Idgit Chicken!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RedDrgn, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    My Coop
    Our five girls have been out in the coop since August, and since August have been going to bed all by themselves each night. We had a minor issue with them wanting to pile up in a nest box to sleep for about a month, but since blocking those off, they've been using the roosting bar (which is up at the ceiling) without any trouble.

    Within the past month, though, our BR has developed a new habit - getting up on top of the coop itself to roost at night. We have no idea where in the world she ever got this idea, but we watched her go up there at night a few times and found her roosting there several times when we got home after dark on a few occasions. On one occasion we found her up there with our BA. Every single time we put her in the coop immediately and shut the door (we manually shut the door every night, even though the coop is in a completely enclosed run).

    Putting her in the coop didn't help and she kept doing this a few times a week. So I partially hammered in two offset rows of nails along the roof line where she kept going. I sanded the tops to make sure there were no sharp edges - the goal was simply to make it uncomfortable and awkward for her to get up there and roost. While this appears to have prevented regular visits through the day like we used to see, we STILL find her on the coop about once per week! Last night, we found her up there with the BA and the DOM![​IMG]

    So how do we get the notion out of her head that rooftop roosting is a good idea and get her consistently back in the coop?
     
  2. mrslb333

    mrslb333 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there a way of blocking it off with netting or something?
    Do you have any pics? It might make it easier to see it [​IMG]
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't know what your coop and run looks like, but make it really hard for her to get up there. A couple of ideas, assuming you have a run that is enclosed over the coop. In either case use wire fencing and paint if black, dark green, or such so it pretty much disappears if appearance bothers you.

    Run wire all the way around the coop and attach it to the wire over the run. Box it out entirely so she cannot get up there. This can be something cheap like chicken wore. You are trying to keep chickenrs out, not predators. This is my preferred method.

    If you cannot do that, it gets a bit more tricky. Chickens will normally not try to fly up if they don't have a solid place to land. Take some stiff wire, welded wire or fairly heavy gauge hardware cloth, and attach it about 8" to 10" from the top of your coop, with it sticking up. Then attach it at the top of the coop. The idea is that it will stick straight up under its own stiffness and the chicken will not see a good place to land. I've used this on my run fencing to keep chickens from flying out. If your coop has an overhang, this may be hard to do. Maybe you could look at yours and come up with a way to get a wire barrier a foot or more high around it so she does not have a solid place to land.

    Chickens normally like to roost on the highest place they can get to. The top of a coop may meet that criteria.

    Good luck!
     
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    My Coop
    Yep, pics I can do!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We could probably suspend welded wire or some other sort of unsavory-looking object over the top of the coop to thwart their roosting efforts. May take some doing to avoid trip hazard on the porch above, but it's possible. Maybe some kind of barrier (even cardboard) affixed to the end where they ALWAYS fly up from would work?

    Yes, the top of the coop is the highest place they can get right now. The next highest is their roost, which is inside the coop up at the roof. If we're in the run around dusk, the same chicken will try to roost on a shoulder, too. She's indiscriminate, apparently. [​IMG]
     
  5. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Why is it such a bid deal?
     
  6. cassidy22

    cassidy22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could put sopme of those spikey things up there that people use to keep pigeons and such from roosting on buildings, etc. Make it so she can't sit. but other than that, I hate to say, cold weather will get her back into her coop.

    My turkeys purch on top of my house. I built them a nice big coop, put them in a t 3 weeks, but once they could fly out, they never went back. I gathered them up one night, put them in and locked them in for a week. Once I opened the door, they went back to the roof. At this point, only winter will drive them back into the coop, once they are too cold to sleep outside, which isn't quite yet for mine...
     
  7. mrslb333

    mrslb333 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Would clipping her wings not solve the issue of her flying up?
     
  8. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you sure they have enough room and it's not too hot?
    At least they're not in the trees. I have 6-7 who have taken to roosting in the lemon trees, so high that I can't get them down. I have no idea what to do about that.
     
  9. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    May 11, 2011
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    My Coop
    Quote:Because she has no cover from the wind (if it happens to be blowing in the wrong direction), and should a predator ever manage to get into the run, she has no cover.

    Quote:That's essentially what I did with the nails....and she sits on them anyway. [​IMG]

    It's been getting down into the low to mid 40s at night for the past week or so, and our usual cold weather winds are starting to rear their heads. I'm more concerned about the fact that, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, she's completely open to it. If it were summer, I really wouldn't care so much (other than it developing into a potential health issue come winter).

    Quote:I don't know as we do not clip wings, nor have plans to. When they're free-ranging, we prefer that they have the ability to fly should they ever need to. Just peace of mind on that front.

    Quote:They've got 2.5 feet of floor space per bird in the coop, and this roof roosting thing started in September. All through the heat wave that was August, they were huddling up in the coop like it was freezing out. [​IMG]

    No, no one has shown any interest in the trees yet, and they had better not get any ideas...they typically are free ranging in the evenings and as it starts to get dark, they all head back into the run. Four go into the coop and my problem bird goes up on top of the coop.[​IMG]

    Have you tried catching them or herding them into the coop early, before they go into their own "roost mode" and then closing the door? Maybe a few nights of mandatory coop time would get the idea through to them.
     
  10. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Herding chickens is even harder than herding cats - trust me! I find bribing works in both cases - if I have to get my chickens in early, I put a treat in my white bucket and they come running to it, no questions asked. As for keeping your hen off the roof, I think that making a "tent" out of some kind of flexible netting over the coop roof would work - just make sure it is raised off the roof surface so if she tries to land on it, the "tent" collapses some and doesn't give her any place to land. Or you could hang netting from the floor joists above the coop down to the edges of the coop roof and block her access completely.
     

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