My chickens are roosting outside...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Scottingitup, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Scottingitup

    Scottingitup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2010
    Crestview, FL
    Chicken newbie here. I started up a mixed flock of both layers and "meat" birds. No cornish X just DP birds. Up until the last few weeks they would all sleep inside the coop/nesting area. I have since culled most of the meat birds and a few of the girls have started laying. Now they sleep outside on the larger roost branch with no wind protection!

    I am in Florida and the lowest temperature we have gotten so far is 17. I am not noticing any problems yet - but it still seems weird. What gives?

    Where they sleep now...


    The place I would sleep if I were a chicken...

    The coop is the garden ark plans from this very site.
  2. Chickenkate17

    Chickenkate17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    I think you would want them in the coop if the temp drops too much (I don't know exactly what that would be) and for safety from predators during the night. If they are protected from wind, frostbite, and sharp-toothed animals, I think they're ok.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would move them all every single night to where you want them. They will learn.

    I have had to move my chickens every night to get them to switch coops many times. [​IMG] It's a pain but worth it.
  4. suenotto

    suenotto Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 27, 2010
    I'm having the same problem. They are in the enclosed pen but not in the wooden boxes. Are they the ducks go in the boxes, the 2 campines go in the boxes, the australorps huddle on some straw outside the boxes but inside the pen enclosure. [​IMG]
  5. Wizbop

    Wizbop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2010
    Greensboro, NC
    I would just move them to where you want them to be. I move mine from on top of their coop to inside it EVERY night for fear that they'll get eaten by a raccoon.
  6. 44Wolves

    44Wolves Here is Your New Title

    Jun 28, 2009
    cull..... [​IMG] ...... They all should deserve a life... but anyways: My hens Have NEVER even gone in a tree, and cats will get yours easily.
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I'm with ChickensAreSweet and Wizbop- move them into the coop until they get the idea to do it on their own. It's simply bad practice to let them roost outside of the designated area. Then they start roosting in the nest boxes... and in the trees... and who-knows-where-else. It's better to get them going where they're supposed to be going and make it a habit. They probably started this little habit because of the flock shake-up. Changes in the flock structure can lead to confusion and the formation of new habits, as well as the obvious pecking order changes.

    Good luck with them.
  8. sab

    sab Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2010
    Ripley, WV
    My 3 hens are huddled together on top of the chicken tractor - not IN the roost area of the tractor. I pick them up and put them in the upper level where the roost area is and they go right down the steps and out the door. I do it all the time and they do what they do all the time. I get no where. Unfortunately, the door to the tractor is buried in frozen straw. I hate closing them in. They and the tractor are in a fenced, covered area and I'm comfortable they are safe - but very cold. First it was just one hen who likes to be with the one duck at all times. Then the other 2 followed suit. Now all 3 stay out. This weekend we're suppose to thaw out a bit, and I plan to dig the straw off the door and start locking them in. That just means they have to wait till I come out in the AM to let them out.... which might not be before 9. But.... I thought they'd be smarter - enough to know where it's warm and where it's not. It's that darn duck that thinks it's a chicken! If I didn't love her so much, I'd get rid of her -- she dirties everything. Can't keep water clean for nothing!
  9. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:Oh come on. (should have or deserve, not both, anyway.) They had a life, a good one.

    They aren't in a tree, they're in the run.

    Cats rarely bother chickens unless it's baby chicks or the cats are feral, and even then, they'd have to be hungry to tackle a chicken.

    If the run is secure and the only issue is temperature, I wouldn't worry about it.

    Otherwise, as others said, you'll have to place them on the roosts nightly if you want to retrain them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2010
  10. caveman

    caveman Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 26, 2010
    I'm with CMV....

    Moving birds in and out of the flock changes the pecking order and can cause stress related problems such as changes in nesting/roosting behavior. I too raise both meat birds and layers, so I decided to build two seperate pens in order to avoid disturbing the pecking order in either flock due to...... well, you know....dinner.

    Hope the effort of moving them each night works out for you. If nothing else, its quality time with the birds right?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by