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#78004 - 11/20/07 04:10 PM Re: won't go in the coop
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
A Dog House may be dark, too small for 3 large hens, and birds do not like that, in fact that is possibly why they do not want to go in??? They have to have room to hop up on a roost, need to have room to turn around on the roost and move about. What kind of design is it, and can it be remodeled at all? There are some things that we do not know about this problem? CJR

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#78005 - 11/22/07 03:13 AM Re: won't go in the coop
Mau Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 650
Loc: United Kingdom
If you haven't been able to convince them after a week or two of explaining to them there must be something wrong. Have you checked to make sure there's not a cache of red mite coming out and biting them or anything else to upset them, like draughts or predators?
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Mau

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#78006 - 11/28/07 01:11 PM Re: won't go in the coop
C. Newman Offline
Chicken

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 96
Loc: Virginia
Confining the hens to the coop for a couple of days should get them used to roosting there. I've done this before and it's worked well.

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#78007 - 12/04/07 09:43 AM Re: won't go in the coop
Ren B. Offline
Bantam

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 50
Loc: Virginia
We put up chicken wire to block them from getting on top of the dog house, so now they are going in. It's a huge dog house, used previously for my 90lb lab mix, so there's plenty of room for 3 hens. There is a roost and a platform. I am questioning if it's too dark, should I drill holes to provide more light? Should I put a door on? I've hung an old curtain over the door due to the cold weather. Hopefully it blocks some wind.

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#78008 - 12/04/07 09:15 PM Re: won't go in the coop
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
No, I would not put holes in it at all. Darkness allows the birds to relax and prevents them from picking out of frustration. Plus, when it is cold during the winter, those holes will allow cold air into the coop. I too have used dog-houses for my birds. Sometimes it is the best thing to use for "injured" birds that must be separated from the others. I usually use them when a momma has hatched out some chicks! smile

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#78009 - 12/05/07 07:07 AM Re: won't go in the coop
Oakie Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 415
Loc: Oklahoma
I'd build a door on it. It gets pretty cold in Virginia.

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#78010 - 12/07/07 12:46 PM Re: won't go in the coop
Ren B. Offline
Bantam

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 50
Loc: Virginia
Maybe a plastic flap door, kinda like a doggie door? So they can still go in and out on their own. Or should it be something more substantial like wood? The run around the coop is completely fenced - the roof too - and I lock it at night, so I don't think the coop also needs a lock.

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#78011 - 12/07/07 03:40 PM Re: won't go in the coop
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
We tried that with my geese. It didn't work very well because they were afraid of the flap blocking them from the door. We tried it with carpet, plastic, etc. Nothing worked as well as making sure all were in the coop for the night and closing the door. We use a wooden door on our coops, but that's just because we have alot of scrap wood lying around. Maybe others have had better luck with the flap on the entrance thing?

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#78012 - 12/08/07 04:56 AM Re: won't go in the coop
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
Funny, a large, heavy canvas tarp is what we are using for door right now! Geese, chickens and ducks are all OK with it. We had a regular door, but the coop is not perfectly level and over the course 2 years heaving/thawing the door broke last spring. The coop was doorless all summer long and this fall we just nailed the tarp up. In the morning one of us goes out to "open the flap" and at night we "close the flap". We hang it up so the bottom corners are hooked to the top of the doorway ( regular sized door - 80" x 32" I think ), thus keeping the top of the space fully "tarped" and the lower half open so everyone comes and goes at will. Tonight temps will be around zero, but it's tight in there and they do well. The tarp is not thin plastic, though. It's about 1/4 inch thick material, heavy, kind feels likie a cross between canvas and felt.

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#78013 - 12/12/07 12:50 PM Re: won't go in the coop
Ren B. Offline
Bantam

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 50
Loc: Virginia
Great, I like the thick fabric idea!

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