Free Rangers Roosting In Tree Ignore New Coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jabowery, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. jabowery

    jabowery Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2010
    My Coop
    This isn't your normal "wait till they're roosting and zoned out and carry them to the new coop" situation. My free range chickens decided they like the tree in front of my house, which they can jump/fly to from the front porch. That is unless they decide they want to roost on the front porch, which I forbid, if I'm around. I'll have 20 chickens in my tree easy. I built a coop in the back yard where they belong. It has lots of nesting boxes, roosting rods, sun-roof, ventilation, etc. I put a 10lb bag of layer crumbles in there do they care? NOOOoooooo.... They just free range and go back to the tree. I've tried grabbing the ones I can reach to place them in the new coop (hens first of course) but the next day they're back in the tree with the rest of the flock.

    Winter's coming and I'm concerned they'll just freeze themselves to death being the dumb birds they are (although they are heritage breeds that free range through the winter so they can't be too dumb).

    Should I just get a pellet gun, hollow point the flock and start over?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  2. Lazarus718

    Lazarus718 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2012
    New Mexico
    I'm not an old timer or experienced chicken owner at all, but I think as long as you have that tree the birds are going to want to be in it. My guess is that you have a decent amount of space and they have never been confined? Unless that new coop of yours was able to be elevated higher than the perches in the tree I believe they'll pick the tree. I also built my coop after getting my birds but my property is fairly small and I don't have nice mature trees abounding in it. I've read (from old timers) that you should lock the birds up in their new coop for at least two days and not let them out to get them to understand where "home" is at the end of the day. With my small flock (6 hens) they took to their new quarters immediately. Guess you could give it a try as long as you have the space in there for them, or let mother nature sort it out for you and do some training next spring?
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Shut them in the coop for at least 3-4 days - it may take longer the longer they have been roosting in the trees

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