Why won't chickens go in?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TitiBebbs, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. TitiBebbs

    TitiBebbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Hey everyone!

    I'm still relatively new to this and have a question. We have close to 30 chickens, 3 ducks, 5 guineas, and 2 turkeys.

    20 of the chickens are about the same age and have lived together the whole time (since Mar) in the same coop. I had 2 "coops" that are realtively small but working for now. The smaller one (formerly the dog house) was for the ducks. They never use it and now some of the chickens are using it. It does not have roost bars but it does have wire floor for the stuff to fall through. Should I be concerned about this or just satisfied that they are going inside? I was going out at night and closing the doors until about a week ago. I sleep late now that it is Summer and since the chickens are in an electrified fence and the dogs run at night, I feel that they are safe from predators. So far, So good.

    The second problem is with the 7 chickens (Americaunas) guineas and turkeys don't go in at all anymore. When I got them, I threw together a small house with attached chicken wire run but I think it is too small. All the birds are free to roam the yard at all times. At night, however none of these go inside. The guineas roost in a tree and sometimes the turkeys join them. My babies do not go inside. I have gone out and tried putting them in, but one pecked at me and now I'm a little uncomfortable trying to do that. One of these days, Dad and I are going to build a REAL chicken coop/henhouse and run, but until things slow down for him down south where he lives most of the time, I am limited. Any advice/ideas?

    Beth
     
  2. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    If there are no roosts, then that is most likely the reason why they won't go in.
    Another reason may be that some of that first group of 20 is picking on them.
    If no one wants to sleep inside, your coop may be infested with mites or lice that are attacking the birds at night. This can make them so itchy and uncomfortable that they may avoid the coop altogether.
    Don't let chickens pecking you stop you from picking them up. They will only get worse if you avoid doing so. If you are really scared, put on gloves and a heavy sweatshirt, and practice every day. I don't allow my girls to be rude and peck!
     
  3. SHELLY

    SHELLY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2007
    Southwest Missouri
    Speaking of "they won't go in." I kind of bought my chickens like that. Got the cart before the horse. So, my day time free range chickens and one turkey would go to bed in the garage at night. I had a roost for them against the wall. Now we have a coop and they won't go in there on their own. I keep the garage door closed and the coop door open for them. They range all day, then go sit in front of the garage when the sun sets. I have tried hearding them to the coop (they don't heard well). After 20-30 minutes frustration and fear they won't get in before dark I let them in the garage and they roost. At this point my hubby and I carry them to the coop. We have done this for four nights in a row. How long before they go in where they are supposed to? I am afraid they will never go in the coop.
     
  4. mommahento5

    mommahento5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2007
    South East Indiana
    Quote:I would keep yours confined to the new coop for a few days...they'll get the idea......eventually! LOL!
     
  5. Don B

    Don B Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2007
    Louisiana
    My chickens are 4 weeks old. I kept them in a brooder for 2 weeks, them into the coop. I left them in the coop 24 hours a day for 10 days. Now I am letting them into a pen attached to the coop. They also are not going in at night. The best I have gotten was about half. I would prefer to not have to force them in, but they aren't getting the idea.

    Should I just leave them alone, and call it survival of the fittest?
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    When I decide it is time for my birds to graduate to the hen coop, It usually takes about 2 weeks of putting them back for them to get the idea.
     
  7. SHELLY

    SHELLY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2007
    Southwest Missouri
    mommahento5,
    I don't have a run for the coop. I just let them go outside in the yard. Do I just turn on a light and not let them go outside?
     
  8. mommahento5

    mommahento5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2007
    South East Indiana
    Quote:Yep. If you have a window you shouldn't need a light. The only problem with this method right now is if you don't have your coop well ventilated they could get too hot depending on where you live. It shouldn't take more than a few days. Start out wiith 2 days and then see if that worked....if not try 3 next time and work up from there. Good luck!
     

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