My hens won't go INTO their coop (eglu) at sundown!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WestHollybilly, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. WestHollybilly

    WestHollybilly Hatching

    Jan 22, 2008
    Hi, I am new to BYC forum.
    My girls are 3.5 months old now. Four of them; 2- Silver Laced Wyandotte 1 - Ameraucana/Easter Egger 1- Black Star. I bought an Eglu coop/run (I call it the HEN POD 2000), which is a small well, pod that looks like it is going somewhere very fast even though it is just sitting there! It is a British made coop perfect for the urban chicken lover.
    Up until about a week ago all was well. But now the girls hop on top of the wire run to roost instead of going into the 'hen pod.' So, every night I go out and pick them up and put them IN, which isn't such a big deal as they seem to be deaf, and blind at night so they don't put up much of a fight, but the Wyandotte's are savvy and Lady Cluck jumped down last night out of reach. I had to wait 5 minutes to get her back in. As a mom of two kids 5 minutes is a chunk of time I don't have in the evening!!!!
    I am guessing the 'hen pod' is getting cramped for 4 birds (I ordered 3 but they sent a fourth 'just in case').
    Any suggestions on how to get the girls to cram in to their studio apartment directly at night w/o my assistance????
  2. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    First let me say welcome!! So glad to have you. Does your "pod" have a roost inside? They want to be up high at night.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    An eglu is pretty small for even just 2 chickens, let alone 4, so it may simply be that they are not getting along well together in there (one may be getting obnoxious towards the others), or they may not feel that they fit anymore (could be getting too humid in there or poor air quality). Solution: bigger (or second) coop.

    Less likely possibilities: mites or lice infesting eglu (solution: take it all apart, hose the heck out of every single part and crevice, then swab with bleach solution before putting it all back together). Or, maybe they were scared by something when they were in there.

    Just get them a bigger, or 'nother, coop though and you should be fine.

    Good luck,

  4. Miss Sue

    Miss Sue In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2007
    My crew did that once with the Eglu. I think they couldn't find the door. Usually they don't mind it at night and all snuggle up together. (I did have 4 chickens, now just 2.)

  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I just think it's way too small for them. You should have 4 sq feet of floor space per bird, and I'm sure the eglu doesn't have that. What kind of chickens do you have?
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    They either prefer it outside or don't like the accomodations.

    Eglu.. [​IMG]

    Just kidding with ya. They'll go in if it gets too cold for them.
  7. WestHollybilly

    WestHollybilly Hatching

    Jan 22, 2008
    Thanks everyone,
    Well, the Eglu is designed small and low, so they don't get to get UP to roost, though it does have a wooden dowel floor so it FEELS like they are sitting on their roosting pole. They seem to all get along just fine. The Wyandottes do the most 'sizing up' maneuvers, but no one seems to be picked on.

    I thought about air quality too and have been emptying the tray every third day now.
    The chickens have run of my front and back yard all day and only go into the pod for sleeping.

    I know our dog (Australian Shepherd) has stuck her head in the pod with chickens inside but that was a month ago. At the time there were no ill effects...

    I am also thinking of reducing the flock to two hens, but we wanted to see how many eggs the girls lay, this should be in March or so...

    We spent a lot of money on the pod, and love the size. It sounds like a wait and see if they start going in again on their own or spend the moola on a new coop (sigh), or perhaps reduce the flock...

    Unless there is a way to LURE them back in.
  8. Miss Sue

    Miss Sue In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2007
    Try string cheese--the mozzarella kind made by Polly-O or something similar. My chickens would go to the ends of the earth for some.

  9. Xtradust

    Xtradust Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Orange, CA
    Maybe you need smaller chickens? I never figured the Eglu for anything but bantams.

    Bantams have smaller eggs, but I've had layers and we don't need that many eggs. Our fridge fills up quick.

  10. okto

    okto Chirping

    Jun 30, 2007
    los angeles
    it does seem like a size/space thing.

    maybe as they're getting bigger, it's just too crowded.

    build a bigger coop and sell the elbow on craigslist?

    one of the nice things about chickens is that they can be a fairly
    smooth operation. open in the morning, feed and water, shut at
    night and some cleaning up every now and then. in exchange
    you get some eggs. happy birthday.

    when they start doing stuff like sleeping in weird places, burying
    eggs in the run, beating each other up, then you find yourself on

    the solution is probably an easy one, the only problem is they can't
    talk. stupid chickens. god love 'em.

    good lunk
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2008

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