Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MamaSue, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. MamaSue

    MamaSue Hatching

    Sep 20, 2007
    We have 4 hens that are about 5 months old. We have a "pen" which is 8 ft by 10 feet and enclosed with chicken wire. Inside the pen is a Chick N Hutch which we bought and put together. The chickens very quickly learned to go into the "hutch" when it got dark out. I closed the door (they had food and water inside) and then let them out into the pen in the morning. The hutch has a roost, but they would mostly just cuddle in a corner. Recently they have not been going inside the hutch, but "sleeping" on the roof of it. Let me also say that I thought it was a little tight in there with a nesting box, so we "enlarged" the hutch a little by putting the nesting box in an extension onto the hutch. They can get into the box through the inside of the hutch. Not sure how to explain the behavior. Are they OK outside the hutch at night? The only way an animal could get in would be to burrow under the fencing and come up inside the pen. We live in a small town and sometimes see raccoons. Not sure what else might want to get into the chickens. Are chickens supposed to sleep on a roost/pole/bar type of thing? Or is it ok to just sit on the roof? No eggs yet. Have considered putting a light out to flip on about 5 a.m. and shine into the pen.
  2. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Chicken wire is like plastic wrap for a raccoon. Most any predator will be able to tear through that wire, I am sorry to say. [​IMG] Seems to me that the younger the chicken the less sense it has? Can anything dig under your run? If you don't bury wire around the perimeter those darned coons will dig under as well as possums, skunks or whatever!
    Also, where are you located? They may need to be inside if it is cold? Is the top of your run covered?
    Also any straying dogs will get them if not secured.
    And most of all..........WELCOME [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2007
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Lock your chickens in their house at night. Leaving them exposed to roost on the roof is asking for night time predators to come have a nice chicken dinner. A determined animal will get in eventually and will keep coming back for an easy meal.
  4. MamaSue

    MamaSue Hatching

    Sep 20, 2007
    Thanks for the welcome and thanks for the advice. Wouldn't you know it, when I got home from work tonight, they were already in the coop. Must have been a little teenage rebellion to stay out all night!
  5. MamaSue

    MamaSue Hatching

    Sep 20, 2007
    That did not last long! Back to sleeping on top of the hutch. I guess they like being up higher, but I am concerned about the cold. (they don't seem to care though!) Would they go in if they got cold?
  6. egglady

    egglady In the Brooder

    Nov 24, 2007
    Southcentral PA
    Check inside the hutch and make sure nothing has gotten in there - a mouse, a rat, a snake, etc. (Well, OK, have your husband check the hutch [​IMG]). Check for evidence such as droppings or nesting materials. Your "girls" might just be freaked out if something else got into their house.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Chickens love to roost high and if the top of their hutch is higest, that is where they go.. that is what mine do... they all sleep outside, but if it gets too cold, meaning in the teens, a few might think about going in. Momma hen has graduated her 5 week old chick to outdoor sleeping so they both sleep on top of the coop now... Just keep shoving them in and maybe if you are lucky, you can break them from it.

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