give me strength

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by brookwoodpat, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. brookwoodpat

    brookwoodpat Songster

    May 11, 2008
    I have eleven hens (four are egg laying, the other six are holding off till spring), that free range all day in my fenced acre and nine of them go into a coop at night. Two of them -- a silver campine and a golden campine, have been perching in a tree, resisting all my efforts to catch them at bedtime.

    Last night the whole gang came up on my screened porch just at dusk, looking for a handout and I let the others out one by one and caught the campines with a net and put them in a small coop by themselves, with a bitty run. They spent the night in it and my goal is to keep them in it all day today, and let them out tomorrow, hoping two nights in the coop there will persuade them to make it a permanent home. This roosting in a tree when the temp drops below freezing and the wind chill goes down further is ridiculous - though they don't agree.

    My problem is of course, like all free range hens they are wild to get out. My hens woo and sing when I go out at seven in the morning to let them out of their coops (each coop has a small yard attached) and dance up and down in impatience. I feel bad about keeping the campines locked up today, but I think it is in their best interests.

    I could use some encouragement to follow through with my dastardly deed. Give me strength?

  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Keep them locked in for a full week. 2 days is not long enough to teach them the coop is 'home' and where they should could back to. As long as they have an outside area they are free ranging.

    Free Ranging does not mean they get to go out and do anything anywhere they please. It means they have a choice to stay inside or to go outside (even in to a run) at some point in the day.
  3. roosmom

    roosmom Songster

    Jun 3, 2008
    upper peninsula
    Do you have kids? Do you ever tell the kids NO when they want to do something that is possibly dangerous? Do you then cave and let them do it anyways? If so....shame on you, there is no help [​IMG]
    You just have to think of it like that. Although I do not know if two days will be enough.
    Here have some of my willpower...........
  4. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    I have found that it takes about 2 weeks for little chicken brains to program themselves to think of a new place as the evening roosting place. I would leave them locked up for a while.
  5. brookwoodpat

    brookwoodpat Songster

    May 11, 2008
    I don't have kids, actually. But it is hard because they are used to a big acre and it's hard for me to see them upset about being cooped up in that little run.

    I agree with you that more days would be better. I'm just not sure I can hold out and keep them in there that long.

    I do know it is for the best. These campines are hard headed and they just don't want to be cooped up at night. They seem a lot "wilder" than my other chickens. They are beautiful birds but I worry about something getting them in the night no matter how high they go up in that tree.

    I appreciate the encouragement. I'll need it to be mean all day.

  6. Keep them locked up! Don't let them guilt you into letting them out! If you must assuage your guilt, bring them treats to make yourself feel better! [​IMG] I don't think 2 days will be enough. Hang in there, it's in their best interest.

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