How do I keep my birds out of the trees?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Farmsomewife, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. Farmsomewife

    Farmsomewife New Egg

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    Mar 1, 2015
    Greene County, PA
    I have a nice clutch of chickens, with a rooster. We allow them to free range all year but the winter. A large group of them end up in the trees around the coop- with or without the rooster. The last week my daughter left the coop door open and a few got out. Needless to say, we found them in the morning. They had frozen to death and fell out of the trees they were roosting in. They have a clean coop, with lots of straw, and roosting room, and a light on a timer. What am I missing to keep them out of the trees?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The secret is not to try to keep them out of the trees, but to teach them to use the coops to sleep in. To do that you need to coop them all up for a few days, all day, all night, and this will imprint that the coop is where they should roost and lay eggs.

    It's a simple little trick, and it should re-program them.

    It's so sad about them freezing to death. Hopefully, that won't happen again.
     
  3. Farmsomewife

    Farmsomewife New Egg

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    Mar 1, 2015
    Greene County, PA
    That's the head-scratching part... they have been in the coop since late October. The other day was the first they had been let out since then. They went right to the trees when the sun went down.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    How many chickens and how big is coop(feet by feet)?
    What is the size and length of roost(s)?

    There's something they don't like about the coop......too crowded? mites? not enough ventilation?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  5. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard more than once about chickens that had a heat lamp in their coop that wouldn't go in. Is it a light for extra light to keep them laying or a heat lamp?
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Now, that is a head-scratcher, for sure.
     
  7. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think aart is on to something here. Whether it's the light, the size of the coop, the size of the roost poles (too short or too small in diameter), mites... there's a reason they don't want to be in there.
     
  8. Farmsomewife

    Farmsomewife New Egg

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    Mar 1, 2015
    Greene County, PA
    It's 8'x12' coop on the enclosed end. We repurposed skids for roosts in there, but they have an outside run that is around 12x12. The roosts out there are 6-8' long pieces of tree limb. It may be the ventilation- we have one large window in it, but we may need to add another. Thanks for the advice. If anyone can think of anything else, please pipe up! Not sure if it makes a difference, but the coop is situated under a bunch of trees to keep the hawks away.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How many birds?
    How big is the window and is it wide open all winter?
    Ever notice any frost on the walls inside the coop?
     
  10. Farmsomewife

    Farmsomewife New Egg

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    Mar 1, 2015
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    currently we have 5 hens, 1 rooster. The window is 24"x24", but has a flap that is attached at the top to prevent major drafts. I never noticed frost on the walls, and the floor is not moist in any way.
     

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