How do I prevent roosting?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Golden girls, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Golden girls

    Golden girls New Egg

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    Dec 9, 2010
    Hi there - this is my first post but I've been a huge fan of this forum for many months and have come away with lots great ideas thanks to all the knowledgable contributors!

    I have 4 lovely layers - 6 months old - who have been, up until now, penned in a corner of our hay barn and turned out to free range during the day. We live in the Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia (North east of Maine) and with the colder weather coming on we are considering moving the girls into one of the unused stalls in our horse barn for the winter. Mostly this is to ensure they have access to unfrozen water 24/7. The problem is that the barn stall walls don't go all the way to the ceiling, they are about 7.5 feet with a 1.5 foot gap to the ceiling and the girls LOVE to sit up there and then fly down into the barn. We don't want them to have free access inside the horse barn because they tend to poop on the horse hay and/or make a mess in the horses stalls.

    I've considered tacking up chicken wire from the top of the stall walls to the ceiling, but the ceiling is aluminum sheeting and I don't want to put holes in it. I've also considered using duct tape to hold it up but I think this would look, well, tacky, and I'm not sure it would hold up with fluctuations in temperature.

    My husband has suggested we run something along the top of the stall walls to discourage the girls from sitting up there (I don't think they'd fly over without first lighting on the walls). He thinks that something prickly like christmas garland would work (deck the stalls!) I'm doubtful [​IMG] and even less sold on the esthetic of this idea. We'd need about 25 feet of coverage.

    I'm more tempted to leave them where they are since keeping them in the horse barn means they won't be able to free range as often and they HATE being "cooped up" during the day, but I am concerned about the frozen water issue.

    Any suggestions or comments??
     
  2. fdehaven

    fdehaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Try using a stiff welded wire fencing. You could hold it flush to the ceiling and nail it to the walls.
     
  3. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think your chicken wire idea will work- you don't need it all the way up to the ceiling. My bet is they jump up to the stall wall, sit on it, and fly/jump down. I think if you stapled up a few feet of chicken wire- they wouldn't be tempted....I had a similar problem with a garden gate. They didn't want to jump or fly over, without being able to stop and sit first...I don't think the garland would discourage them (but it would look cute!) Good luck!
     
  4. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just noticed that was your first post- Welcome!!! You could also add a water heater (kind of a plug in pan, that sits under waterer) and keep your original setup.
     
  5. tedabug

    tedabug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you thought about wing clipping? My ladies were escaping their confines so I finally bit the bullet and did a little clip clip. I was freaked out to do it, but it ended up no big deal at all. Your problems could be solved in about 10 minutes with a sharp pair of scissors.
     
  6. HensHaven

    HensHaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2009
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    Welcome from Canada!
     
  7. Golden girls

    Golden girls New Egg

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    Dec 9, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I hadn't given much serious thought to wing clipping since I'm not sure I could go through with it. Is it really no big deal? Is it permanent or do you have to repeat the process? how often? What height can they reach after they've been clipped? I'll search other posts - I'm sure this has been covered already...
     
  8. Golden girls

    Golden girls New Egg

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    Dec 9, 2010
    Quote:Thanks![​IMG]
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You do have to repeat wing clipping as the feathers regrow. Honestly, though, since you free range during the day, wing clipping is taking away one of the chicken's primary means of escaping predators, so I wouldn't do it, myself.
     
  10. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wing Clipping

    It's really no big deal - kind of like a haircut. Mine start to grow back after 2-4 months depending on the specific bird. When they replace each feather, the new one grows in full length, so you'll have most of them short with a couple long ones sticking out.
     

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