SLEEPING IN THEIR RUN

RMK04

In the Brooder
May 10, 2015
25
2
49
this is my first year raising chicks. i started out with 28 meat birds and 6 ducks. 3 weeks after i got them i got 4 rhode island reds, 3 plymoth barred rocks, and 1 more duck. the younger birds have been in their own part of the coop seperated from the older birds until about a week ago when i took the meat birds in to get processed. so now the ducks and layers are all together in the coop and run. they ve pretty much got the pecking order figured out now. i built them a roost in the coop. the layers use it from time to time during the day. i let them all out of their run a couple times a day to explore and feed outside. my problem is i have found them sleeping outside in the run a couple of times. i turned on a heat lamp inside their coop and that seemed to help them go inside to sleep, but with temps rising i dont want to have a heat lamp on. any solutions? or should i just let them sleep outside if they want to?
 

rapturecidal

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 19, 2012
52
11
33
Yucaipa Ca
you should let them sleep outside if they want.

or you should do whatever you want.

me i let my chickens do whatever they want and don't interfere with them at all unless i have too or it's somehow necessary.
 

daddyman

Songster
7 Years
Jul 28, 2012
50
20
101
Through the winter, mine slept on the bars in the run rather than going into their henhouse. Freezing temps and snow accumulations on their backs did not deter them. They just seemed to like it more.

Eventually I stopped worrying, and they are all fine.

Try not to worry, as they will go where they are comfortable and content.
 

RMK04

In the Brooder
May 10, 2015
25
2
49
dang. guess i m just worrying too much then. maybe i should build them another roost outside. i thought about putting a real low watt soft white light on a timer inside the coop to come on at dusk and stay on for a few hours to help bring them back inside at night.
 

TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
725
191
Massachusetts
How secure is your run? Can predators dig in? What is the wire material? Chicken wire can be ripped through and birds can be grabbed and pulled through welded wire. They will probably do just fine with the temps in the run but if your run isn't secure, they'll be sitting ducks for nighttime predators.
 

RMK04

In the Brooder
May 10, 2015
25
2
49
good point talkalittle. i would consider my run pretty secure. it is made of dog fence. like the chain link fence. i just wish they wanted to stay inside the coop.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,041
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
good point talkalittle. i would consider my run pretty secure. it is made of dog fence. like the chain link fence. i just wish they wanted to stay inside the coop.

The openings in chain link are easily breached by many common chicken predators and the way the wire relates to the ground with most chain link systems is such that breaching it from underneath or, in the case of panels, the gaps at the ends of the panels, corners., etc. is generally pretty easy as well. Is the run covered? If not you are open to up and over or aerial breaches. There is a difference between safe during the day and safe for night - because at night your birds are more vulnerable due to being at roost and not on alert for the presence of predators who have the advantage at night.
 

marcid

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 26, 2014
43
1
34
I saw this post and have the same issue. Our one year old chickens stopped putting themselves in the coop quite a while ago.

Every night they settle in the same spots on the roosts in their run. Every night we go out there and put them in their coop. I have a couple of theories as to why, the biggest being that the run roosts are higher and made of natural thick branches. They just like them. The coop ones aren't that far from the coop floor and are man- made.

We've been toying with just letting them sleep in the run. It's a 60 square foot run with a roof. It has hardware cloth completely covering every wall, including a layer under the roof. The hardware cloth goes out in an apron about a foot outside the run and is covered by heavy rocks and stones.

So---should we just them be?

We live in Dallas so cold temps aren't an issue right now.
 

MANNA-PRO

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