Hens sleeping up in a tree now????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tennesseechickie, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. tennesseechickie

    tennesseechickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Just wondering what to do. One night I went to close up my chicken coop, and noticed one of my black hens was not in there. I walked all around the yard and never found her. I was sort of upset cause I thought something must have gotten her that day (I let them free range). Anyhow, next morning, she was walking around the coop waiting for the others to be let out. Then the next night, she was in the coop. The following night, I noticed 2 of my girls were not in their coop, and just happened to notice them in my fruit tree out back, about 30 feet from the coop. They were roosting there for the night! Well, now Im up to 4 of my hens sleeping in that tree, which isnt that big by the way. I didnt understand why they were doing this until today. I noticed one of my buff orp roosters harrassing one of the hens and was just driving her crazy all day. I wonder if they are in the tree to get away from the roosters? I still have too many at 3 roosters to 6 hens, and Ive already gotten rid of 4! So I do plan on getting rid of the extra roos shortly.

    My question is this, should I make them get back into the coop at night? Im worried something is going to climb that tree and get them! Or should I wait until I get rid of the extra 2 roos before I make them go back in? Or should I even make them go back in at all?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I would absolutely hate for my hens to get attacked out there!
     
  2. Melinda35

    Melinda35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would definitely take them back in and put them on the roost. Sounds like a bad habit starting. I would be very concerned for their safety. I would also take the roosters you do not want to keep and put them in a separate cage if possible. You might need to lock everyone in the coop for a few days to make sure they know that is where they need to be roosting.

    Good luck!
     
  3. tennesseechickie

    tennesseechickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Lewisburg, TN
    Melinda,

    Thanks for the reply! Unfortunately, it is too hot here to lock them in the coop all day. Although it is very well ventilated, the sun hits it until about 2-3pm. Im hoping that once I get rid of the extra buff orp roosters, and am only down to 1 rooster, that all will be ok. Maybe they will want to go back into the coop then. Looks like Im either gonna have to get hubby out there to kill me a couple roos for the dinner table, or just give them away on Craigslist. Just hoping nothing gets my sweet girls til I get things in order.

    Thanks!
     
  4. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They aren't trying to get away from the boys: unless they are not laying eggs yet.

    Roosting in trees is great! This is their natural way to keep away from ground predators: I've never had a hen that roosted in a tree taken even by an Owl.

    Not a bad habit at all. A very good safe habit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  5. tennesseechickie

    tennesseechickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Lewisburg, TN
    Saladin, they arent laying yet. They are only 4 months old. This tree is a very small fruit tree. I can reach up with my hand and shoo them out. A racoon or possum could easily climb up it. I know it is their natural way, but Im scared they will be eaten, and also wonder where they will end up laying their eggs if I let them continue to sleep there.
     
  6. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you have racoons, probably be safer inside. mine are roosting on top of my coop right now. half of them anyway. maybe they are cooler? so far, no predators here. not sure if i'm goign to make mine go back in.
     
  7. tennesseechickie

    tennesseechickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Lewisburg, TN
    aggie,

    Im not sure if we have racoons or not. We have2 acres, and behind us is woods. I know we have possums and groundhogs, these Ive seen before. Weve only been here a year, so Im unsure what will get them.
     
  8. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    You probably do. I have racoons here but they are evidently well fed on the squirrel food and leave the chickens alone.

    It's kind of a personal choice on how distraught you will be if they go missing vs will you sleep better at night with them back in the coop. They probably don't really care where they sleep.

    I'm leaving mine out and will rethink the issue if something happens.
     
  9. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where they roost generally has little to do with where they will lay the eggs. If you feed in the coop then they are use to going back in there anyway. As they grow they'll learn to fly higher and higher. The one's I have in trees are around 20 feet or so from the ground.

    As for coons: they are bad news. I generally have more opposum trouble than with coons, but the opposum will only take one and eat it. So, if I have one missing I know that it is more than likely a opposum and he'll be back AND I'LL BE READY. Coons are entirely different. A coon will kill chickens for the love of killing. A coon often will not even eat them. So you walk out one morning and they are all dead and just lying their: that's a coon.

    I'd suggest you purchase a live trap or two: bait it and set it near the woods. Once captured you can either kill it or carry it off (way off.... like 10 or 15 miles).
     
  10. bertman

    bertman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    don't forget about the owls. A great horned owl will take a full-grown chicken down. A barred owl easily can take an 8-week old bird.

    Raccoons live in trees so they are great climbers.
     

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