Why won't they sleep IN the coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aprilfritts, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. aprilfritts

    aprilfritts New Egg

    Apr 27, 2011
    My 6 bantam girls (6 months old) have taken to sleeping UNDER the coop at night instead of IN it. They used to sleep in it, so I'm not sure what changed. Not a big deal when the weather was decent, but it's now getting too cold at night. So every night I am out there in the dark, grabbing them one by one and sticking them in the coop. Once I get them in, they snuggle down and/or roost and seem to be fine. Any ideas on how to get them to go in on their own?
  2. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    Do they have other outside space besides under the coop? I would block off the area underneath for awhile until they get back into the habit of going in the coop to roost.
  3. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    Sounds to me like something scared them, and they dont feel secure inside the coop anymore. Have you had some traumatic event? Predator, Rats?
  4. DinosRBirds

    DinosRBirds Hunted by Moonlight

    Feb 1, 2011
    Lake Huron,MI
    maybe they're just trying to enjoy the last of the nice weather..... [​IMG]

    You may have a predator problem .. maybe a mouse has a nest in your coop , or worse, a rat. [​IMG]
    Is there a draft under the coop that is getting through making their undersides cold? [​IMG] < supposed to be a cold angry chicken)
  5. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2011
    Try locking them in their coop for a few days. They'll probably start going back there at night.
  6. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are your chickens from a wild, mixed breed? Mine are offspring from two I got from a horse stable where they were living wild so it took them a few generations to really get comfortable with the coop. The first generation and even second wanted to sleep in the trees or on the roof of the coop. Honestly I think that the savvy, wilder chickens know they are safer where they can escape danger. When they are trapped in the coop they are like "sitting ducks" for any predator that is able to get inside at night. I really hate that for them. We experienced that when raccoons broke through the roof of my first coop and killed, maimed and scared the survivors of my flock.

    I have since had a really substantial coop built for them but still it can be a fight to get them inside.
  7. Imagesoart

    Imagesoart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    San Jose

    When I got my first four chickens, they liked to sleep outside the coop on a perch. I would go out and move them to the coop every night for a week. (like my friend did and hers now stay in the coop) Well, mine stay outside every night. They are in a secured coop and run so they are fine.

    The next batch I got and put them in the coop next to them, and they stay outside. The third coop has 8 chickens and only 4 of them go in the coop at night. So far they are all fine. The only time I close them in the coops, is if we are having a "hard" freeze at night. That happens here at least once a year.

    I don't know why they prefer to stay outside, but they seem fine.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If it is all of them, do you have sufficient light in the coop for them to see how to go to bed? A window is usually enough, but some coops can get so dark that they can't see to go to bed when it is still fairly light outside.

    Sounds like they have not started roosting yet. Do you have roosts up for them? If so, you might try setting them on the roosts when you put them in so they get used to roosting up there.

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