Staying out after dark...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mesz5, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. mesz5

    mesz5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Meeker, Colorado
    All 13 of my chickens have "gone inside" everyday sometimes before the sun goes down with out fail for 8 months! Tonight about an hour after dark, I went out to lock up the run and shut the little door to the coop, both of my Columbian Wyandottes were outside huddled together (it's cold and snowing here in Colorado) next to the door but not going inside? They were startled to see me and when I stepped inside the run, they quickly went inside??? It was the strangest thing ever. What on earth would keep them from going inside? Everyone else was already inside and settled in some even sleeping already.
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Don't worry until it happens a few times. On occasion I have had one or two that are in their own little world outside and get trapped there in the dark. It usually happens at the start of time change for me and my free range girls. Once it is dark, they cannot see anything. You startled them when you came up and they were acting on instinct to run from anything moving in the dark. If you had light on them this is how they made it back into the coop. When I find one that hasn't made it back to the coop in time I simply shine a light on their path to the coop and on them until they find the roost. Did you have a storm or something that made it darker earlier than usual?
     
  3. mesz5

    mesz5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Meeker, Colorado
    WOW!!! That makes perfect sense!!! HAHAHAHAHA Yes, snow storm and I had a light that I was shining right at the door!!
     
  4. Silvester

    Silvester Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 10, 2012
    Milton, PA
    I am having a similar issue with one of my roosters.

    All of my chickens have been putting themselves to bed at sundown every day all year, but 3 times in the past week one of the roosters was tucked away sitting on a corner of the fence. The first time I didn't know to look for him, so he was left out over night. Tonight he was sound asleep to the point that he let me carry him into the coop, he normally never lets my touch him.

    I have 3 hens and 3 roosters and this one is far from my favorite, but I'm still concerned with this change in behavior. It's been suggested that maybe the hens chased him out, but why now and not before?
     
  5. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have too many roosters to hens. It would be best to have 1:10 but even 3:10 is ok as I have had 3 roos and 10 hens work before. It may very well in your case be someone shoving him out, but I would look for illness first. They like to hide when they are really sick (like in fence corner) and stay out of the coop. Look him over for lice/mites and make sure he is acting normal during the day. If there are no bugs and he is acting normal in the day than buy a few more chickens and have fun.

    Edit: Forgot to answer your question... Hormones as they change so do behaviors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  6. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I now bring a flashlight out with me on darker days and the first week of time change because of this. I do a head count before I close up for the night. I have 3 Jersey Giants in the mix and it seems that the only one that gets stuck out there is one of those black birds. Funny, right? It can't be a white easy to see bird, it has to be one of the black ones, luckily I trained them to respond so I can hear where they are (usually within 10 feet of the coop). Flashlights are now your friend!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Silvester

    Silvester Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 10, 2012
    Milton, PA
    Checking for a behavior change might be difficult, I don't get to spend as much time monitoring them as I would like.

    I'll try to check him for bugs tomorrow morning. Is it common for an infestation to start around this time of year? I'm in central PA and the temps have been dropping lately with a frost about 10 days ago and flurries yesterday evening. Also, I'll check google for pictures, but are there obvious signs of mites/lice?
     

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