Hen Decides to Roost in Tree Instead of Coop


Chicken Slave
12 Years
Mar 19, 2007
Brick, NJ
I've had her for almost 3 years. Suddenly last Sunday she decided to roost in the crabapple tree which hangs over the run. The first night she did this, I went out & climbed the ladder and grabbed her, boy did she SCREAM & SCREAM! After I got her in the coop, I shined a flashlight in there so she could see where she was and finally calmed down. I let them out for little while on Monday afternoon, and went to check on them & she flew up into the tree again, only higher this time so I couldn't reach her.

Why would a bird suddenly decide to do this?? I have them in lock up now to try to break this habit. They were out for a little while yesterday, when I saw her enter the run I closed her up so she wouldn't do the tree thing. She kept trying to fly up to the overhanging branches while she was in the run. Her silly self kept crashing into the wire of the run until she gave up and sauntered into the coop like normal.

I'm thinking something frightened her. The others don't act this way.
Anyone have any other advice?
Our crooked beak gal did this after our raccoon attack only it was in our pole barn and we couldn't reach her in the rafters. About a month after the attacks she went back in the coop on her own with the others. The only thing I worry about in the trees is preditors but then when they are too high it's just not practical to get ladders every night. I'd probably do what you are doing also. Are you positive the coop doesn't have mites?
If you find out something that works let me know.

Mine WILL NOT learn to go in the coop. There's always 3-5 that get in the tree above the run and think they are going to roost there. The thing I dont understand is when they see me come out they jump out of the tree and go in the coop because they know I'm about to get out my 15 foot pole and poke them out of the tree.

I've tried locking them in the coop/run for periods up to 2 weeks, shooing them in right at dusk, coaxing them in with treats...nothing has worked.
That's a good point. I'm pretty sure the coop is mite free. It IS due for a fall cleaning........so that should take care of that possibility. Thanks!
Hi Luna - long time no see!

Sounds like she's scared of something in the coop if she was going in before. Perhaps being picked on by another chicken.

Make sure to check that nothing is trying to dig under the walls and things like that as well...

You might have to lock her in for a few days - perhaps that would help, I know its difficult with a bunch of other chickens, but I don't know what else to suggest!
Wow, chickens can be stubborn! After thinking about this.......I think Dorothy (the tree dweller) is using the tree because something frightened her - don't know what - we really don't have a pred problem here (knocks on wood) Maybe a hawk sighting.

But, this bird was a rescue from a situation where her sister was attacked and eaten by a fox. I think she NEVER forgot that - listening to a fox attack and surviving that dreadful night must have really stuck with her. She was always a little flighty. When we got her she was happy to be with other chickens and did whatever she had to do to join the flock. I'm going to keep them locked up for a while and see what happens.....

Also, our neighbor had a huge oak tree removed and some other small ones taken down. The whole landscape looks different........maybe she's a little confused.....
Hi Wildsky! How are you? Glad to see you back on here!!!!

More good points.....I'll look into it....Thank you!
Hi Wildsky! How are you? Glad to see you back on here!!!!

More good points.....I'll look into it....Thank you!

I'm well - how are you doing?

I've been so busy with kids and stuff going on, I just never got back on the forum, and the longer I went without logging in, it just got out of my range of things to do on any day.... things are getting quiet now (and cold) so I might have more browsing around time!
Wildsky - I'm well too. Life gets in the way sometimes eh? It's always nice to see some of the "regulars" back on after their little hiatus! Welcome back!
Thanks Luna, its kinda odd being "back" after so long... but there are so many familiar faces!
(like a family reunion only I remember names here!

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