I have almost the same issue as the person who started the original thread but a little different situation. The chickens had a great summer, they are somewhere between pets and well,chickens. Anyway, I have gotten quite attached to them especially the older hen who turned up out of nowhere. Sometimes I leave the stairway door open which leads to a small landing out side my front door. They have used it in extreme heat and for water and treats I put out and I admit, to my amusement which makes it worth cleaning up after them, lol. The last 2 days have been rainy and cold and they are staying in there all day, no treats just water. Cold being 45 degrees and constant rain not a drizzle nor a storm. It was windy the first day. I have never seen them go back in the coop during the day,ever. There are woods out back and they go there in the heat and for protection from what scares them from above (turkey buzzards, no hawks so far) They roam freely around the large yard otherwise. They DO go back to the coop at dusk. I had to work on that after I lost one sweet hen because she wasn't coming in at night and I figured she might be laying eggs elsewhere and was somehow able to stay safe at night. But after a couple of days when I didn't see her during the day, I knew there was a problem. I searched everywhere for 2 weeks, no sign of any trouble or harm or anything. Just gone. I also want to add that the new older chicken didn't come in the other evening so I went to look for her and she was where I thought she would be. Hiding in the edge of the woods, afraid to dash from cover to cover without the flock. Somehow must have not noticed the rest leave I guess. I could barely get her out of there myself. Finally she did follow me to the coop ( pretty far away). Maybe this is what happened to the other I don't know. As the person said in the original post I should clarify that it's free choice for the chickens to be outside or in. I'm never forcing them to be outside if they don't want to be. I just don't know whether to give them the option because I have seen they don't always make the best choices. Is this the time for tough love? Locked in with warm oatmeal, and no wind or rain or let them out because they are used to doing it and then end up in my stairwell or a bush trying to stay dry/warm(?) Perhaps I should mention they are about 8 months old and this is the first cold rainy weather they have experienced. There isn't any temporary shelter and if I close the door they will huddle in a bush outside the house...still getting rained on and not interested in eating grass. Or they go under the car instead of the bush sometimes. These girls do not go back to the coop in any weather so far. Despite me shooing them out of stairwell they sit in the bush huddled up, not looking to eat anything at all. They stay there until I come out and follow me to the coop even though it isn't dusk and then stay in though. I admit to sitting with them just enjoying watching them for an hour or so. Is that why they stay in then? Because I'm there? I thought chickens were like my horse, cold and rain up to the point they want warmth and shelter and then go to a place to do that. I know animals know how to care for themselves in that way. Cold alone is one thing, but wind and rain leads to hypothermia, doesn't it? Despite the insulation and waterproofing chickens have I just don't know what is best. I don't know if I can set up a dry spot for them. I am going to have to ask the landlord and then come up with a solution I guess. Today I locked them in the coop even though they wanted out. The older girl slipped by me out of the coop, and is now sleeping in the living room. Yes, I let her in, don't say it, I know... I want to add there is some sniffling/sneezing going on... Advice please?