smart enough to go in coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BooneChicks, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. BooneChicks

    BooneChicks In the Brooder

    Dec 3, 2010
    Boone, NC
    This is my first winter with chickens. Is it nessessary to force chickens into coop at night? Low temps for the next week or two will be in the single digits, with a wind chill considerably below zero. I have three young (8 month), large (7lbs), cold-hardy chickens, (Barred Plymoth Rock). They only use their coop, which is insulated, to lay. I have spyed on them at night;) and they are roosting outside their coop in the pin on a med-sized branch placed 10ft off the ground. I feel that my chickens are too stupid to go inside their insulated, large (well ventilated), coop at night. Should I put them in their coop at night and close the exit, so they are warmer? or just let them be? Is their anyone with this same breed that could tell me what kind of low extreams they can withstand? Thanks!

  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    When my birds went from brooder to outside coop, I had to wrangle them up for 10 nights and put them in before they got the idea (most say it takes only a few days - mine are slow apparently). I wonder if they prefer the high roost because the coop is lower? I've read that they tend to want to roost at the highest point.
  3. swimmer

    swimmer Songster

    Aug 17, 2010
    Yep, going to have to show them. And with the chilly weather, might be a good idea to show them where to go.
  4. I guess you could label it "stupid", but the fact is chickens are creatures of habit and , if they are used to a certain roosting place, that`s where they will roost, weather good or bad. Like others have said, ya just gotta show them where they need to roost by herding them in there a couple nights..........Pop

  5. They need a little [​IMG] guidance. Put them in their coop at night for as long as it takes them to learn. It is for their own good to get out of the wind/drafts at night. They may be stubborn [​IMG] but they have to go inside otherwise sickness will follow. And no, your chickens are not any dumber than anyone else chickens. Don't worry, no one else is sending their chooks off to college. [​IMG]
  6. BooneChicks

    BooneChicks In the Brooder

    Dec 3, 2010
    Boone, NC
    Thanks for the advice! Good to know my chickens aren't abnormaly dumb, and just need a little guidance. I will show them the way to a warmer night for a while, till they get the idea. Stay warm!
  7. rainbowlake mama hen

    rainbowlake mama hen In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2010
    I'm in the same boat with you. I am on about night 4 or 5 of picking them up and putting them inside and closing the door. [​IMG] I will be leaving town for a week right after Christmas and will be leaving my dh to tend to the chickens so I'm hoping they get the hang of this by then. [​IMG] I'd be interested to hear how it works out for you!

  8. katplitt

    katplitt Chirping

    Feb 14, 2009
    I have 4 barred rocks who started roosting outside a few weeks after the time change. Their coop has a light that comes on 30 min before it gets dark but they have been roosting outside. This is their 3rd winter and this is the first time they have done this. It is freezing outside and yet they still roost. I have had to pull them off their roost and put them in the coop. They would do this every OTHER night! I would literally have to pull them off until the last night, as soon at I open the cage door they flew into the coop one at a time. They must be molting or something because they haven't been laying either.
  9. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Songster

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    My birds decided to roost inappropriately when I built a new roost that was a half inch lower and drafty. I fixed the draftiness the next day and they were on the roost in a jiffy. Oh, and I blocked up the inappropriate location. [​IMG]

  10. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member 8 Years

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    You might have to remove the roost that's outside that they keep getting on. I made mine a really large roost out of tree branches and we had to take it out when it started getting really cold. Once you remove all the stuff outside they will go ahead and go in. [​IMG] At least mine did!

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