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QUESTION: I have two 7mnths(+) old Buff Orpingtons that are free range. They only go into their coop to lay their eggs. Other than that they sleep on the roof of the coop pouring down rain and lighting or in cold weather. Is this normal and safe for them?
- They roost at highest point of coop. Put a roost high in coop. Move them inside every nite. In their best interest could take a week to retrain them
- It sounds like they are scared of going in the coop at night which could be because of a mite infestation. Dont forget they can see mites a lot easier than we can.
- This is an excellent point! We regularly dust ours with diatomaceous earth. Do it while they’re out of the house so that the dust has time to settle. Sprinkle it over the bedding and work it in. It is chemical free. It’s a “dirt” that kills bugs I also use it in my garden, on ant trails, etc. I’ve also read to sprinkle some in their dust bath area.
- not normal
- Ok untill an owl finds them. The owl will come back each night and pick them off one at the time.
- Wheeler They would freeze in the winter or coons and fox can get them.
- I agree. Another perch and maybe higher up. Wait til dark and put them where you want them.
- I had to add another roost to my coop because I have one “boss” hen that will not let another of my hens on the roost, anywhere on the roost!. So I put another roost in on the opposite side of the coop. You may have a pecking order going on and the two sleeping outside are too timid to take up for themselves
- Hold off on the last feed of the day until just before dusk (when they would normally go to roost) they are going to go for the food,and then you can lock them up away from predators
- Burdine We regularly dust ours with diatomaceous earth. Do it while they’re out of the house so that the dust has time to settle. Sprinkle it over the bedding and work it in. It is chemical free. It’s a “dirt” that kills bugs I also use it in my garden, on ant trails, etc. I’ve also read to sprinkle some in their dust bath area.
- Ours are free range except at night when I lock them in so that they’re in a “critter proof” area My husband actually built their coop UNDER a shed. Even though ours don’t even TRY to roost anywhere other than their “house” they’d be pretty safe with an extra roof over their heads Just to show off my hubby’s work and our girls’ “mansion” here is a link to the album from when we first got them (might also provide some ideas – feel free to share)
- Could be a Rooster issue.
- If chickens are hatched outside by their free ranged mamas, then outside is where they would rather be. It doesn’t hurt them to be outside weatherwise, they’ll go in if they want, when they want. The only thing is owls. Keep a goose around for that. Water fowl don’t go in either & work wonders for keeping varmints away.
- I agree with all the comments. Give them some help. Check out all the issues mentioned and take action as they are trying to tell you something. It is not in their best interest to do this. If you rectify the problem, they could be retrained in about 3 days to roost in their coop. They are so pretty it would be a shame to lose them to pneumonia or coons.
- Chickens can stand anything , I’ve raised them for years, they like to be out in the rain , snow etc even having a nice hutch they can get in instead!
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