Disobedient Teenager Chickens Staying Out Late

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pkarkos, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. pkarkos

    pkarkos Chirping

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    Hello!

    I have four teenager chicks (aged about six months so maybe they are really young adults) that refuse to go to bed in the coop. Instead, they like to sleep about 8 feet off the ground in trees above the coop. Seeing as we have had some trouble with a fox recently and these birds should start laying soon, I would really like them to go into the coop at night. Right now I have all my birds, including the teenagers, locked up in the coop and small run underneath the coop. Normally I let my birds free range so they are quite indignant at being locked up. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get them to return to the coop at night? I have already tried keeping locked in there for more than a week but they still wouldn't go in at night. Will they grow out of this when they start laying? I have never had such a stubborn clutch of birds!

    Thank you!
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    When I have a young chicken that doesn't seem to want to go into the coop at night, I try to search out the reason for it. It has almost always boiled down to the issue of bullying at roosting time. I've solved it by watching which adult chickens give the youngster a hard time, and I then coax the youngster to roost on a perch at the far end away from the bullies.

    After several nights of refereeing, the youngster gains enough confidence to roost on her own away from her tormentors.

    If these six.month olds of yours are the only chickens you have, perhaps the problem lies with parasites or other vermin tormenting them at night. Mites can make roosting so miserable that a lot of chickens will simply avoid going into the coop at night.
     
  3. Melky

    Melky Crowing

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    I used treats when they were young and now they just take themselves in. Dried Mealworms.
     
  4. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    And if you can't find any other issues, there's always the option of giving them breakfast and supper—after a day with only one meal, mine race each other to the coop when I come out with the feed bucket.
     
  5. dalasgalas

    dalasgalas Songster

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    My teenagers have been visiting the neighbors yard. They got their wings clipped yesterday. It won't completely stop them from cruising around, but it stops them from flying up in the damn trees. Nothing spells "accident waiting to happen" like a lady with a ladder looking for missing hens.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Yeah, remember humans are supposed to be smarter than chickens.
     
    Silkies rule Forever likes this.
  7. pkarkos

    pkarkos Chirping

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    I don't think they are being bullied. I only have two older hens; an old bantam silkie and an ancient bantam Americauna and the two roosters are quite protective of all of their hens. Sometimes I find the teenagers until the older rooster's wings on the roost. I'll check them for mites but I have never had a big problem on my birds before and it is possible that rats might be getting in the coop but we are working on getting rid of them.
    Would clipping their wings keep them out of the trees and encourage them to go in the coop instead? We are sometimes able to tempt them into the coop with food but they are learning that they get locked up if they go after food in the evenings.
    Thanks, everyone!
     
    Melky and Silkies rule Forever like this.
  8. pkarkos

    pkarkos Chirping

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    In theory, yes, but these four are very sneaky!
     
    Silkies rule Forever likes this.
  9. Melky

    Melky Crowing

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    You could try clipping their wings as well. It might help keep them out of the trees.
     
    pkarkos likes this.
  10. pkarkos

    pkarkos Chirping

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    Thanks, everyone! I think I'll try clipping their wings and hopefully, that will keep them out of trees and encourage them to go to the coup!
     

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