Worried about the elements

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ENLuby, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. ENLuby

    ENLuby Hatching

    Dec 20, 2008
    We have 2 seven month old chickens. Their run is 6'x6' with a small wooden coop attached to the side of the run. During the day they have free range of the yard and we lock them up at night. The run has a wooden pole near the top for them to sit on.

    Before they started laying they would sleep in the wooden coop every night regardless of the temperature outside. Since they started laying they will only go in the coop to lay eggs and otherwise sleep on the pole suspended above the run. Are my chickens not very bright or do they not want to sleep where they lay their eggs? Should I be offering them an alternative for egg laying?

    My main concern is how cold it is getting (below freezing) and the run is just chain link fence (so not protecting them from the elements).

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Songster

    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    If it were me, I would put them in at night. Once you do that for a while they will learn. I know someone who lost their's to the cold becuse they didn't get inside at night in extreme weather.
  3. I'd roof that run as well as put them in at night- they're tempting a predator, and once it starts, you can lose all of them...
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  4. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    If you have a light on in the coop, that will help attract them indoors once it starts to get dark outside. I have mine set on a timer to go on just before dusk. If you don't have a light on currently. it is probably darker in the coop then in the run at dusk, so they stay where light lasts the longest.

    Another way to urge them in, is to put a little scratch, or treats, in a bucket, and stand in the coop giving it a little shake. Usually they will come running. Once they're inside, close the chicken door, so they can't go back out.

  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:I think you figured it out right there since they started to lay.

    Are there nest boxes in the coop for egg laying, and roosts inside that are different from the "egg despot zones". "Good" birds don't like to sleep where they put their eggs, which is usually a good thing so you don't get poopy eggs. I'd either try to get them in or secure that run like mad and cover it up to the elements a bit. If you cover up their sleep area and secure it from preds, depending on how cold is cold, they can sleep out there. Mine sleep in the tractor areas that are only protected by a tarp roof and walls. However, it's usually lows in the 30's all winter long, with a week or two temps in the teens/20's.

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