My chickens roost in trees


15 Years
Jun 18, 2007
I have read in the forum that this topic has been discussed. I am trying to find a way to keep my chickens in the coop at night. I live in western NY near the finger lakes. It is cold and snowy, I am less concerned about the temps than I am about preditors. I have lost 2 hens to hawks and neighborhood cats pester the hens at night in the tree. The tree is next to the coop. Any ideas how to get them to go in at night? They go in during the day to lay, eat and drink.
We have a group of chickens that we have to manually pluck out of the trees at night and physically put them into the coop ourselves. It has been an issue with this particular group for quite a while now.

If you figure out a way to get them to coop-in on their own, please share it! I've tried everything.
Would it be possible to use poultry netting around the tree in such a way that they are blocked from accessing the tree for roosting? Maybe then their roosting instinct would kick in and they would go to the coop?
OK, I will continue to look for an answer and share what I find, thanks.
Acutally the netting idea is a great idea! That may work. If they become frustrated they may feel it is easyier to go in the coop. I will try that this weekend and let you know.
Thank you,
Not being funny, but other than cutting the tree down, good luck.

My Turkey and Guineas ensist on roositng on the board fence just outside the barn. They have a perfectly good roosting area in the barn, but nope, they insist on being outside. Rain, Snow, etc, they are there. And yes, I have lost 2 Guineas, most likely because they are plucked from the fence.
Lock them in in the afternoon for a couple of weeks and then they might go in. And you might want to clip their wings. You can find videos on
If you have a light in your shed could you turn it on shortly before dusk and throw a little scratch out in the coop.
Right now your chickens seem to think that outside is "home" and the coop is just where the food and water are. It's like your concept of your house vs. a restaurant. You can eat at a restaurant every day, but you won't see it as home. But if you actually LIVED in that restaurant 24/7 for a week, it would start to feel like home, wouldn't it?

Mine would love to roost in the trees and on the top of the fence. I trained them out of it by locking them in the coop for a week straight. They learned that the coop was home, and after that they started going in on their own at night. I think it may have taken some encouragement on the first night, but very little. Now I can leave them to their own devices. My dog keeps the predators at bay, so I've been known to just leave the coop door open and let the girls go in and out on their own. They get up at dawn and go foraging, then put themselves to bed at sunset.

I live in suburbia, by the way, so keeping my birds out of the trees (and the neighbors' yards) is very important to me! In 4 months, the only escape (or incidence of roosting in the trees) happened when I was unloading a new bird that I had just brought home.

Best of luck!
These are great ideas. I will try them. If nothing else it will give me a way to channel my frustration for a few weeks. Happy New Year to you all.


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