Chickens sleeping in trees

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by R1ley, May 30, 2017.

  1. R1ley

    R1ley In the Brooder

    Jan 19, 2017
    So I've recently brought three new hens to my flock, the hen and rooster I've been raising have slept in a chicken coop I built for them since they were young, however the three new hens are use to sleeping up in trees. It was quite a surprise for me to see them up there since I've never experienced it before lol. Their not interested at the chicken coop at all, they also have a big large pen with a bigger house with a lot of straw and nesting places, but they still choose to sleep in a tree inside the pen.

    Since I didn't want my rooster and hen to feel lonely on the ground I picked them up and plopped them up in the tree with my new hens, and they seemed pretty content and didn't mind. I was just wondering if this is normal behavior or not and should I just leave them or try to encourage them to sleep in the coop? The only reason I put my two original chickens up in the tree is because we do get foxes and dingoes here, and thought they would be safer up there for tonight.

    Only thing is, is that where I live it can get pretty cold and into the minus, like around -2, so I'm just a bit worried about them sleeping in the cold. The new hens have been sleeping in the tree for a few days now and been fine, this is the first time my two other chickens have slept in a tree before though.
    vivchick2018 likes this.
  2. Top Rooster

    Top Rooster Songster

    Aug 16, 2015
    North East Oklahoma
    It is normal behavior chickens use to do that in the wild but it is not as safe in the coop raccoons can climb trees and eat them which they will. My old rooster use to take my hens fin this maple tree in my backyard we would try to find them but we never could for about a week we didn't think to look in the trees. Anyway we had to train them to go back into the coop because they weren't safe
  3. PapaBear4

    PapaBear4 In the Brooder

    Feb 25, 2014
    Chickens actually started out roosting in trees and there's lots of people that keep them that way still. Nighttime predators are the biggest risk. Owls in particular. And some species of fox can climb. And raccoons or large cats if those are in your area (I've read that .

    The temperature part of the question will depend on how long it get's that cold, the breed, and if you're talking C or F. Occasional -2C nighttime temps for fully feathered breeds will probably not be an issue. If it's more extreme, like -2F for a daytime high for a week, your birds should probably have some more protection.

    Best of luck to you!
  4. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Free Ranging

    May 8, 2017
    Eastern Connecticut

    Noting that you said foxes AND Dingoes... I'm assuming your Aussie... Welcome!!
    So, with foxes alone, I'd coop them. The newer ones aren't going to learn that the coop is the place to be unless you lock them in there for a period of time. AT least not let them free range. Foxes can climb trees... I don't know about dingoes, I found an article about quolls being very vicious towards chickens... So... coop them. Lock them up for a week or two so they know that the coop and run are home, and then you can let them all back out again. Your also letting the new birds teach your old birds bad habits.
  5. oldhen2345

    oldhen2345 Songster

    Jun 22, 2015
    East Texas
    I have had a couple of new sets of chicks to add to my small flock. I let them out of the baby pen when they are about 3 months old. OF course, they don't want to go into the big girl coop at night. The first set just sat outside the coop on a cinderblock and cried real loud until I picked them up and put them in the coop. I had to do that every night for about a week until they got up the courage do go in themselves- even then, it wasn't pretty. They huddled in a corner because the big girls would not let them on a roost. Now everything is great.
    This second set is just now going into the baby pen from the brooder. They huddle in a corner until I pick them up and put them in their coop at night. I guess I will be doing that again when they get to the hen coop. Bless their little hearts.

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