Not going in coop at night.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by archeryrob, May 21, 2019.

  1. archeryrob

    archeryrob Chirping

    Aug 3, 2018
    Western Maryland
    Not sure how to fix this, or if I need too. I was thinking of getting an auto door, but now the rooster has changed all the hens behaviors. I have a roost tree in the coop that maybe up to 12 can sit on. The rooster has just started getting on it an hour before dark and then not wanting to go in. He's never been on it before as they hens all dominated it before he arrived.

    Saturday night we were out until 12:30 and I came home to lock the coop and the roo and two hens are sleeping in the roost tree still. I try and shoo them in and they are like punch drunk. One hen jumped out of my hands and crash into the ground trying to fly. The roo about wobbled up the ramp. :lol:

    Its bee persistent shooing them in. Last night I go over at 8:40 and 10 minutes past when they should all be in and the roo, 5 RIR hens and 2 Leghorn hens are all roosting outside for the night. Is this summer time camping for chickens? I've never seen chickens not want to go into the coop at night. :confused:

    Is this nothing or going to be a long term PITA?
    Merci BeauCoop likes this.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    If the tree they are sleeping in isn't protected from climbing, flying predators it isn't OK.
    Chickens are creatures of habit and will continue to sleep where they slept the night before. They love fresh air so will choose to sleep outside if given the opportunity.
    If it is a completely predator proof space, it is OK. If it isn't, it is not.
    Bettyboop7499 likes this.
  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    As you have seen they make easy targets when sleeping. I agree with Chickencanoe about keeping it safe.

    I like knowing mine are in a solid structure at night.

    There are a few things that usually cause the switch to outside sleeping.

    Roosts in the run should be lower than what is in the coop.
    Lots of fresh air in the coop. That means lots of ventilation. If it was closed for winter try opening it back up.
    Along with fresh air comes keeping it clean. Most folks find the nose is a good way to know if it needs work. The coop should not smell like droppings.
    I don't think that you keep a dirty coop. ;) Just one of the reasons birds may head outside.

    Then there are the stubborn ones. :rolleyes:
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Are tree roosts higher than coop roosts?

    More info would help her.....
    your flock size(numbers, ages, genders),
    your coop(size in feet by feet with pics).
  5. littlebarngirl

    littlebarngirl Songster

    Apr 2, 2017
    Flower Mound, Texas
    Sounds like they are tapping into their jungle roots.:D Hope they return to the coop soon, so they'll be safe.
  6. archeryrob

    archeryrob Chirping

    Aug 3, 2018
    Western Maryland
    They just started this as the rooster started using the outside roost, which he never did before. I see it like camping as it just started as the nights got warmer. The roost tree perch studs are at 1.5' 3' 4.5' and 6' and 2' long and mounted with the 1.5" side up. I think they get comfortable there before dark and just don't move because the boss isn't moving.

    I come out and start pushing them off and they all slowly make their way into the coop. The coop has 2 roost with poop boards at about 4.5' with 2x3's sideways leaving 2.5" of foot space. I am probably going to lower one to 3' so they have an easier way up and down.
  7. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    My philosophy is to make them safe wherever they are. My run is as safe as my coop. If you've done that too, then isn't it OK for them to decide where they prefer to roost?
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
    ChickenCanoe likes this.
  8. Criticalicious

    Criticalicious Songster

    Feb 25, 2017
    New Market, VA
    Put a light in the coop. Turn it on 15 minutes before sundown. They will go inside to roost because they prefer to see rather than be in the dark. Once they're inside and roosting, you can turn off the light and close up the coop.
    littlebarngirl likes this.
  9. archeryrob

    archeryrob Chirping

    Aug 3, 2018
    Western Maryland
    The coop(s) are 150' from the house and no electric over there. I prefer the stink over there as far as walking allows. Maybe I'll try that if I get an auto door. Now I'll need a outside open close button if they keep this stuff up. I think they are on the roost tree out side and comfortable, why bother going in the coop.

    Last night the roo went in and only three RIR stayed out. Maybe my constant harassment is slowly changing their new patterns. The roo gets all worked up when the hens start clucking because I can shooing them inside.
  10. For a coop light we got one of those battery operated lights that you tap on the bulb to turn on and off. No regular electricity needed.

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