My dumb birds won't sleep in their coop.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cosmicmama, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. cosmicmama

    cosmicmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2011
    My chick-n-villa (mine has an added nesting box) is inside an 18x18 8-foot tall enclosure and my 5 hens are never locked inside it (the villa, that is, they are locked inside the 18x18 enclosure.. They won't sleep in it though, right now it is 40 degrees and raining, and they are all sleeping on top of it in the rain. They will go inside to lay their eggs and get to their feeder, but they don't sleep in there. I got them in April and they free-ranged until a couple of months ago, when I had to build my enclosure higher to keep them in due to complaining neighbors. Also, when they free ranged, they never slept in it, they always roosted in the trees. They did sleep in it when they were little for a couple of months before they figured out how to get up into the trees. I have tried locking them in for a week, etc, still they won't sleep in it. I know it's because they prefer a higher spot, but wouldn't they rather keep warm and dry? Sometimes at night I will chase them off the top and make them go inside, but if I don't close the coop door they won't stay in. I've also tried putting a light in there for a few hours in the evening (for egg purposes, but thought it might get them to go inside at night too), and it didn't work, nor did it increase egg production, so I stopped using the light. I'm worried that when the weather turns really cold here in January that they are going to freeze. Any suggestions?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  2. hemet dennis

    hemet dennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    If they get cold enough they will go inside
     
  3. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 30, 2011
    Wyoming
    hard to fight thousands of years of evolution. they are naturally going to prefer fresh air. Good part is, you obviously have healthy vibrant birds if they can get up into the trees, thats a long jump. If it gets to cold, and they are more comfortable, or feel more secure in the coop they will go into it for the evening. How is the air quality in the coop?

    Something is keeping them out of it. Not really a big deal if they are not in danger from predation.
     
  4. RHRanch

    RHRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can train them to go in. It will take about a week or so because they are in the habit of roosting in other places. All you do is every evening physically put them inside the henhouse on the roosts. Stay outside to prevent them from going back out until it is completely dark. Do this until they get in the habit of doing it themselves. Usually 7 to 10 days. Could be longer, could be shorter.

    When they go in, are they in an enclosed pen/yard? Because if they are not, eventually a predator will come and eat them. Birds are very vulnerable to attack when they are sleeping, and that could be why they don't want to go into the henhouse where it would be harder to escape a predator.
     
  5. BackyardCountry

    BackyardCountry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2011
    My Own Little World....
    Are there any roosts in ur 'villa'?? if not, i had the same problem with 2 of my chicks, one a hen the other a rooster. Every night we had to go out and take them into the coop for about s month. then one night a fox dug under the coop and ate our roo. the hen was spared but after that she started going in the coop at night. so just keep going out and putting them in and eventually they'll catch on. Good Luck!
     
  6. ChickenSahib

    ChickenSahib Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2011
    Hayward
    I'll keep it short and simple.

    "Help" them in by shooing them or something of the like into the coop or physically putting them in there at first. After a week or so of doing this, come sundown they should be inside by themselves.
     
  7. stormylady

    stormylady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    Illinois
    You can train them to go in. It will take about a week or so because they are in the habit of roosting in other places. All you do is every evening physically put them inside the henhouse on the roosts. Stay outside to prevent them from going back out until it is completely dark. Do this until they get in the habit of doing it themselves. Usually 7 to 10 days. Could be longer, could be shorter

    I'm currently in the process of doing this with my silkies ! I'm personally getting tired of slipping and sliding around in the mud trying to get them in the coop! I even have one that likes to Roost (hes a mix though) on the top of the six foot chainlink fence, rain, snow it don't matter to him. but I still go get him and put him in for the night and the hens are starting to get the idea, the Roosters not so much, Well the Sal. Fav goes in every night by hisself.

    I did use this process with the LF and within days they got it, its been two weeks and the silkies I just don't know about! [​IMG]
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    I put a nice roost in my coop. they slept on the old brooder next to the chickenwire fence, easy coon pickins.

    So I secured the end of my run under the roof with screening and hardware cloth over the chicken wire, took the old brooder apart, used its base for a nice 4 tier shovel handle perch, and anchored that to the run with a nice 10 inch piece of 2x2 so that the top tier would be out of raccoon reach. The hens loved it. Airy, open, safe.

    didn't know they were aware of the perch in the coop til the morning high was 20 last January. At which point they were very fond of that coop perch.

    I practice secure run, open coop, I'm not slipping around in the mud cooping birds. My dogs patrol, my run is NOT against a fence (and it doesn't look like yours is either.)

    But I do provide lots of perches.

    Gypsi
     

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