chickens gone bonkers ... lost their way to the coop??

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


10 Years
Apr 5, 2009
ok, so brief background, we have 2 sets of chickens; first is 3 that are 4 months old, second batch is 3 that are 11 weeks old. We combined the two sets about 3 weeks ago, put the littles in their own little cage within the larger coop, and eventually let them start free-ranging. Their little cage has a roost and a light on top and they can come and go from the coop as they please. The two flocks have been getting along, sorta leave each other alone but have mingled a bit in the last few days.

So last night, the younger 3 chickens went berserk! They kept cheeping around my back & front door, so I went to see if all was well. They looked fine, and had plenty of water & food but their light had burned out so I replaced the bulb and they followed me there, but left the coop when I did. Then it got to be dusk, when they'd normally be cozied up on their roost, but instead they were outside my front window going crazy, jumping up on the sill and pecking at the window and then trying to fly in. Pecking at the screen door, etc. I finally picked up one, and got another to follow me to the coop. The third one ran off (huh? they always stick together) and after I got the 2 in their coop I hunted her down. She was trying to roost on top of the wood pile! I picked her up and took her to the coop, and apparently should have shut the door but I didn't.

Hubby got home late, about 9:30pm, and said he thought there was a dead chicken under our child's sand table. UH OH!!! I was freaked out, but he came back and said it was just one of the littles sleeping under there, all alone. Huh???? We got flashlights and could not find the other two (the bigs were happily roosted in their box, so I was thinking no predators). Finally found another one, on TOP of the roof of the 8.5 foot tall coop, sound asleep! Couldn't find the last one (a rhode island red, so hard to see in the dark) but hubby later found her snuggled up in the ice-plant by our garage.

We closed them in the coop after that, which we haven't done since they've been free-ranging it for the last 2 weeks.

Sorry for the novel, but I was just wondering if anyone has some insight on this behavior? I could understand if they wanted to roost somewhere higher (we're going to put up a higher roost for them in the coop) but it was bizarre that they were trying to get into the house, and then that they all went their separate ways later that night.
Have they been going into their henhouse to roost at night before this? Perhaps they didn't know where to go? Perhaps there was a snake or some predator in there at the time?

You may never know.

Have a look around the henhouse where they roost ... see how they act tonight,

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