My rooster won't go back in his coop!


10 Years
Aug 27, 2009
I have a little Belgian D'Anvers rooster who I free-range with a small coop (just big enough for 2 bantams, really) for sleeping in. He had a hen, but she was killed by a fox in the coop (It was completely my fault - I had forgotten to shut the door). He survived but he's not happy about that coop anymore.

I don't blame him for not going back in his coop after the fox, but I don't have anywhere else to put him! I have several coops but they already have roosters in them and they won't take kindly to him joining them. At dusk he flies up to the top of the outdoor run and sleeps there. It's actually probably very safe there, but in the winter it is going to get too cold - I'm in northeast Connecticut and it gets pretty nasty here sometimes.

Is there a way to get him to be ok in his coop again? If it gets cold enough will he just go back in? Sometimes I'm able to catch him and put him back in, but not always. I never, ever forget to close the door anymore, but the damage has already been done
The only thing I can suggest is that you lock him in the coop for a few days until he gets over his fear of it. Catch him at night to do it. Good luck
I am with gritsar. Catche him at night and lock him up in the coop for a couple days. he will get use to it again and go back at night.
It may be a lot less about fear of the coop and a lot more about not wanting to sleep alone. He's roosting as close to the other chickens as he can get. Have you tried putting another hen with him? Or thought about rehoming him to someplace he can live in a flock? Chickens are social birds, they're much happier with at least one other chicken.
You may have to lock him in the coop. Another hen for company in the coop might help. Sleeping on top of the run puts him at danger from predators.
Yes, he needs to be locked up for a few days, and as others have pointed out, I think he would like some company. Saying that, I have one hen who flies away each evening to go and roost alone in some nearby trees, and then she returns in the mornings. She's still a bit young, but I'm hoping that as she gets older, my rooster will make her go in the coop. There were two other hens doing the same thing, but Mr Rooster took care of the problem for me, and now he herds them into the coop:lol:
Before you lock him back up in the coop. Clean it thoroughly, disinfect, rescent it with fresh bedding, etc. To get the old smells out of it. Give him a new hen and then set them in it.

I once had a snake get into one of the nest boxes. The hens would not use that box. I had to clean it, air it, rub it all over with fresh straw, toss that, let it air out for days again. Then and only then did the girls show interest again. Then I put fresh straw and a new nest set up and then they used it again. But it was probably a month later.

Good luck.

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