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Chicken will not go into the hen house to sleep

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Churkenduse, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Songster

    Jan 1, 2008
    My girl was attacked by an animal awhile ago, she was injured, now she will not go in the coop at night.
    I let her roost in the trees for awhile, the other night I put her in and she tried to get out. Last night I let her stay out mainly because I could not find her.
    In the middle of the night I heard her get attacked twice, I do not go look since I live alone and I do not want to get attacked, I live on a wildlife preserve and anything can be out there.

    I thought she was dead only to find she had made it this morning, she was fine.

    My question, is it wrong of me to allow here to sleep in the trees or on the fence? Do you folks let your chickens roost in the trees, I know she will die but how can I keep her from sleeping outside, tonight she is to far for me to reach. I love my animals but I want them to be happy, I do not want to interfere with there natural instincts. Even if it means they might die.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011

  2. SilkieBantams

    SilkieBantams Songster

    Sep 23, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Try to get a good livestock guardian dog or keep her locked up in the coop
  3. zumzumfoxy

    zumzumfoxy Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    If it were me, I'd make her go in the coop and keep her in there. An unhappy chicken is better than a dead or repetitively injured one. I try to go with the most compassionate approach to the bird. Chickens hate change but they adapt pretty well.

    She's a prey animal; eventually she'll get killed despite her best efforts. Humans are there to be caretakers and help them above that usual life or death thing and live better lives. Free ranging is awesome, but not if it means free KFC for some critter out there.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  4. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    I agree, it is nice to let them live how they want, but only when it is also what is safe.
    Try to watch her when it is time to roost for the night & put her in the coop once she has settled down for the night. After that I would keep her in the coop for 5-7 days.
    Maybe keep them all in to get their pecking order sorted out again.
    Give her lots of in coop treats and a nice, safe place. After a few good night's sleep with nothing trying to eat her I am sure she will come around.

    Chickens have their own ideas about how things should go but, just like kids, they are not always the right ideas.

    Good luck.
  5. BitsyB

    BitsyB Chirping

    Aug 30, 2010
    Northern Delaware
    The Amish guy we got our coop from told us that some of their chickens like to sleep out in the trees, even in the winter. He said yes, they lose some of them at times, especially the little ones. He did not seem too concerned or upset...

    So ultimately it is your decision- if you don't want your girl to get killed, make the effort to get her in the coop. If you want her to live a natural life (and death) then let her do what she wants. (Maybe her motto is "Live free or die!") [​IMG]

    A good livestock guard dog would be nice though, then you don't have to go out and check every time you hear a noise.
  6. smkchick

    smkchick Songster

    Sep 3, 2011
    I have a black star who always wants to roost in a tree. I live in suburban area, so I have fewer wildlife problems than some of you, but we still have raccoons, dogs and angry neighbors to worry about. My Gladys free ranges during the day, but at around 3pm I lure her into the coop with her favorite treats (Happy Hen dried mealworms - nice and crunchy). She hears the container and comes running across the yard (that never gets old!). I lead her along by dropping the worms. At the door of the coop I throw a whole bunch in and then close the door behind her. I want her safe but I don't want the going into the coop part to be traumatic for her. I figure eventually she'll want to be in there. So far this week, I only missed her once - she got up in the tree before I came out to put her in the coop. Even though it poured down rain, she wouldn't budge. They DO have their own ideas of what should be. And like children they should be guided, but I don't want to force her. So far this works for me. I think her instinct is to be safe, which is why she's choosing the tree. Once she realizes the coop is safe (and dry and has food in it) I think she'll be less likely to head for the trees. In the meantime, I feel it's my job to protect her - even if it's from herself!

    I have three chicks still in the brooder. I'm also hoping that when they are grown and in the coop, Ms. Gladys will want to be part of the crowd and not hanging out in a tree alone. But you never know...

    Good luck. [​IMG]
  7. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Songster

    Jan 1, 2008
    Thanks for the advicde but some seem to be scolding, did you really read my post, it said she goes to high for me to reach her.
    She goes in the tree so early I never know how soon to get her. She has gone in the tree before I get home and if I can't reach her how am I being a bad owner ?
    I do not stay home all day like you just waiting for my chicken to get her before she goes up in a tree. I do lots of community work so I feel that sick and dying hurmans are more important than a stubborn chcken.

