New Chickens STILL won't use the coop!

gardenerds

Chirping
Apr 16, 2020
24
42
59
Weston, CT
I have 10 easter eggers and introduced 6 bantams around late July. We halved the run and used a mini green coop as their night-time sleeping arrangements. Did the whole separate, but live side-by-side bit, and then they foraged together. No major issues and they began to live together. Tried keeping the whole flock in the coopf for two days on two separate occasions. BUT the bantams won't use the coop, except (in the last couple weeks) one has. The silkie goes inside the mini coop we have inside the run still, and the rest roost on bars and branches we have in the run. Freezing cold, rain, wet feathers and all, four of them choose to roost outside. What do I do?
 

gardenerds

Chirping
Apr 16, 2020
24
42
59
Weston, CT
*Should mention the run is 30x15 and the coop is 10x10. Many roosting options. Clean bedding. Window for light. Very warm and ventilated. There are 5 brooder boxes that are covered and clean. More than enough space for the amount of chickens
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
5,131
15,965
556
Atlanta GA
Lock them inside for longer? Temporarily remove everything they could sleep on in the run? Accept that chickens are gunna be chickens and theyll come in if it gets bad enough? I dunno. I let mine do their own thing BUT I'm in the south so hypothermia is not a huge concern for me.
 

WallyG74

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Mar 7, 2020
1,115
4,129
341
Meridian, MS
It’s a matter of training. Like jwehl said, remove what enables them. Move them after dark if necessary. I’m in the Deep South too but I want mine secure because I’m in the country where predators rule. If you’re consistent, they will get it much quicker than you think.
 

WindingRoad

Crowing
Nov 21, 2018
1,765
3,037
283
Maine
I have 10 easter eggers and introduced 6 bantams around late July. We halved the run and used a mini green coop as their night-time sleeping arrangements. Did the whole separate, but live side-by-side bit, and then they foraged together. No major issues and they began to live together. Tried keeping the whole flock in the coopf for two days on two separate occasions. BUT the bantams won't use the coop, except (in the last couple weeks) one has. The silkie goes inside the mini coop we have inside the run still, and the rest roost on bars and branches we have in the run. Freezing cold, rain, wet feathers and all, four of them choose to roost outside. What do I do?
Go out before it's totally dark. If chickens don't go in before total dark they can't see the roosts. I go out early and put the wayward chickens on the roost. Put them in the same spot every time. Might take a week or more, but be consistent. You'll be glad you did. Just do it. LOL. Good luck
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
5,131
15,965
556
Atlanta GA
I moved my birds from the fence to the coop for a couple weeks and they didnt seem to process that they could avoid the midnight tussle if they just went to bed like good little chickens. I ended up selling off most of the cockrells that roosted there and the pullets no long felt safe there and came inside like good little girls. So, I would suggest trying the before dark thing if the other ideas dont work, but moving them after dark did not work. Mine wont let be pick them up before dark, and I had too many birds per coop area to lock them up to teach them, so I couldn't (wouldn't) go those routes. On the up side, I did figure out how to carry three birds at a time. :lau
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,879
35,825
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Try removing/blocking whatever else they're using as nighttime options (run roosts, old coop), and/or manually placing them inside the new coop each night until they get the hint.
 

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