Not going in the coop at night

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cpapbpcp, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. cpapbpcp

    cpapbpcp New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2015
    So I had 9 chickens that I have had for about 2 years. Previously, they free ranged my yard all day then at dusk headed back to the coop where they roosted for the night. Every single day like clockwork. Last month, we lost two chickens, we are not positive what happened , but have a feeling that the hawk that had been hanging around had something to do with it. Anyway, the 7 we have left refuse to go in the coop at night now. They go during the day and lay their eggs. They prefer to roost in the rhododendron bush right outside the house. If I have time, I will wait to feed them and then trick them into the coop. This is just so time consuming. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can convince them to go back to the coop at night and get back into that routine?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    This is typical behavior after chickens have witnessed a traumatic event. My guess is they witnessed a predator taking the two chickens from the coop. The natural reaction is to avoid the place where they witnessed danger and the demise of their flock members.

    First, you need to be very certain the coop is secure. Go over it carefully, top to bottom. Some predators such as weasels and possums and rats can squeeze through very narrow cracks. Owls can fly though narrow horizontal slats at the top of walls. Raccoons can find their way into coops in some very clever ways that would surprise you.

    Once you've secured the coop, I would then coop up the chickens for a few days to reassure them they're safe and to get them used to roosting there again.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Where are you located?....If its warm where you live?...Possibly they find the Coop too warm at night?...If one Bird jumped into the Bush the others usually follow....;)....As was suggested....Lock them in the Coop and Run for a few days....They will start going in at night again....:)


    Best of luck...

    Cheers!
     
  4. cpapbpcp

    cpapbpcp New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2015
    Thank you for the suggestions. The coop is very secure and we live in Pennsylvania, so it isn't warm here yet. I tried keeping them all in the coop for three days straight and then they went back to roosting in the bush at night as soon as I let them out. Sigh. I just want to get this fixed before I introduce my newer chickens to the flock. I don't want them picking up the bad habits.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens




    That is strange....You said they go in and out during the day....is the coop clean?....Have you changed or added anything new to the coop?.....

    Silly Birds....;)
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    How big is your coop in feet by feet?
    How long are roosts in feet?
    Do you have a secure run?
    Hopefully you have ample room for all old and new birds.

    I would coop up your older birds for a good week or so to 're-home' them.
    Were the birds lost while free ranging?
    Did you find the bodies?
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Have you inspected the coop at night to be sure you don't have a mite problem? If the coop is infested with parasites, your chickens are likely to avoid it.

    Mites do not live on the chickens. They live in crevices in the coop and come out at night to crawl onto the chickens to feed. You need a flashlight and to go out after dark and take a look. I would be inclined to just go ahead and spray the coop down with permethrin or a spinosad based insecticide, both of which are non-toxic to poultry. Then try cooping the chickens up again for a few days.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. GoldGirl12222

    GoldGirl12222 Just Hatched

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    I would just pick them up and put them in there and then maybe if they don't like being picked up they will just continue going in. I don't really know but...
     
  9. GoldGirl12222

    GoldGirl12222 Just Hatched

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    I am not a chicken expert though[​IMG]
     

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