Why are my Chicks Staying Outside the Coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Salt and Light, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    On Friday,.I moved my 2-week old chicks from the garage to outside. They have a 10 x 10 coop and a connected 10 x 20 dog run. During the day, the chicks range all over the coop and the run. However, when it gets dark, the chicks pile into a corner of the run and stay all night, even in the rain.

    I am curious as to why they do this and if I should move them into the coop.

    Thanks!~~
     
  2. RhodeIslandRed

    RhodeIslandRed Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    I kept my chicks in the coop for four days before I let them in the run. This way they were well aware of there home base.
     
  3. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    Do you have a light in the coop? I had to put a light on a timer in mine so they would go in. The light comes on right before dark and goes off right after dark. I think mine won't go in because it is darker in the coop then it is outside and then it gets dark outside and they can't find their way in. Good Luck, hope it works![​IMG]
     
  4. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    Interesting idea about the light. I guess I could run an extension cord and just turn it off after dark.

    The chicks know where the coop is because they are sleeping right next to it. Also, they eat and drink in the coop.
     
  5. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    We have the same thing going on. Our chickens are going on 20 weeks. We got them at 17 weeks. They have a large coop and a decent size run. They will sleep outside the coop, on the ground, by the door to the run. We have been herding them into the coop at night and letting them out in the morning. They don't seem too happy to be in the coop with the door shut but I know they are safer that way.

    I am also curious as to why they don't seem to want to roost on anything. So far the only thing they have tried to roost on was my husband when he was in the run at dusk one night last week. They are crazy but I enjoy them.
     
  6. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    Well, I'm planning on trying the light thing and if I remember, I'll report back here.
     
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    You have to understand something - your chicks did not have a mother hen to teach them what to do.

    You are the mother hen and you need to show them what they need to do.

    Go out just before dark and put them int he hen house. You may have to do this for a week before they get the idea. They are huddled and piling out of an instinct to hide from predators at night.

    Once you get them going in on their own you need to teach them to roost. Just about dark take each one and set them up on the roost poles. After about a week they will learn what is expected and put themselves to bed and to roost for the night.

    Anything new you will have to teach those chickens. They will not instinctively know to go inside or to roost or what is new food, etc.

    If they have been huddling outside in the rain you are lucky they haven't gotten chilled and died - even in warm weather they can chill when wet and the results can be fatal.
     
  8. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    I attribute mine to little kids- they stay out a little too late, doing what they do, and before they know it- its too dark, they waited too long, so they hunker down where they are. No mother hen to cluck to them and tell them when its time to go in.

    My babies are great at going into the coop. I do a head count every night before I close the pophole for the night...except last night they were not there. They were outside, against the side of the coop in a pile. So I had to scoop them all up and put them inside, where they all snuggled underneath their night light.
    I have also had to go outside when its raining and put them inside the coop. Two days ago, they were trying to huddle underneath a very small bush while it was raining- not four feet from the coop.

    They are all still learning. [​IMG]
     
  9. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Don't mean to steal the show' but I have a question for Miss Prissy. I have RIRs that were 3 months old at the time and are about 5 mos. now. Three are roosters and none of them has so much as Er-Er'd yet. I think I'm going to have to teach them to CROW!!??
     
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Well, never seen a rooster be quiet for 5 months. are you sure they are roos and not big combed girls? At 5 months I am very surprised they aren't fighting and make a real ruckus.

    Post a photo.
     

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