Sleepless nights

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BawkBawkWoman, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. BawkBawkWoman

    BawkBawkWoman Hatching

    Oct 26, 2012
    My chickens are 7 months old and won't sleep in their hen house. Now that it is getting cold and snowing at night I am concerned they will freeze. I've tried putting them in their house on the roosting pole, but they don't want to stay. My roosting pole is a 2x2, same as the one they roost on every night outside the coop. It is about 8 inches off the floor of the house and 1 foot from the roof. I use pine shavings on the floor of the hen house. I think they are remembering getting wet in there because in the summer, when we first set up, the sprinkler would spray in the hen house at about 4 a.m. It is dry now. How can I retrain them that it is safe so they won't freeze this winter? Or should I even worry about that? They are Black Sex Links and Araucanas and supposedly cold tolerant.

    Interestingly, only one of the five lays eggs in the house, and she doesn't even do it in the box, she does it next to the box. The rest lay eggs on the roof of the hen house, where 2 of them sleep.

    Please help!

  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Lock them inside the coop for a week or so until they are used to being there all the time. Then start calling them in in the late afternoon with treats and close them in before dark.

    A 2x4 makes a better roost than a 2x2, they can sit on it comfortably and pull their feet up under their feathers at night to help keep them warmer.
  3. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I think that they've essentially been trained that their coop is unsafe -- sleep in it and you'll be doused with water at 4AM. Instead, they pick the highest place they can be. That's instinct. You have to retrain them that the coop IS a safe place.

    Is it large enough to shut them in for a period of time? You said that the roost is at 8" and the roof is 12" higher -- so it's only 18" tall inside?
  4. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    No closed in run? I would be very concerned about their safety outside all night. We have a secured run that saved our chickens about a month ago after we had a visit from a bobcat. The chickens were scared but fine. This happened about 8:30 in the morning.

    We use a 2x4 sideways so the chickens roost on the flat side. They love this. They also would stay out in the run all night if we didn't close the coop door. They stay extra safe and warm that way.

    Good luck.

  5. ChemicalchiCkns

    ChemicalchiCkns In the Brooder

    Oct 27, 2012
    I approve of 1muttsfan's Advice, if possible to do Humanely. You are then "rehoming" them to the Coop.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  6. BawkBawkWoman

    BawkBawkWoman Hatching

    Oct 26, 2012
    The coop where they are tucked in every night is closed in. I just have a yard where they run free during the day.

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