My flock won't use the hen house

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by galvinkr22, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. galvinkr22

    galvinkr22 New Egg

    Sep 7, 2009
    I have a new flock. 20 birds- 16 weeks old. Very healthy. A good mix of breeds.
    I build a new hen house. 10 by 12. solid roosts with good spacing. I took the design out of a poultry book. (The birds are high and dry.
    The run is completely fenced in. A 20 by 20 foot area.
    The issue is that my birds will not go into the house at night and roost. They spend time in there through out the day.. .and they do use the roosts . . during thunderstorms. . . ect. But at night they sleep in the fenced in area outside. Aside from a small log or two the birds just sleep on the ground.
    Anyone ever heard of this or have any suggestions. I live in Northern PA and I can't believe that my birds won't use the house.
    I had a nice flock in Virginia and everyone hit the hen house just as it started to get dark.

    Much thanks
  2. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    Start putting down some scratch inside, just before they are used to settling down. Pick up a few birds, and put them in there. Give the lucky ones a few treats inside. After a few nights, they'll all likely get used to going in on their own.
  3. vnploveschickens

    vnploveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    They just need to get in the habit. When you first built the coop, did you lock them in there for a few days straight to teach them that this is homebase? You might need to do this.

    Like Wombat suggested, some treats inside the coop just before dusk might train them to come in at night.

    Good luck!

  4. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Some folks have pretty good light having a light on inside as it gets dark, they will naturally go where it is lighter.Once they are used to going in at night, you can quit using the light.
  5. Terri

    Terri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2008
    Level Cross, NC
    my chickens go in at night, but still sleep all together on the floor(DBF says i have made them a nice fluffy bed of pine shavings) I tried to sneak in late at night and put them on roost, didnt' work.
  6. featherpants

    featherpants Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 17, 2009
    I'm beginning to notice a change in behavior with 1 or 2 of my birds, in that they don't want to go sleep in the coop at night! Could it be a mite problem? They do seem to do alot of dust bathing during the day. I do periodically change the hay in the nest boxes, and scoop the poop out of the clay litter that surrounds their nests. They still lay eggs in the nests, but, it's just at night, I've noticed maybe 2 hens sleeping outside in the pen! I've gone out, and put them back in with the rest, but the next evening... same old thing, but maybe different birds doing it. Birds all seem healthy, and normal, except for this. Any ideas what could be causing this behavior? And is it normal?

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