Will they go back in the coop when it gets cold?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jahphotogal, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. jahphotogal

    jahphotogal Chirping

    May 15, 2012
    Early this year, I took some advice I saw somewhere and built my girls a roosting structure - it's sort of an A frame with slats at various heights, topping out at about six feet. It didn't take long before they started sleeping up there instead of in their coop (we have two, one for last year's girls, one for this years'. They all started laying in the newer coop, too, so they have almost no interest in going into the original one, which I built out of PVC pipe and plastic and is cool but darn ugly. I'm wondering if they'll go inside on their own when it starts getting really cold (we haven't had a frost yet her in northern CT but it won't be long, I'm sure.)

    I wouldn't really care, but I have to cover over all the outdoor space pretty soon because last winter, hawks started hanging around and killed one and blinded another of my girls. So I want to use the tall A-frame as the support for the cover. (They could always keep sleeping on it, just on a lower slat, I guess.)
  2. BorneHomestead

    BorneHomestead Chirping

    Oct 10, 2013
    do you have roosts in the new coop? or are the only roost the one you built out of pvc? if there are roosts in the new coop you could just dismantle this one and see if they will go in the new coop at night. If you are worried they wont go in the new coop on their own at night, go out when it starts to get dark out and throw some scratch in their run part of the coop, count them to make sure they are all there then close them up for the night. try it for a few nights and then try going a night without the scratch and see if they go in on their own.
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    I think you will have to physically put them in the coop and shut them in for a while. That will be easiest after it gets dark. You also may have to remove the outside perches while they are relearning to sleep in the coop. By themselves I don't think they will decide the coop is a better place.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If you don't want them sleeping on it, pull it out for a few weeks. Let them get in the habit of sleeping in the coop (habit is the key to chicken behavior!) then you can put it back in to hold the cover.

    Or, just use it to support the cover. They'll fuss about not being able to get to the very top (habit, again) but they'll be fine.

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