Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ben0125, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. ben0125

    ben0125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    5 days ago we got some hens, We only let them out this morning and they didnt escape or even try during the day, (to busy dust bathing and looking for worms!). But I went to go shut the door for the coop at dark but I couldnt find them anywhere! The whole family came out searching with torches looking everywhere. But then we looked up a tall tree and they are at the very top sleeping. But the only animals that could possibly kill them would be a wild cat, a possum or maybe a hawk??? I dont really know. We are inside now and they are still up the tree. Do I need to do anything? Will they lay in the nest box's? will they go back in the fence?

    Any help would be great, thanks!
    Arya28 likes this.
  2. SeaPolka

    SeaPolka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2017
    My girls did this when I let them free range and they'd make random nests everywhere and by the time I'd find them there'd be 15 eggs and broody hen in a bush. I'm not sure about American predators but from what I know I'd put the hens back in their coop
    Arya28 likes this.
  3. ben0125

    ben0125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wait so they won't lay in the nesting boxes? Will they come back into the run in the morning?? I think I should lock them in the coop for longer till they know it'
    s they're home.
  4. PetesChicks

    PetesChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2016
    Southbridge, MA
    You might be best off locking them in their run for a few days, so that they learn where they are supposed to be. Once they are in the habit of living in the run & coop, they should be fine & return each night.
    lcwmt, Arya28, aart and 2 others like this.
  5. SeaPolka

    SeaPolka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2017
    Yes I'd leave them locked up for a little longer, they build up a map of their surroundings. there's no guarantee they'll lay in the nest boxes whether they've been locked in the coop and run or not, but if it becomes a problem then you can keep them locked up for half the day and let the free range late afternoon and evening
    Debutante and lcwmt like this.
  6. Arya28

    Arya28 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2017
    If it's only been five days since you got them, they probably haven't settled into their new coop as "home" yet... they stayed around the yard in the day but they went to roost in to the trees because they don't know their coop is their home yet.

    Whenever we move ours to a new spot, we keep them locked in their new home for at least a week, sometimes a couple weeks. Then they will go out during the day and back into the coop at night.

    As far as for if to leave them in the tree for right now, if they are sleeping there and you feel pretty confident nothing will try to disturb them, leave them till morning unless you can get them easily. How old are they? If they have a rooster in with them and they are mature, I would be more likely to leave them there until the morning. They are meant to survive in the wild, so I think as long as you know where they are you should leave them. You've got to make that decision though.

    Something you could try to do, which is what we started off with, is after their lock up period, let them out like only an hour or two before nighttime. This way, they won't go too far, and they will be more likely to go to their coop once it's dark. Then gradually work up the time they are allowed out, and they won't run off. :)

    As far as the nesting boxes go, they are sort of like the coop. If they've been laying in them for a while, they will be more likely to keep laying in there. So I recommend you keep them in their pen for at least a week, maybe more before letting them out again.

    I hope this helps!
  7. ben0125

    ben0125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the suggestion, I have lost them. We tried getting them down in the morning and they flew off and are far into the bushes. I've put some more food in the run so hopefully they come back and I can chase them into the coop. And if I try to pick them up they will go crazy
    Arya28 likes this.
  8. Chickassan

    Chickassan True BYC Addict

    May 23, 2017
    Berea, South Carolina
    If you don't have a rooster you can play rooster sounds to try and lure them back. Every goofy wild hen I've ever had would come to see if there was a premise of a man bird being around. I had an old crippled up rooster named cheese just for that purpose when I had game hens.;)
    Arya28 and Debutante like this.
  9. Debutante

    Debutante Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    This is a very ingenious idea! Thank you for posting. My hens have not yet run away (but it could happen) so I'll remember this trick. I checked on YouTube and there are many videos with sound entitled "Rooster calling hens". Perhaps the OP could use one of these, turned up loud, to lure his girls back.
    Arya28 likes this.
  10. ben0125

    ben0125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, our neighbours have a very loud rooster and he's still crowing. Maybe they went to the neighbours??

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