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Author Topic: Chickens refusing to go into coop  (Read 1734 times)

Sudanpan

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • West Cornwall
    • Movement is Life
Chickens refusing to go into coop
« on: July 02, 2023, 07:04:49 pm »
Good Evening All
We have 4 hens. They have been with us since Mar 2022. We have a big chicken coop, a fenced in run (15ft by 10ft) with electric strand all the way around and then access to an outer fenced run via a door for the day.
Up until 4 weeks ago all 4 hens always went into the coop at night.
Then 3 hens are insisting on staying outside (in the main fenced in run area) I have steam cleaned the coop, twice. Used red mite spray and the diatomateous earth stuff, but they will not go in at night. They do go in to lay, but just don't want to be i during the night - even if it's raining. I have tried putting them in at dusk - they protest, and the next night don't go in again.
The other hen is going on no problem
Do I just leave them to it? They are safe.
Thanks
Tish

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Chickens refusing to go into coop
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2023, 07:59:54 pm »
Ventilation, lice, mites, rats.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Sudanpan

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • West Cornwall
    • Movement is Life
Re: Chickens refusing to go into coop
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2023, 08:22:25 pm »
Lots of ventilation.
As I said I have cleaned down the coop twice - completely emptied out, washed, sprayed. No evidence of rats getting into the coop (there are rats that go into the outside area) No actual signs of red mite infestation - I searched under the perches etc.
Hens not showing signs of anaemia, laying well.
Interesting that 1 hen is quite happy to go in.


Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Chickens refusing to go into coop
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2023, 08:33:57 pm »
They may be getting too hot, especially if they get early sun on the roof - sun rising at 4 am will really heat up a hen house by say 6.30 when (most likely) you would be getting up to let them out. You don't say if you shut them in or leave the pophole open 24/7. But otherwise I would suspect a red mite infestation especially if the refusal to roost inside has been sudden.
Alternatively, is the hen that goes inside the dominant hen? And where does she perch? Near the entrance? Maybe she is just asserting herself a little too much and keeping the others out.

Sudanpan

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • West Cornwall
    • Movement is Life
Re: Chickens refusing to go into coop
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2023, 08:42:19 pm »
The coop has automatic door openers - the floor is mesh and raised 3 foot off the ground.
The hen that does go in is not the dominant hen. She is perching about 3 feet inside the coop, we have 2 doors on the coop and it is 6 foot wide by 4 ft deep.
I'm just surprised I can't find any sign of red mite infestation (we have had instances in the past so I'm pretty sure I know what I'm looking for). No red streaks

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Chickens refusing to go into coop
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2023, 09:02:55 pm »
Can you sneak out after dark and put the hens that are outside in the house? A few nights of this and they may start going back in of their own accord. But if they are safe when outside does it matter if they are in or out?


doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Chickens refusing to go into coop
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2023, 09:47:23 am »
I had that problem when my two standard wyandottes wouldn't let the two bantams in the coop.  I realised they were both broody so gave them to a friend who wanted some eggs hatched.  However, the wee ones still don't go in except to lay, and like you I have checked and cleaned the coop.  I think they are just too hot.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Chickens refusing to go into coop
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2023, 01:52:36 pm »
Possibly there is something in there at night which is frightening them.  The hen that goes in perhaps but more likely to be rats.  Rats can get in through very small access points. Search around outside for ratruns and signs of where they might be getting inside. It could even be a weasel, we have had one.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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Sudanpan

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • West Cornwall
    • Movement is Life
Re: Chickens refusing to go into coop
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2023, 02:36:06 pm »
Hi - thanks for the replies. I have tried putting them in the coop after dusk on a few occasions but they just stay out on the perch as usual the next evening.
The coop is rat proof - no holes. I have CCTV and have never seen the rats go in the coop. They do go into the run - impossible to stop them.

They are safe so no worries on that, will just let them do their own thing then.




 

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