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Rooster doesn't want to sleep in the coop anymore

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by francesfelicity, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. francesfelicity

    francesfelicity Hatching

    Oct 10, 2015
    Hi! Longtime lurker and first post here. I suppose I should start by thanking BYC for all the tips I've scored from this site already. :)

    We have a flock of nine five-month-olds: eight hens (mixed breeds) and one Black Cochin rooster. We first heard our roo crowing a couple weeks ago, and shortly thereafter he quit going up with the ladies to sleep in the coop. There's plenty of room up there, and he never had a problem with it until recently.

    I normally let my flock free range through the backyard when I get home from work for a couple hours before dusk. Once he gets the ladies up, he parks himself just inside the run on the ground near the door. When I come out to close it, he bristles at me and gets a bit upset (at first I was manually moving him into the coop, but he's becoming increasingly more intimidating and I don't really care to bicker with him in the dark.)

    Do I have to shut him up in the coop again to retrain him? Do I have to make the girls hang out there too if I do? At the moment, it's warm, but winter is not far off and I'd rather see him safe and dry upstairs!

  2. Zackman23434

    Zackman23434 Chirping

    Jul 17, 2015
    Maybe try finding something that could coax him in the coop when he is putting the ladies up. My first idea would be to take my box fan and place it right in front of that spot, turn it on high, and see what he does. Idk why I just think it would be funny to see if he would try to suffer through it.

    On a more serious note, he probably thinks he is just protecting the girls. They aren't as dumb as they seem sometimes. I would guess he would go in when the cold hits.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I have had roosters guard the door, he is taking his job seriously, he probably will mellow after a bit and start going inside again.
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You do have a very interesting problem. It has me very intrigued, but somewhat stumped.

    Five months old is ripe for hormones to be turned on in a cockerel, and yours is probably changing the way he relates to you, as well as his role in protecting his flock. He's probably unsure that he can trust you, as well.

    I think the most important thing you need to do right now is to decide on how you want to handle him and be very consistent. If you decide to leave him alone, then you need to act as if that's exactly what you want him to do, and it's perfectly all right.

    If you decide to make an issue of him going into the coop, you need to be firm and pick him up and place him inside the coop and shut the door, and do it exactly the same each night until he does it himself.

    The possibility exists that he's doing this to test you. Therefore it's crucial you be firm and retain the upper hand. Either show him you want him inside the coop and don't waver from that, or show him you can't care less what he does, and don't waver from it.

    If you waffle, are inconsistent, it reinforces in his mind that he can't trust you. Then you'll have trouble.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
    2 people like this.

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