What time do your chickens go to bed? (How dark?)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aank4, May 15, 2009.

  1. aank4

    aank4 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2009
    I just installed an automatic door opener to let my girls out in the morning and close them in at night. I can set it to open and close at whatever times I would like. Tonight, I had the door close an hour after sunset.

    I went out an hour and a half after closing time to make sure the girls were where they ought to be... nope - they were all huddled by the door, sleeping on the ramp (sigh). Obviously they weren't in when the door came down. I put them inside, and laughed at how automation obviously wasn't working out so well the first night.

    So - what the heck? When I've closed the door manually, they've all been inside roosting when it starts to get twilight-ish. I figured that an hour after sunset ought to do, but apparently they didn't go to bed as early tonight.

    When are your chickens inside and roosting? Also - when are predators the most active? Do I run a risk by delaying closing the door a little bit? (My girls go out into a large, roofed run - so they're not "out" and easy pickings, but the coop is the more secure place for them to be sleeping regardless).
  2. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Wow. I want an automatic door. Can you direct me to some info?

    Mine are all inside long before it is dark, dark, dark.

    Weird that yours didn't go in as early as usual....maybe the timer on the door was off and it closed early... or maybe the new fixings on the coup door made them afraid to go in...

    Just tossing out some ideas...

    And I would still like to know how to get an automated door going..
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Well..if they're grounded for something..(picking..or fighting..or pooping on my swing..) then they go to bed early! but if they've been good i let them stay up till dusk. [​IMG]
  4. LilbitChicken

    LilbitChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    HUMMM. I like the automatic door! Awesome.[​IMG]
    Anyways, our chickens are roosting, before DARK. So interesting, they were still out....maybe it just HAPPENED to be THAT night?[​IMG]
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Sometimes it takes some training to get them to go into the coop, as well as onto the roosts. They usually get the idea pretty quickly. Meanwhile, you need to get them onto the roosts before whatever hour you choose for the door to close. Justp put them where you want them nightly til they get the idea.
  6. EvilTOJ

    EvilTOJ Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2009
    Portland OR
    Mine are always roosting about an hour before sunset. I think they get chilly and just decide it's time to go to bed. My poor cochins can't get up to the roost though, I think it's too high. Sometimes one of the other chickens will 'brood' with them at night because they sleep in the nesting box.
  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    About dusk my little roo starts calling the girls to the coop. They ignore him most of the time but they follow me right in the coop. I walk down and step inside and say "Okay biggie girls let's go" and they come piling in the door. then I lock em all up, turn on their radio and they go to sleep.
  8. Iowa Roo Mom

    Iowa Roo Mom Resistance Is Futile

    Apr 30, 2009
    Keokuk County
    My roo likes to stay out till the last lil bit of light vanishes over the horizon- but only if I'm out and about, too, and I have to scold him! Otherwise, he's in bed just before dusk- unless I put him in the garage early cause were in the line for severe weather. Then he scolds ME! [​IMG]
  9. misty7850

    misty7850 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2008
    Fort Covington, NY
    My roo boy usually has all his gals in and at roost before the sun sets.
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I put my hens in year-round just before sunset...they are so used to it that the moment I arrive, they greet me! [​IMG]

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