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Should I give up trying to get them to sleep in the coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kara_leigh, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Songster

    May 3, 2011
    Bradleyville, MO
    My chickens used to sleep in their coop without a problem. They would go in on their own and stay there all night. Then suddenly one day, all but about a handful of them refuse to sleep in it. Instead they sleep up on the high 2x4s that we have framed out for a future run or coop addition, or on to of the coop.


    I have tried everything to get them to sleep in the coop. We have gone out and put them in the coop every night, they just come right back out. We've tried shutting them up in it for a few days, but that doesn't work either. I've tried coaxing with treats, but that doesn't work either.

    Short of having to go out there every single night and fight and struggle with 20 chickens that don't want to be touched, is there anything I can do to get them to go in their coop at night? We have coyotes out here, and we've already lost one of our chickens in the past couple weeks, I don't want to lose more if they happen to get on our property and the chickens get spooked and fly off their roost. KWIM?

  2. Probably one of two things at play here.

    1. They encountered a problem in the coop (a rat, snake, etc) and now dont want to be shut up in there with the problem. Once they get scared like that it is hard to convince them the problem is gone.
    2. Chickens just like to feel safe and will almost always go to the highest point they can get to roost. Chickens are out of it at night and they know it. They need to feel secure.

    Not a lot you can do besides take away their roost outside. Of course that would mean finish your future coop right away or dismantle any Horizontal 2x4's that are higher than their roost inside
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  3. hiddenflock

    hiddenflock Chirping

    You might want to try this trick:

    You and another person go out to put the birds up. One person catches a bird, while the other person holds the coop door shut whenever the person who's catxching the chickens deposits one in the coop.

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