My flock won't go back into the coop at night

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by allseeingeye, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. allseeingeye

    allseeingeye Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2014
    Mandeville, La.
    When my flock had hit 6 weeks of age, I moved them from their brooder to the coop, but I was not finished building the attached outside run until last week, so for 3 weeks they have been living in the coop. So this past Saturday I finally finished the run and they are loving life!

    However, when night time comes, they don't migrate back to the coop. Instead, they bunch up in the corner of the run next to the ramp that goes into the coop. During the day, I do see go in and out, so they definitely know that the ramp = in and out of coop, but will they ever all learn to naturally go back to the safety of the coop at night? I have several chicken owner friends whose flocks do this like clockwork. Mine are only 9 weeks old, so I'm hoping it's just time that I have to wait on.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Maybe they are afraid they will get locked in there again, or are remembering being locked in. It's also possible there is something about the coop they don't like. Could be a predator, some lice or mites (check the underside of the roost as well as the birds,) or just that it is too small or not well enough ventilated. It could even be too hot. Even in cooler weather, they may prefer outdoors, as they are well insulated by their feathers. In the South, they don't ever need a sealed up, 4 sided building against the "cold." It's just not cold to them.
  3. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2011
    Put a light on a timer in the coop. As night fall occurs the The light will attract them into the coop. Timer turns the light off 1/2 hour or so after nightfall.
    1 person likes this.
  4. barbschickens

    barbschickens Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  5. Izzywinz

    Izzywinz Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 16, 2014
    I went through a stage where I was manually putting the chickens back in every evening. Luckily, they were quite tame and not a trouble to catch. I could carry 4 at a time. After a week or two, they put themselves to bed every night.
  6. allseeingeye

    allseeingeye Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2014
    Mandeville, La.
    This is what I'm doing now. There are no predators or reasons they shouldn't be interested in going back in. I'm guessing it may just be that they are young and the whole idea of them going back in is new to them. I think tonight I will just leave them out and see if they eventually figure it out on their own.
  7. phinux

    phinux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2013
    Are you sure they know how to use the ramp with confidence?
  8. allseeingeye

    allseeingeye Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2014
    Mandeville, La.
    Yes. Earlier today I went to check on them an I discovered the entire flock in the coop. This was around 5 pm. So maybe they will start a trend.

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