Escapee hen - any advice appreciated!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bantambonanza, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. bantambonanza

    bantambonanza In the Brooder

    Oct 26, 2011
    My light sussex bantam pullet, Lily, keeps trying to escape, clipped wing and all! It started pretty much the very first night we got her, when the rest of them were heading into the coop she decided she'd much rather sit on the coop roof, and from there leapt to a stone wall on the other side of the netting! Cue five minutes of chasing, and the decision to move everything away from the wall to make sure she couldn't use it as a point of escape, and it seemed to work for a little while. I'd tried to string twine along the apex of the coop roof to see if that would keep her off it a few days ago, but it's not done a thing. When I'd come home I'd find her sitting on the coop roof, but she didn't seem to be able to get out, but tonight my neighbours had to chase her around and put her in the coop so she must have found a way!

    I'm not sure if she's happy, since she seems to be at the bottom of the pecking order and will never stick up for herself with either our two silkie bantam cockerels or the other girls the way the rest of them will. She'd much rather just hide out under the nestbox and avoid conflict if need be. And she's the only one laying just now, so she gets a lot of attention from the boys! When I go in to put her inside the coop at night she makes little distressed-sounding noises at me from her perch on the coop roof, but I can't tell if that's because she's still not used to me (we've only had the girls a week or so) or because she's genuinely upset and thus escaping to get away from it! Lily's such a sweet little lady, I don't want her to be sad!!

    Any advice would be appreciated - Thanks!


  2. jasonm11

    jasonm11 Songster

    Nov 18, 2010
    tioga tx
    she is a free spirit, either coop her up (ha ha) or send her to freezer camp, otherwise a dog or cat will end up killing her.

    I don't mean to be blunt, but i faced the same thing with several and have tried all kinds of stuff. I have only been able to get one or two to stop the habit and it took locking them up for about 3 weeks in an enclosed coop and run. I also tried treats and that works with most of them, the others go to freezer camp.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  3. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    My Sussex never liked confinement does she get to free range. You could try tying CD's in the areas she jumps to, if all else fails clip both wings. Don't eat her they lay well during the winter and they are sweet.
  4. bantambonanza

    bantambonanza In the Brooder

    Oct 26, 2011
    Thanks for your advice, but we're definitely not eating her, she's too sweet and I got them to be egg-laying members of the family, not dinner! She doesn't properly free-range, because we have a shared garden and no fences, but they graze in the 12 metre Omlet netting which gives them a good bit of space, plus we can move it around for new grazing. I've heard that clipping both wings can make things worse sometimes, by evening out their balance again? I might try putting up something shiny like you suggest, mstricer, and just hope that by putting her off jumping on the coop at all that will keep her inside!
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    Sound like you asked a question and answered it also. Good luck.
  6. bantambonanza

    bantambonanza In the Brooder

    Oct 26, 2011
    Lily didn't escape tonight, we put black plastic (from a bin bag split into a sheet) over the coop roof. There was no good way to hang up CDs, so we'll see if this works instead. It seems like every new thing we try puts her off for a day or two, but then she's back at it! So this question is far from answered, and any other ingenious methods for keeping hens inside boundaries would be greatly appreciated!
  7. Pele

    Pele Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    Just like you can't do a thing to keep a friend from dating a total loser, you can't do anything to keep some chickens in.

    She's going to end up hurting herself at this rate, or become lunch for a predator. If you love her as much as you say, then give her to someone on a farm with lots of space. Your property is not ideal for her, and if string doesn't keep her contained, and you don't have lots of money to build a high fence, it's probably for the best that she leaves.

  8. Mrsfoote

    Mrsfoote Songster

    Jul 19, 2010
    Laurel Montana
    Did you raise her from a chick or purchase her as an older bird. I had a heck of a time last year, bought my first chicks, all turned into boys. Someone locally was selling new laying hens $6 a pop so i got 3 ...2 Wyandottes and a wellsummer. Well I lived in the city these were ranch birds, had a huge coop and roosted in a tree...took us a bit of work, they were a bit wild didn't like being held.. now they're bratty and spoiled, but love the coop. Had to coop em up for a while.

    I have a giant chochin when we introduce new birds to the flock she is our go to girl, she helps integrate the new birds into the flock and makes sure everyone gets along. Got her as a new girl ourselves. Maybe getting another, possibly a bit younger girl and allow her to get to know the bird in question, and she'll have a friend....
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    If she's getting harassed, it's not unusual for her to not want to go into the coop with them. How big is your coop? Is it from Omlet? If so, then it will be hard to add more roosts or places for her to try to get away from them. That's what I'd usually suggest. Since you've only had them for a week, it's possible that things will get better as the flock gets used to each other. Maybe just keep an eye on them and see how it goes.
  10. Chickenberry

    Chickenberry Songster

    Could you possibly put up a netting or a covering to the top and/or sides or your run?

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