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won't go in the coop at night

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by littlerockflowr, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. littlerockflowr

    littlerockflowr Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2015
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    I have 3 chickens, they are about 6 months old and I cannot get the, to go into the coop at night. in the past 3 months, I have caught one in there at night, two different times. They go in there to lay their eggs just fine, so I know they can do it, they just choose NOT to do it at night time.

    I have tried bribing them, but that didn't work. I tried manually making them walk up the ramp. I am tired of going out every night at dusk and putting them to bed! They just pile in a corner of the run.

    What else can I try?

    TIA
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  2. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have a door on your coop? Is there adequate roosting? What time are you trying to get them to go in? When mine were young I had to chase them in every night. Then one night I didn't. I think they tired of me hearding them.
     
  3. littlerockflowr

    littlerockflowr Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2015
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    no door on the coop, (because I am not a morning person and don't want to let them out haha!) they are in an enclosed run. two roosting bars at different heights, so plenty of space.

    I just don't get chickens sometimes.
     
  4. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2015
    North Carolina
    I have a door on mine, and NORMALLY they go in on their own. I have had to go out and corral them into the coop sometimes though in the evening. I get up early and let them out (apparently still not early enough because they are all chitty chatty when I go out at 7-7:45 lol), and they come flying out lmfao. No advice for keeping them in without a door/something blocking them from getting back out.
     
  5. Vian

    Vian Out Of The Brooder

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    My chickens are doing this too. They have decided to sleep on top of the coop instead of inside it. Every night I go out and pick them off the roof and then set them on the roost inside.
     
  6. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 questions I got to ask. Are you free ranging or do they have a run. I'm assuming a run or you'd have a door. I read when you move them to the coop you should keep them in the coop for a day or so then allow them out and then they know that's their home and to return there when it starts to get dark out. Disclaimer, I don't know that that works. It may be completely wrong. I've also heard if you put a light in there they will be drawn in because chickens don't like the dark... again I don't know how true that is. If you are going to keep them inside the coop don't do it if it's really hot out and make sure they have food and plenty of water. If you use a light be sure to turn it off after everyone is in the roost or you may goof up their egg production if they are young new layers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens


    Chickens like to roost as high as they can. How tall is your coop?
     
  8. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Let's see a picture of your setup to help us out. A couple of things come to mind when I hear of this problem. The coop is too small, not enough ventilation, mite infestation, roosts too small, or it's too dirty. Check your hen's feet to make sure they don't have sores on the toes. Remember chickens like to roost high. If you purchased these chickens and introduced them to your coop, they might be afraid of that structure-especially if they were free ranged and roosted in trees at their previous place. Or if they were raised in cages with no coops they might also avoid a coop just because they don't know what the structure is for. Or you could have varmints coming around at night and disturbing them.

    To help them realize the coop is not going to get them try placing special treats inside the coop to encourage them to go in to eat. Since they are already laying eggs inside once they see the treats they may associate food with the coop and decide the place is not so objectionable. .

    Chickens can be fickle about some things. We may think they are being stupid, but once we investigate the problem we may discover they are only trying to survive in an artifical world WE created for them. Think like a chicken and you may solve your problem. Good luck!
     
  9. littlerockflowr

    littlerockflowr Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2015
    Utah
    I think I need to try the coop training. When I first moved them outside in about May, it was already 80+ degrees during the day (Utah) and even with adequate ventilation and food/water, I was worried about them being shut in the coop with the heat. I think I'll try that in a few weeks as the weather drops down, see if that will help. They might just never associated that as home, which I didn't quite get, because they go in and out all the time during the day and lay their eggs in there.

    I go out about dusk, when it's just dark, and put them in the coop. They're much more likely to stay in there instead of hopping out I learned. :) I kind of shove them all up the ramp inside, and then I go around to the back (where my access door is) and put them all on the roosting bars.

    Here's my set up, The coop is about 4'x6'x4-5' with a slated roof. The run is 10x6 I think, including under the coop, which I lifted so they would have some shade.

    [​IMG]

    And the roosting bars inside. I wonder if maybe I should make them bigger or add another rung? For 3 chickens I thought this would be fine. The 1 time I caught a chicken in here at night time, she was on the roosting bar, sound asleep and was annoyed when I put someone next to her :)

    Behind the roosting bars, you can see where the opening of the coop is for them, the ramp is attached and goes into the run.

    [​IMG]

    I clean the poop out of the coop (as best I can) every day, and toss it in the compost barrel right behind the coop, so I don't think there are any bugs. No sores on their feet either. The bottom of the coop is lined with linoleum, and then I have pine shavings over it.

    I've tried tiny bread pieces, and meal worms tossed on the ramp and up inside the coop and that didn't seem to make a difference. If I do the special treats (which would be watermelon in this case), should I just put a plate of it in the coop before it's dark?
     
  10. shelby h

    shelby h Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2015
    Port Orchard, WA
    My two newbie cents, the roost bars aren't long enough. All four of my girls like to sleep in a line, all huddled up. And maybe try wider? We had a roost bar two inches wide, and they HATED it, changed it to a four inch wide and they're all happily roosting before i even go shut the door at night
     

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