1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Our chickens are confused!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Colorado Hens, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Colorado Hens

    Colorado Hens New Egg

    Oct 22, 2010
    Longmont, CO
    So, all of the sudden, our chickens are no longer going into the coop to roost for the night. Instead, they are choosing to roost in their run. For more than a week, I've had to go out and put them into the coop. It's starting to get colder at night (low 40's) and I'm a little tired of this new ritual! Here are some thoughts: 1) We've started a light on a timer to come on in the evening for a couple of hours since it's getting dark sooner and 2) The coop is coop-clean with fresh water, food and is not overly hot or cold. I put them back into the pen after free-ranging in the early evening and they now literally jump up on their outdoor roost immediately! Is it the light? Should I remove their outdoor roost? And, I've gone out as late as 10PM and they are still there! Why are they no longer heading straight to the coop like they've done since the beginning? I'm so confused! Any thoughts?
  2. S*T*A*R

    S*T*A*R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2010
    Maybe the light is making it an ucomfortable tempurature for them?
  3. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    If you are extending their day for laying purposes then it should be done in the mornings and not the evenings. It is best to let them go to roost by natural light and let the aritificial light wake them up. That way they have time to get to the roost instead of a light suddenly cutting off. Chickens cannot see in the dark.

    This change may also help them get used to going in the coop to roost. If it doesn't I would remove the roost in their lot.

  4. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've thought of the light thing but I was leaning more towards turning it on in the AM (DH leaves just before 7) to get a little extra rather than turning it on in the evening.

    But then, down here, the hottest part of the day is afternoon... doesn't really get 'cool' until 9pm easy... but 4-6am is the coolest.

    I'd check the coop... maybe there's something in there giving them the willies. I know if we wake up and see/hear a waterbug that I cannot sleep in the room after that, I camp on the couch. Maybe it's something similar... ?
  5. Colorado Hens

    Colorado Hens New Egg

    Oct 22, 2010
    Longmont, CO
    Ah, I would have never thought of the idea that something was giving them the willies! We cleaned out and replaced all of the pine shavings and set the new light on the same day. Something went wrong. We'll turn the light off in the evenings and give the shavings a good turn and hope for the best. Silly chickens. Sillier chicken keeper. Thanks for the advice!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by