whether to move chickens in out of bad weather

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by deniselang, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. deniselang

    deniselang New Egg

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    Dec 7, 2009
    I have chickens that roost on a pole outside in the weather. 95% of the time the weather is fine for them but......it is cold and rainy and they still stay outside.
    Some of them go into the coop but the others stay out. Should I physically put them in the coop after dark?

    Do they know what is best for themselves or are they unable to determine that?
    Why would some of them go in and the others are silly and dont.
     
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I keep mine in the coop after dark maily to protect them from predators!!!!

    Mine stay out in the rain by choice during the day, but they go to bed in their coop because I trained my rooster to and he calls the ladies in with him.

    If you want to convince them to roost inside at night you will have to remove their outdoor roosts if possible, and move them inside every night for about a week. It helps if you can convince the flock leader(s) as they will teach the others. Sometimes putting a low wattage light above the roost will draw them to that place once it's too dark to see anything else.
     
  3. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Sounds like they never got coop trained. In order to do that get them all in the coop and lock them in it for a week. You will have to feed and water them in there. This will train them to sleep in the coop. I free range my flock and did this there first week out of the brooder. Since then i can leave the door open all night and they never leave till morning. Right at sunset they put themsevles in I just have to shut the door. No one wants to sleep outside. So go ahead and retrain yours to sleep in coop. winter is no time for chickens out of coop at night.
     
  4. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    What Tala and cybercat said. It's worth the hassle. If they keep roosting out of the coop you will lose some (or more!) to predation. As far as the weather goes, mine free range and don't seem to be botherd by much of anything so far. We had a high of 24 here today and it was 17 when I let them out of the coop this morning. I brought fresh warm water with me and most of them still went wading in the run off creek that runs between the barn and house [​IMG] They stay out in some pretty heavy rain too. I figure as long as they can get out of it if they want too I'm not going to worry about it.

    You might be able to tempt them in at night by throwing some treats in the coop a little before bedtime and then locking them in if you don't have a large enough coop/run to handle them being in lockdown for a full week or two. It will take longer to train them that way, but worth trying if you can't do it the other way. Good luck with them!
     

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