My girls won't go back in the coop at night from the run

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FrankStopher, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. FrankStopher

    FrankStopher In the Brooder

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    Our two and half mo. old chickens don't want to go to bed at night. We've got the coop light on, I've moved there food and water back inside the coop but they still huddle up in a corner and I guess bed down for the night. Makes it easier to put them back in the coop. And there,, well most of them are all sleeping together in the nesting boxes! Are they to young to roost? I think if I left them out there they'd be fine with it. In the mornings when I do the water and food thang and open the coop to run door. They have no problem going from coop to run and it's a really nice coop.
     
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  2. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    If your run is covered and sheltered on the sides, the chicks will find it secure enough to sleep there. But the issue is where do you wish them to sleep?

    Chicks are usually shown where they must sleep at night by their broody hen. In the absence of a mama hen instructing them, the chicks' education falls on you.

    Show them how to go into the coop when they begin huddling to sleep. Put them through the door. Then show them how to roost by placing them on the perch side by side and scrunching them close together for security. If they get upset, lay your hand gently on their necks, exerting a slight downward pressure. This calms and triggers the desire to sleep.

    Keep putting them back up when they hop down. Do the calming technique I described until they all remain. In just two or three nights, they will be roosting on their own.
     
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  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    I would be concerned about risk of predators in the run. Unless your run is completely predator proof: including the entire thing being made of 1/2" hardware cloth, including buried skirt, they would be at risk of predators. How many chicks, what is the size of your coop? L x W x H? How many l.f. of perches, and where are the perches in relation to the back wall, front wall, floor and ceiling? How many s.f. of ventilation in the coop? The nest boxes should be blocked off until they are close to point of lay.
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Good advice and questions above.
    Looking forward to hearing the answers.
    Pics of coop and run, inside and out, would help too.

    I put chick on roost during day to make sure they can get up and down OK.
    Then put them on roosts after dark if needed.
     
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  5. FrankStopher

    FrankStopher In the Brooder

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    I will post photos of the whole area tonight when I get home from work! Thanks for the input! I'm sure more questions will be coming your way concerning this and in response to your advice!
    The coop and run are Ft. Knox. Completely predator proof. Spent a lot of time reading and getting input on the best way to build. But would rather they stay in side at night to be sure!
     
  6. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    I definitely had to train my girls to go back in the coop to roost. It took a few months. I celebrated the night they did it on their own and I didn't have to crawl around and catch them one by one.

    Remove or cover the nest boxes if they aren't laying yet. You don't want them to get in the habit of sleeping there.

    Try making a little ramp up to the roost, just a bit of wood or something, or a lower roost that they can use until they are full grown. Once my pullets had an easy way up and down they were more inclined to use the roost in the coop.
     
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  7. Rick&chickTampa

    Rick&chickTampa Songster

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    I'm kind of in the same situation except mine are not chicks. They were sleeping inside no problem but for the past couple of weeks some of them are not going inside. I assume there has been some bullying but I'm not sure. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Roosting time conflict is one of the most common reasons why younger and lower ranking chickens stop going in to the coop at night. If you spend some time in quiet observation at roosting time, you will see who is keeping whom off the perches.

    Sometimes, when all else fails, simple perch partitions will install blissful peace. P1010007.JPG
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Probably just teenage rebellion....it's fairly common.
     
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