My pullets trying roost in tree rather than going into coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mprivett, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. mprivett

    mprivett Chirping

    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    So I have 3 Dominique pullets and 1 Dominique cockerel (all about 16 wks old) and we have been letting them free-range for the past week or two just for about three hours before bedtime. Well, for the past couple of nights when I go out to check on them to lock the run up and make sure they made it into their coop, I have found them roosting high up in this one particular tree instead of in their coop. My husband and I then have to go remove them which they HATE, evidenced by their squawking and screaming their heads off. They seem very content to stay in the tree with their little toes wrapped so tightly around the small branches--they are so quiet and don't make a peep when they are up there! What should I do to make them want to go into their coop? Could they be too hot in it and prefer the open-air of the tree? Or perhaps they feel more secure up there and don't want to be with the rooster? (he is too big to fly up into the tree--he couldn't make it). I just don't want this to turn into a nightly ordeal that we have to go through. [​IMG] Thanks for any advice!!
  2. luckylefty

    luckylefty In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2010
    Chickens roosting in trees is not a terrible thing. Wild chickens do that naturally, so it may just be instinct for them. I actually have been trying to teach mine to fly up into the trees so that they can avoid foxes, coyotes, wild dogs, etc. that may come into the yard while they are free-ranging. I have had 2 to be mysteriously eaten by an unknown culprit. I figured that if they had a place off of the ground to retreat to, maybe they could save themselves if I am not home to run off the predator!

    The problem with night roosting in trees lies in the threat of owls coming to feast on them while they sleep.

    I can understand your frustrations. You could try cutting the lower branches off of the trees or clipping the wings on your birds (if they are pets and not show birds). Just some ideas. Good luck!
  3. GoldenCometLady

    GoldenCometLady Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Walker, West Virginia
    This might work for you. Try leaving them in for about a week
    Maybe that would be enough to break the habit.
  4. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    Mine started to do that recently too. They are 12 weeks old. I have to find some bands to tell who is who so I can lock the bad girls up in the coop for awhile to learn that is where they are to be at night. It is some of my white & brown leghorns doing this but not all so I don't want to punish the good girls by making them stay on lockdown during the day. If I get some bands this weekend, I can color code them and tell who is who. Mine go so far up, I can't get to them!!![​IMG]
  5. Stevo

    Stevo Songster

    Apr 14, 2010
    Howell, NJ
    Mine will roost in a pine near my garage sometimes. If I see them in it after 5pm I just throw some birdseed on the ground and they come right down and dont go back.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by