Bantams Self Directed Free Ranging

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PugetCountry, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. PugetCountry

    PugetCountry Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2013
    Olympia, WA
    I have 14 chickens and all of them have been with us since they were just days old...except for two D'uccles we picked up last Thursday.

    Two 9 week old females...they won't go into the coop at night and we can not catch them or entice them with any kind of snacks. Last night we couldn't find them and just went to bed...this morning they were in their opened coop eating. Tonight they disappeared again but it's lighter out and I found them roosting high up in a rhodendron bush (it's 3 bushes in a row and they are about 15ft high). They look nice and cozy and I would suspect pretty safe. They are crazy fliers and it's really difficult for us to get our hands on them. I don't mind them choosing this option but it's just a little weird as my other two groups are so different. One group goes into their coop at the same time every single night and hop up on their bar and the other group comes to get me and they want me to direct them into their coop.

    I thought they still seemed young at 9 weeks but these two are gonna march to their own beat;) They free range with the other chicks during the day and seem fine. Anyone have birds who prefer this method...it seems like they'd almost be safer in this situation because hawks can't get them and I can't see an animal getting them any easier than in the coop where they are visible.

    Just thought I'd share...interesting little animals these birds are;)
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I've had the same problem with bantams, some of them seem to like to spend most summer nights living in the shrubbery. They do usually decide to come in when the cold weather hits and the leaves come off the trees. Though some have stuck to living in pines until fairly late in the year. Don't really know what you can do about it if you free range them, unless you built them a tree house / coop about twenty feet up in the air. They are going to be vulnerable to climbing predators like racoons if you have those around, and I worry more about owls than hawks just because owls hunt at night and hawks during the day and usually the bantams don't start roosting until pretty close to sunset.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Owing to the fact they are bantams, they are more vulnerable to raptors than standard sized birds. My games are about twice as large and can even fly better than bantams but as juveniles that are slightly larger than your bantams, the risk of loss to owls is to great. Invest more effort in getting them to imprint on existing roost / coop.
     

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