WHY DON'T MY CHICKENS GO TO THEIR COOP AT NIGHT?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jenikay63, May 11, 2009.

  1. jenikay63

    jenikay63 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2009
    I have 27 five-week old chickens of mixed breeds. They are housed in a coop with an attached fenced-in run that they absolutely love going into every morning. They have been going in and out of the coop just fine all day and at night around 8:30-9:00 they all go in to bed. I usually go down around that time and lock up the coop and say goodnight to them.

    The last two nights have been very weird as when I get down to the coop, 19 of the 27 are sleeping outside in the corner of the run right by the door going into the coop. The other 8 are in the coop on their roost sleeping. The 19 that are outside are also sleeping and hardly move when I come into the run. I try to get them to go into the coop but they just stand there and chirp. I have to physically pick each one up and put them in the coop. They settle right down and go back to sleep in the coop but I think it is just odd that until two nights ago, they were going to bed on their own.

    I know chickens are creatures of habit so I am concerned that I will have to put the 19 to bed every night. Does anyone have any ideas why all of a sudden they are falling asleep outside? I live in Wisconsin and this time of the year our evenings are still cool. Last night it was close to freezing.
     
  2. ChazsChikNCoop

    ChazsChikNCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2009
    Michigan
    Are you sure nothing in the coop could be hurting them? Mites, critters ect? Or what I do when my youngsters do that is block them in the coop a couple nights atthe same time. They catch on. If they are a breed like sikies or cochins they might not like to go "up". I had that problem with my silkies and finally made a coop on the ground they could go up in and close them up at night.

    Good Luck![​IMG]
     
  3. BlackBart

    BlackBart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    I am thinking the same thing as the last poster.

    Maybe there is something in there at night?
     
  4. jenikay63

    jenikay63 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2009
    No, there is nothing in the coop--it is 100% secure and remember, there are 8 that are going in just fine and these other 19 were going in at night fine until Saturday night. I did clean out the coop on Saturday morning; however, they all have been going in and out throughout the day to eat their feed and drink water so it isn't an issue with their entrance. We also had rain on Saturday a bit and they were all in the coop at some point to get out of the rain.
     
  5. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

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    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    WE had for a long time hearded up ur chickens and put them to bed at night. They just roamed the couple of homes near us. WE would have to goand get them and chase them home several times a day. This year so far they just head to bed when the sun is almost down. WE just go out and lock them up. WE are putting in a run now to keep them safe 24/7. I had 15 last year when I bought them from Rural King. I did give away a few roosters but the stray dogs killed several of the others and left me with 2 roos and 6 hens. They are a tight group though.

    I now have a new batch from Rural King from March's buy and they are just about ready to join the older ones. The roos have a tendancy to "take" the young ones too early in my opinion. They are much bigger and I don't want them hurt. So I want to wait until they are close to being adult size. These "youngsters" are kept in an old rabbit hutch with a ladder to get down to the ground. They free range right now. They come and go in their coop all day but at night we have to put them all up.

    Yeaterday I went outside to bring in the babies and there sat Spike. She was roosting on top of the coop, just at eye level and did she give me a startle. She looks like an owl and we have owls around here and I thought I waked up on one. I was afraid to pick her up for fear of getting attacked if it was an owl. Thank goodness it was her. So I put her to bed with the rest then gathered up the babies and brought them back in. The babies that have most of their feathers go out during the day and in at night. Nights are still too cool for them. Especially Midget. She is growing slower than the others but she is growing. When it gets to 70 at night the babies will stay outside at night too.

    But for now, i've got to get them out and clean the brooder. Getting pretty smelly in here. It sits right next to my desk and yep gotta get off here and tend to that pen.

    Will catch ya all later. I have a few that I don't know what breed they are and want to get pictures to put on here
     
  6. Grammahen

    Grammahen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2009
    Southern New Hampshire
    I have 4 of the silliest chickens I ever saw. They are 8 weeks old and now that it is warmer, the heat lamp is no longer needed most of the time. Can you believe they are afraid of the dark??? I have to put a Christmas light in the window with a timer or they won't go into the dark coop. Now they do well. They go in at dusk and the light is scheduled to go off a few hours later. I have the heating lamp plugged into a temperature controlled unit so it will go on if it gets too cold.
    Spoiled chickens...[​IMG]
     
  7. borg

    borg New Egg

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    Feb 22, 2009
    I have 8 chicks that are about 8 weeks old now. They live in an enclosed coop/run so I don't "need" to put them inside at night. The first few nights after they were moved from their brooder to the coop I went out and would put them inside for the night...since then I have just let them do what they want. 3 like to sleep inside, the other 5 will roost quite tightly together on a perch about 4' off the ground. Always the same grouping too. They all seem happy enough so I guess they get to do as they please.

    Of the 3 reds, 3 barred rock and 2 americauna, two of the reds and one barred rock are the inside sleepers.

    Steve
     
  8. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    At 5 weeks old, the need to be taught where to go and when. Teach them by routine and they will get the hang of it. Chickens are not rocket scientist and they need some instruction on what to do.
     
  9. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    What cetawin said. At 5 weeks, they are babies. You are their mama. Love them - teach them. Start tucking them into bed again for a few nights. And yes, my girlies were afraid of the dark too. Tough love. Tough love.

    You know, I'm wondering if something at night has scared them? You say that your coop is secure, but maybe something was at the window at night? Like a raccoon or a possum or something? It can't get inside to them, but they don't know that. To them it's just scary bumps in the night that happen when they go inside for bed....
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2009

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