To run or not to run? To roost or not to roost?

Stephen1152

Chirping
May 17, 2017
70
25
71
Long Island, New York
I have two questions. First, I noticed that once I removed the heat lamp from my coup, my 8 week old chicks stopped roosting in the coop at night. So I removed all the high perches outside the coop and put in a red night light. Now they go in the coop again at dusk. But they look bored with all their high roosts gone. Was that necessary for me to do? They only have two low ones now. They look bored and not happy. Second question is I want to make them a large outside run even though their coop is big enough for them. If I do, will I be creating a situation where they will be bored when I am not home and they are stuck in their coop? Which will be often. Especially in the winter when it is dark when I leave home and dark when I get home. Am I better off not doing it?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
If you make a secure run than your birds will never need to be locked in the coop which can lead to bad behavioral problems, especially if it isn't large.

It's normal for young chicks to wait too long to go in the coop in the evening that they are afraid because it's too dark inside, so your nightlight fixed that. It's up to you whether you want to put the higher roosts back in.
 

madelines hens

In the Brooder
Mar 13, 2017
94
12
36
i would do a roost cause it keeps the coop cleaner and the hens are more likely to lay cause they can sleep comfortably. and i would have a run cause then they can go outside without worries of foxes or something that can hurt or even kill them.
 

ninjawesome

Currently being awesome
Jun 4, 2015
507
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151
Wild, Wild West
To answer your second question, I would most definitely build them a run! Although your coop might be big enough for them, chickens always love to roam outside - and it's less stressful for you as they will be safe and protected from predators, even though they are outside.
Have a close-able chicken door so if they want to go inside the coop or outside to the run, they may do so freely. But if it is freezing cold winter, you can shut the door to retain heat.
Your chickens will absolutely LOVE being able to roam outside freely and will thank you with delicious, farm-fresh eggs!
 

Stephen1152

Chirping
May 17, 2017
70
25
71
Long Island, New York
If you make a secure run than your birds will never need to be locked in the coop which can lead to bad behavioral problems, especially if it isn't large.

It's normal for young chicks to wait too long to go in the coop in the evening that they are afraid because it's too dark inside, so your nightlight fixed that. It's up to you whether you want to put the higher roosts back in.
Thank you for your reply. I had the night light in there for a while before I re
awesome so am i
awesome so am i
Huh?.
 

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