Two hens suddenly roosting in the run at night.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kellyjeanne, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. kellyjeanne

    kellyjeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    My pullets have been living in their coop since early September and in just the past week or so, two of my girls (and once all of them, but usually just two) have been choosing to roost in the run instead of going into the coop at night. I don't feel that the run is as secure, and so I have been ferrying them into the coop - my BR will let me pick her up, but my EE doesn't like it, but will perch on my arm and I carry her over. It's becoming a routine that I'm not super into - especially since DW is afraid of them, and if I'm not home until very late, they're out in the run because she won't move them in. Once I put them in, they get right up on the roost and go to sleep, but it's a habit I'd like to break. I don't want to remove the roosts in the run, because they use them during the day - and it would be annoying to put them in and take them out at night since they're natural branches and I don't want to damage them. Does anyone have any advice on how to get my girls to go in - they did it just fine for over a month, so I'm not sure what the issue is.

    I'm in Georgia, by the way, and the weather is just starting to get a little chilly at night (50s-60s), so I'm wondering if this is part of the issue?
     
  2. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What size is their coop, what are the roost options, and how many chickens do you have? It could be they aren't allowed to roost with the others due to pecking order. If so, is there room to arrange an alternative roost, or somehow divide the roost?
    I am assuming they are less safe roosting in the run, just how secure is it from predators?
     
  3. kellyjeanne

    kellyjeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2016
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    My Coop
    The coop has three 6 foot long roost bars - two at equal height and one at a lower height in the coop part which is 6x4 and has 5 total birds in it. The two that perch outside are middle of the pecking order - the top one and very bottom two are roosting inside. Once I put them into the coop, they wedge on up between everyone else and go to sleep.

    The run is hardware cloth all around and buried, but I haven't sewn up the overlap between the panels of hardware cloth and there are a couple spots in the roof area where there are roofing panels over, but the hardware cloth isn't fully secured. It's on my list, but I work 13 days in 14 and the days are so short lately, that it hasn't happened yet.
     
  4. kellyjeanne

    kellyjeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2016
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    My Coop
    Also there have been a few nights when they have all perched up outside, but it's usually just my EE and my BR.
     
  5. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would take the roosts out of the run... and check the girls of lice and mites, mites will live in the woodds during the day and feed on the chickens at night which can cuase shone or all chickens to abandon the coop.
     
  6. kellyjeanne

    kellyjeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2016
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    My Coop
    There aren't any woods around - or do you mean just any wood? I live in an urban area and my girls don't yet free range, they just have a big run.
     
  7. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well it sounds like your coop is plenty big and there are more than adequate choices of roost. I don't know what to suggest except what you are already doing. Or maybe they are just fine roosting outside, especially after you finish securing the run. Good luck with them!
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Roost mites hide in crevasses and cracks during the day and attack the chickens after dark. If the wooden roosts still have the bark on them or if there are cracks the mites can hide in them. To check for roost mites go out after dark and check the chicken’s vent area. You’ll see them scurrying away to hide from the light. They like the vent area because of the moisture but they will run from light so don’t waste a lot of time in checking.

    Personally I’d remove the perches in the run for a few weeks until they get used to sleeping back inside the coop. Removing those roosts will not traumatize them or hurt them in any way. When you put them back make them really low. They’ll still play on them if they are only a foot off the ground. You do not want them as high as the roosts in the coop.
     

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