sleeping time. Me personally? I do not use artificial lights during winter for the simple reason my girls deserve a much-needed rest during the winter months. I wish you all the best!! [​IMG]
     
  4. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    How lovely to have pets like your girls.
    Are they laying? Most of my pullets have only taken up roosting about the same week they started laying. Before that they would either cuddle up on the ground or try to hide in a nestbox.
    Do you only have one roost in your coop? I had to put an other one in mine when I got new birds as they wouldn't all sit next to each other without fighting.
    I had one pullet who used to get bullied (now she is my oldest and THE boss) and wouldn't roost at night so when all the others had settled for the night I would sneak in and put her on the roost. She got the hang of it after a couple of weeks. Yours might just need some help to realise they are meant to roost.
     
  5. Pressman

    Pressman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2014
    East-Central Idaho
    Thanks so much for the information. This is my first time with chickens and I appreciate the advise. How do you heat your coop in the winter? We can get -20 here in Idaho.
     
  6. Pressman

    Pressman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2014
    East-Central Idaho
    My girls went into the coop by themselves tonight but all six tried to get into one nest box! I went in and put them on the roost and three stayed there. I think they might be getting it figured out!
     
  7. Pressman

    Pressman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2014
    East-Central Idaho
    Yes they are laying well. Anywhere from three to six eggs a day and I have one that lays a double yolk one every once in a while. When she started it was a double yolk every time.
     
  8. DMeyerhoff

    DMeyerhoff New Egg

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    Oct 16, 2014
    Thank you for your post...I have the opposite problem. I have a girl that wont comeout of the coop, and spends most
    If not all of her time in her nesting box. I have picked her up and loved on her, taken her outside and she runs right back to her box.
    I have 2 Roos, and 9 other hens.

    Thanks in advance for any help!!
     
  9. Pressman

    Pressman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2014
    East-Central Idaho
    This forum is great for help. I don't have this problem but if you just type "my chicken won't come out of the coop" into the search field you will find a whole bunch of answers. Seems like most of them suggest the hen might be "broody."
     
  10. 888taffy

    888taffy New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2014
    Sounds as if she's being bullied as mine was. 1 too many roosters maybe too much competition.
    We had to remove ours as she was a bantam and the others were bigger than her. My suggestion is not too mix up bantams and larger chickens, a lesson we have learnt.
     

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