My Chickens won't sleep in the coop???? Help!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FirstLadiesClub, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. FirstLadiesClub

    FirstLadiesClub Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2013
    About a week ago we noticed that three or four of our birds are not sleeping in the coop any more. Our chickens do not free range but are in a substantially large run throughout the day and are able to go in and out of the coop as they please at any time of the day or night. 4 of our birds have been living in this coop/run since they were chicks, and the 3 others we introduced about 3 months ago. Up until this point we have not had any issues with any birds sleeping outside of the coop. In fact it is a mixture of our original birds and the new ones that are now sleeping outside.

    Last night was the coldest night we've had since they started this new trend at 28 degrees. Tonight they are calling for a snow/ice mixture well into tomorrow with temps getting down into the teens which is why I need some help. Should we be worried that they aren't sleeping inside?? Why aren't they sleeping inside? Could it be too hot in there? and Should we put them in there and close them in until the morning or just let them do what they want???

    I'm guessing my husband will put a light in the coop tonight to keep the water from freezing over more than to keep them warm, the light keeps the coop right at 32-34 degrees, so will they be ok if we close them up in there??? Sorry for all the questions, this is our first winter with the girls and have already experienced some disappointing frost bite on our roosters comb =( I'd hate to see more damage done this winter.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. CrazyChookLady5

    CrazyChookLady5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    at night time pick them up and put them back onto their roost in the coop, you'll have to do this for a few nights, after maybe 3/4 nights (maybe more) they'll start going to sleep back into the coop!
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I would not heat the water in the coop overnight. It's unnecessary. They can go overnight without water--most humans do too, if you think about it. Water in the coop = moisture in the coop, and you do not want that. Also, the heat lamp isn't good for them, and it's a fire hazard.

    It's -6 here in Ohio this morning. Our coop is unheated, and the birds are fine. Birds do fairly well in cold weather.

    What would concern me is the moisture. Somewhere your birds are getting moisture if you have frostbite damage. Frostbite isn't just cold, it's cold + moisture. Just cold won't do it. So if you have freezing rain forecast and the birds won't go in, put them in. Many of us (I'd venture to say most, in fact) lock our birds in the hen house every night to protect against predators. It won't hurt your birds in the slightest to be locked in every night, and might prevent a tragedy.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Ditto on:
    - locking them in at night
    - no heat light for water at night

    No heat at all....and look at your ventilation
     
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes--I'd wager that poor ventilation + water in the coop is the reason for your frostbite, not cold alone.
     
  6. ezicash

    ezicash Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am having the same issue. I have 3 RIR that are now 22 months old. About 8 weeks ago 1 of my girls (that I even noticed could be longer) was not going in the coop. During this time they were also molting Nov/Dec and looked so bad! My girls free range and go in the coop when they want to go to sleep. No eggs for 8 weeks either. Weather ranges from (night time) 20 degrees to minus zero degrees. I was told to pick up my troubled girl and put her in the coop and lock them in which I did last night. This morning when I unlocked the gate the trouble girl took off and hid under a tarp??? I checked the tarp to see if there were eggs there but nope. She was hiding! About an hour later she was back with the other 2 girls like nothing happened. Tonight I will lock her in again and keep checking on her - I don't want her to get frazzled. Any idea?
     
  7. ezicash

    ezicash Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2014
    Found out what the problem was. After they molted my hen (piper) took over the roll of leader and she is pecking on Doodles so Now I take doodles from top the hay stack and put her in the coop and lock the door. Did this for 2 nights and all is back to normal and I even got an egg!
     

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