    As far as holding her hostage, I would rather die than to be kept locked up in a house. Do you think she is going to be rehabilitated of I lock her in the place she is afriad of being? Duh, that does not make any sense to me.

    I also have a dog, so you are asking me to keep my dog outside so it can be killed by the animals trying to kill my chickens just to save my chicken.
    Or you want me to spend a thousand dollars for a live stock dog to spare the life of a stuborn chicken that cost me a dollar.
    Not to mention the noise that dog would make and upset my fine neighbors. I do not live on a farm, I live in the suburbs.

    I thought I would be getting a sympathetic reply. Or something constuctive, if you said sorry I can't help you would be better than the comments so far.
    I am sorry I bothered you, you seem that I am allowing her to get killed, if I did I would have culled her already,or I would have just let her stay outside and be killed. Wow I get more sympathy and concern from my non chicken friends, I will talk to them, so make all their remarks you want I am l closing this for me.

  8. smkchick

    smkchick Songster

    Sep 3, 2011
    I'm sorry you feel we were not being sympathetic. I am only home to put my chicken in her coop because I lost my job. Believe me, I would prefer to working than watching my chicken.

    Everyone tried to help in their own way. Maybe you should find a new home for the chicken if it's causing you this much stress...
  9. zumzumfoxy

    zumzumfoxy Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Thanks for the advicde but some seem to be scolding, did you really read my post, it said she goes to high for me to reach her.

    I hope mine wasn't included in there; it had no intention whatsoever to be and I'm sorry in advance if you interpreted it as such. I was thinking maybe you could get her before she leaves, or use a ladder or something or lure her with treats; whatever it takes to retrieve her?

    I am sorry I bothered you, you seem that I am allowing her to get killed,

    No, all we've been saying is it's a possibility that could happen, and we DO care about the chicken, hence why we're trying to help you figure out a solution to get her back in there and into safety. [​IMG] Personally I'd just rather not see a hen get killed. If she outwits every critter in her entire life, that's awesome, but the risk of death will always be a distinct possibility. I'm just confused because you posted asking for advice whether or not it was wrong to let her sleep in the trees and that you knew death was a possibility, but you seem upset from the responses? We have no reason to be angry or scolding you. Thus far, none of the posts even sound like it. (PS, I live in the city also, if it has any bearing on anything.)

    If I may be completely blunt, it sounds like you U-turned from your original post. You went from "Is it wrong to leave her in the trees" (yes) and "I know she will die" to "You want me to get a $1,000 livestock dog to take care of a $1 chicken" and "or I would have just let her stay outside and be killed".

    My only questions now are:

    Why is she afraid of the coop? Was the animal attack -in- it? If so, have you fixed up the coop so the critters can't get back in?

    Why are you interpreting our responses as nonhelpful and nonsympathetic? We've spent our time willingly replying to the question you asked. Personally, the treat suggestion is an excellent idea- chickens respond to awesome stuff that goes in their stomachs and helps really stubborn hens budge. I've got a half-wild hen and she tamed down a lot when I was bringing her inside from outside. She used to be a treesitter too. Treats work wonders, especially apple slices placed at certain intervals.

    Why are you suddenly valuing your chicken less when you originally posted asking about her wellbeing? (This is an inferral from your statements, not an attack.)

    From the above, what are you planning to do with her? Are you going to help her out and try the treat-on-ground approach til she comes back, or watch her for a while to see what time/times she is most prone to going up the tree to figure out when to bring her in, or?

    Do you really care about her well-being, or is this just a $1 disposable chicken and if you don't really care, why on earth did you post asking our advice (which made it sound like you did care)? I'm not angry, I don't mean to sound mean at all- I'm just curious to know your thoughts on it. I'm clergy, so nurturing animals is an important part of my religious practice, but I don't understand your thinking.

    Thank you!​
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  10. bubbaloo

    bubbaloo In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2012
    Here, here, if you don't want peoples honest and practical advice, then don't post any questions on here, I find this forum has a wealth of information for any livestock keeper, I have never come across anyone who would want to upset someone who needs advice, perhaps you need to read and appreciate what others have said.

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