my chickens sleep in the trees.....worried about predators

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by austinhart123, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    i free range all my mutt chickens and they have a coop that is plenty room for them, but most of them and all the turkeys/ guineas sleep in the trees. i dont think a cyote can climb and i think owls swoop their prey off the ground, and i dont worry about the racoons, they would rather kill our 300$ japenese koi........but do u think they are safe up there, most of them go up pretty high (12-20ft) i know i run a risk of them getting eaten eary in the morning when they are coming down......but my main concern is a predator climbing up and snatching one.....if anyone has an expierience with a predator that can get up a tree, can u tell me? thanks,
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Heard them into the coop and keep them there for a week. (Make them roost in the coop)

    I would worry about predators.
  3. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    they are IMPOSSIBLE to heard
  4. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Don't try to herd. Just don't feed them for a day then put food in the coop, only- works best if they had been habituated to getting their feed in the coop already. If they are hungry, most will run into there immediately then simply shut the door. I have some chickens so shy or saavy they cannot be caught by hand at all so I just have a 'trap cage' that is right by the feeding area at all times.. when I need to trap a particular chicken I just put feed in it and nowhere else(very helpful in catching Phoenix, such spooky birds they are..)

    Most of my chickens, turkeys and some peafowl are completely free range and sleep in trees too. I also notice most of them much prefer to roost in trees, so you may need to keep them shut in without any free ranging at all for a couple weeks to 'break' them from trying to go back to trees.

    There is a chain link fence all around the property, I refuse to do this without having that.. coyotes are very quick to learn about coming around very early in the morning and in evenings too to snatch something on the ground. However, dogs allowed to roam free always were a much worse problem so the fence really is primarily to keep dogs out..

    The fence does not stop bobcats though.. had no problems for years then suddenly a bobcat killed the entire flock of muscovies and geese in a single night. Another bobcat came by a few years later and that one did make off with chickens.. I don't know if it went up the tree during the night or caught them early in the morning.

    Owls certainly can and do take prey from trees- it's very common for tree roosting guineas to be lost to owls, my friend in Albuquerque says if any chicken tries to sleep in a tree or on top of coop, it is completely gone the next morning due to owls taking them. We have owls here too however they just don't seem to do anything to my birds.. peafowl are very terrified of barns, but way too curious about great horneds(they go right UP to those! But honk and freak out upon seeing any barns. Weird)

    However.. there are no raccoons here, and everybody who has raccoons present in their area can have major problems, and these climb trees extremely well.. so if they are in your area, they definitely are a concern. Also must coon proof the coop.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  5. aiwetir

    aiwetir Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2008
    portland, or
    they can often be successfully herded with one person and two brooms, if you have a lot, then 2 people and 4 brooms [​IMG]

    you just have to have decent herding instincts. mine free-range more than half-time and about a week of nights in the coop and they won't bother with the trees anymore.
  6. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Quote:[​IMG] try herding sumatras.
  7. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    When my dad was a boy, they let their chickens totally free range in the summer and sleep in the trees. Then when colder winter hit, they had to retrain them to sleep in the coop. He recommends waitting until they roost, then catching them. As high as they are, that sounds like a real pain to me.
  8. gamebirdsonly

    gamebirdsonly Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 5, 2007
    I have the same problem. last year I had some that refused to go in they just slept in the tree in the middle of winter. right now I have about 20 or so that sleep in the tree.
  9. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    in Los Angeles, winter dosent get colder than sixty, so im not concerned bout that..... i will try ur ideas ,.....thanx
  10. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    Quote:[​IMG] try herding sumatras.


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