Roosting in the Run and Not the Coop!

KimberK8

Hatching
Nov 24, 2020
13
5
8
Upstate New York
My Coop
I have 12 chickens and 4 are new to the flock this year. Three of them insist on roosting in the run and not in the coop. With the temps at night getting cold, I've been putting them in the coop myself. Why won't they join the others in a toasty coop? Is it OK they stay outside?
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
4,374
7,437
426
USA
12 chickens, the coop is rated for 14 chickens and the run is 10 x 10
How many feet each way is the coop?

With the temps at night getting cold... Is it OK they stay outside?
Maybe.

Is the run safe from predators? Sometimes that is a bigger issue than the weather.

They certainly need shelter from rain, snow, and wind while they sleep. So a roofed run that has trees nearby to block wind is much different than an uncovered run in the middle of a grassy field.

How cold is it? If you don't know the exact temperature, then does their water have ice in the morning? Is there snow on the ground?

Chickens can be fine below freezing, but the colder it gets the more shelter they need from heavy winds. Fresh air is good, wind is not.
 

KimberK8

Hatching
Nov 24, 2020
13
5
8
Upstate New York
My Coop
How many feet each way is the coop?



Maybe.

Is the run safe from predators? Sometimes that is a bigger issue than the weather.

They certainly need shelter from rain, snow, and wind while they sleep. So a roofed run that has trees nearby to block wind is much different than an uncovered run in the middle of a grassy field.

How cold is it? If you don't know the exact temperature, then does their water have ice in the morning? Is there snow on the ground?

Chickens can be fine below freezing, but the colder it gets the more shelter they need from heavy winds. Fresh air is good, wind is not.
The run is not around any trees to break the wind, open all around but it is safe from predators. Currently we are falling into the low 20s at night, but it will get colder into the winter (single digits). I'm afraid they don't know they are able to roost in the coop at night. They lay their eggs in there, I just don't understand why they won't shelter there. Wondering if I need to train them to go in there at night?
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
4,374
7,437
426
USA
The run is not around any trees to break the wind, open all around but it is safe from predators. Currently we are falling into the low 20s at night, but it will get colder into the winter (single digits).
Under those conditions, it is probably better for them to learn to sleep inside.

They lay their eggs in there, I just don't understand why they won't shelter there. Wondering if I need to train them to go in there at night?
Yes, you might need to train them to go in.

But they might feel to crowded in there, which is why I asked how big it is (in feet, or in centimeters or meters if you prefer). The people who state how many chickens can live in a coop seem to assume very small chickens, so it may not be big enough for the ones you have even if it was "rated for" a certain number.
 

KimberK8

Hatching
Nov 24, 2020
13
5
8
Upstate New York
My Coop
If your coop rated for 14 birds is a prefab it is likely to small.

How many linear feet of roosting space is in the coop?
It is a pre-fab. There are 4 roosting bars about 2' long. A couple like to sleep in roosting boxes. I never thought of the roosting space since they seem to cluster together so tight. Maybe time to put in another bar! Thank you!
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
22,463
93,518
1,592
Northern Colorado
Knowing the measurements of the coop or seeing pictures really will help us troubleshoot with you.

There are tons of reasons birds choose to sleep in the run.
 

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