sleeping INSIDE the coop???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by camic, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. camic

    camic Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2013
    My husband spent a bunch of time and energy indulging my little chicken problem. I have a wonderful healthy little flock of 2 silkies, 2 auracanas and 2 buff orpingtons. they were hatched in very early may this year and I have had them since then...

    My coop is a big box on legs (basically) with nesting boxes to the back. it has a small door and a bigger door side by side. It is attatched to a run that is pretty big (20ft long by 6ft wide and about 5ft tall) all enclosed... I have shade cloth and some kinda redneck lumbar for shelter from our hot summer sun. I wasn't paying much attention to what they were doing with the coop because they seemed pretty happy to hang out underneath it to escape the heat and then run around when it was cooler. HOWEVER, we had a huge knock down thunder lightning wind and rain storm and my daughter and I had to go rescue 6 WET little girls and stuff them inside the coop! we blocked the door shut because they all wanted OUT and back into the terrible weather! They settled in and went to sleep in a cute little chicken pile. We let them out the next morning. They do not want anything to do with the coop at night.

    I work 12 hour shifts and stuffing 6 chickens into a coop at night is not my idea of a good time. I assumed they just knew how to get inside shelter when the weather was bad. Fall is sort of close and our weather is pretty cold at night in the fall and just plain cold in the winter. I think they are sleeping UNDER the coop.

    help? and thank you!!!! ;)
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    So they are about 12 to 13 weeks old. Mine often don’t start roosting until about that age. Until they start roosting they like to sleep in a pile on the floor of the coop or on the ground. So there is a pretty good chance yours are just not roosting yet and prefer the ground.

    When you first put them in the coop, did you leave them locked in there for a few days so they got in the habit of sleeping in there? A lot of times that doesn’t work, especially with one of those raised coops. They still prefer sleeping on the ground, often just below the door into the coop. My grow-out coop is like that and that often happens to me. I usually have to put some in the coop for a few nights before they learn to sleep up there.

    At 12 to 13 weeks, a thunderstorm won’t hurt them. Mine love to forage on the rain although in a real downpour they will usually get under something. A rain is not an emergency or something to be scared of for my chickens. High wind if it is hitting them might be a little different, but usually not unless it is a cold wind, like close to freezing.

    You mentioned you have Silkies. They can’t fly. I’m assuming you have a ramp or a ladder for them to get into the coop and to the roosts?

    It sounds like you consider your run predator proof since you are not locking them in the coop at night. The way I see it you have two options. Do nothing. See if they move onto the roost in your coop when they start to roost. They might move into the coop or they might try sleeping on something in the run, like maybe the coop if they can get on top. Silkies may sleep separately if they can’t get there.

    Or you can lock them in the coop so they have no choice but to sleep in there. With your heat now you may not want to leave them locked in the coop during the heat of the day, but you can maybe put them in after supper or wait until they go to sleep and move them in. They are usually pretty easy to catch once it gets dark. That’s what I do when I go down to lock them up for the night, just pick them up and lock them in for the night. It doesn’t bother me to scare them a bit doing this. I want them to think the coop is safer than on the ground outside.

    I’m going to lock them in the coop anyway since I don’t consider my run really predator proof. Sometimes I only have to move them up there once and they get the message. Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks. They are all different.

    My last brooder raised batch was funny. I moved them from the brooder to my grow-out coop at 5 weeks and left them locked in the grow-out coop for a week, then opened the pop door. That night all of them were huddled just below the pop door. I put them all inside. The next night I came down to lock them up just a bit before real dark. Yep, they were in a pile outside again. But when they saw me coming all twelve of them moved inside on their own. After that they always went in on their own.

    What you are seeing doesn’t sound at all strange or unusual to me, just young chickens being young chickens. Good luck!
     
  3. camic

    camic Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2013
    makes me feel better that they are "normal" I do worry about my silkies... I think they are so cute and super fun... but they are kinda "dim" in comparison to the rest of the group. They have a ramp but the more I look at it the more I think it needs a "revamp" for the silkies:) they can jump up on the "chicken chair" (it is a little wooden chair that just looked cute in the coop) but maybe the ramp is too slick for them.

    I think I will make an effort to get them into the coop at night for a while and maybe provide bedtime snacks inside the coop.

    I worry about these crazy things!
     
  4. Hellipp

    Hellipp New Egg

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    I have the same problem that you do! My 6 week old chicks went into their "big girl" coop last week. We had 2 nights where they all went in about 6:30 pm and I closed the little door and they stayed in there til morning. But for the past 2 or 3 nights, I have had to crawl into their run and sort of push them up the ramp into the coop. Otherwise, they would stay out there all night! My run is pretty predator proof so I think they would be fine spending the night out there, I just feel like they should be sleeping in their cozy coop! I am growing tired of going out there at 9pm...I assume that I could leave them in the run overnight? Sounds like you have done that and they have been fine?
     
  5. NHChickengirl

    NHChickengirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Do they have any roosting bars in the coop? When nine first went out to the coop I put all 8 of them in the coop every night. It took them awhile to learn to go up the ramp. I used treats to tease them up there. Now a couple months later as soon as dusk hits they all run for the coop and the roosting bars. I Even had a situation when my little dog decided I chase one chicken across the entire yard and she ran straight for the coop.. I was so proud she knew where safety was.. It takes time and some treats ad mine learned .. They are so much smarter than I thought they would be..
     
  6. camic

    camic Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2013
    funny!!!

    they are smart little wierdos... I didn't realize how "pet-like" they would be. They are pretty predator safe in the run (i HOPE) I just want them tucked in at night especially!
     
  7. ChickenFeats

    ChickenFeats Just Hatched

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    I'm very new to this but I kept my chickens in the coop for three full days. I would open the big doors every day and talk to them and enjoy chicken TV. One of the days it was really hot so I put frozen water jugs in the coop and it cooled it off quite a bit. The hens would lay next to them. Also, I keep their food and water inside the coop so they go in and out of it all day. Now they put themselves to bed at night and I just close and lock their door. I love their getting ready for bed chirps.
     

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