In the trees!


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 7, 2011
So I have 7 hens "the girls" and they have been outside for about 6 weeks or so. They have a small starter coop to go into in the evening for protection and most of the time they go in there in the evenings. A couple of the bigger girls flew up into a tree after a couple weeks but I was able to get them down and into the coop and after a couple times they stopped. Well now they are at it again, 4 of them, and they are going higher into the tree and making it hard for me to get them down to put them into the coop. Also, I worry that when they fly down from the tree they land pretty hard and I'm afraid they are going to hurt themselves. We are going to build a bigger coop so when they start laying they will have nests in there. I want them to go in there in the evening and be safe and also to lay eggs. My concern is that if they go into the trees they will not go into the coop to lay and will find another place on the property to do so and therefor defeat their purpose.
They are in a fenced in area for now and when they get even bigger will have free range of the property. Does anyone clip their chicken wings? I am wondering if this would be the appropriate solution to my problem and wanted some expert advice.

Thank you for your input!
what breed?

Only one of my hens, an easter egger, can fly over the 4 foot fence, but even she cant fly into a tree.

yes you can clip wings but,
You can lure them into a night roost with cracked corn, or any treat, close them up for the night. then let them out inthe AM. After a week or so, they will know to go in there on their own.
I would reserve the term hen for birds old enough to lay eggs. Pullet more accurate.

Height for most breeds in respect to landing is not a big issue, unless they are of one of the larger meat breeds.

Returning to coop for purpose of laying eggs will likely be realized regardless of where they roost unless they find a better location which difficult.

Increase ventillation may help keeps birds in coop. Greatest problem will have with birds roosting in trees is loss to predators.

Many folks clip wings but it is done at cost of reducing birds ability to escape predators.
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My RIR hens would fly over our 4 ft gate all the time. They were going to the next door neighbors and scratching up his flower beds. My neighbor across the street said clip one wing and they would stop. Worked for a day or two. Then they continued to do it. I finally had to clip both wings which stopped it. I just got 2 "new" Buff Orpington hens and watched one of them jump/fly straight up into a tree branch that was about 4 1/2 ft. And she's a fairly old hen. So out came the scissors and now she sleeps in the coop with the rest of the girls. Hasn't seemed to hurt my ladies.
I wouldn't worry about them laying in the wrong place, but roosting in the trees is dangerous for them as they are sitting ducks as it were for predators. I had to break my pullets of this, sometimes getting them out of the tree and back to the coop after dark. Remember, chickens can't see in the dark so they are really confused once the sun goes down. The advice I got was to lock them down for a week or so until they get in the habit of going into the coop to roost. If they have to be clipped, I have heard that a pet store with bird (parrot?) experience is just as good as the vet. I never had the heart to clip my beauties but it is for their own good. better a few feathers than lose them.
Thanks for all the great advice ( and terminology lesson:> ). I am going to try to put them up into the coop just before dusk before they get the chance to try and roost in the trees! They have a large fenced in area where the smaller coop is placed and they are free to roam around that, the coop itself is probably about 41/2 feet tall but there are stumps and smaller trees they are able to boost themselves onto it and then get into the tree! I do really prefer not to clip wings so I'm going to try this maneuver first in hopes that it gets them into the coop at night eventually. I did keep them in the coop for several weeks when I first transitioned them outside so they would know that it was home, I guess they need a little reminding. It is a small coop ( bigger one in production) but well ventilatated all the same.

I have a variety that are getting into the trees. My Barred Rock, Production Red, Easter Egger (aurcauna) and my Blue Andalusion have been the naughty ones. They go up anywhere from 6-10 feet into the tree.
Wish me luck! I am hoping to have a nicer, bigger and perhaps more tempting coop in a couple weeks, for now I'll just have to chicken wrangle!

Thanks again for all the input and advice!

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