New Birds Won't Roost!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Egghead_Jr, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    5,894
    701
    326
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I was a hen shy so picked up two Leghorns aproximately same age as my girls. Being smaller birds and concerned about having a buddy system for a new intro.

    Long story short is they've been roosting in a tree instead of going into the coop. Not having raised these birds and true to breed they are timid and flighty. It's going on 2 weeks and time to put an end to this behavior. Any suggestions?

    My thought is to put my two dominate hens in the dog cage I've had next to the tractor for a few days and hope the leghorns will go into the coop on their own. The Black Star and Barred Rock tend to chase the Leghorns about. If that does'nt work I'll have to borrow a pool net just to catch these girls and lock em in the tractor for a few days myself to get them used to the Coop idea. They were raised free range and are rather "wild" compared to the ones I've raised from chicks.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    451
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Then they'll consider the tractor home, not the coop. Can you put them in a small cage in the coop for a few days? Unless it's OK with you for them to live in the tractor.

    They'll probably stay somewhat separate from the rest of the flock, anyway. I have 17 chickens in three groups. They all sleep in the coop but it is large and they sleep in 3 different areas.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    5,894
    701
    326
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    The real trick is going to be catching them!

    My coop is on my tractor. It' s not large enough for fully divided flocks. It's a 4x4 coop over 4x8 run tractor. The chickens free range unless nobody will be around the house for the day so they stay locked in the tractor. I set up a dog cage/kennel next to the tractor for aid in assimilating them. Leghorns prefer it 15' up in the tree.

    I have witnessed the social divisions of chickens to much amusement over the summer. All 5 of my birds come when I whistle and chill out together but still stay segregated to the three oldest and 2 18 week old sub groups. The new 5 month old Leghorns are staying in close proximity to others more each day. The over all social order of the flock will be fine though I don't think these new girls will ever come running to my feet begging for treats. There's a lot to be said about raising your own chicken from peeps.

    I got 1 of the leghorns in yesterday afternoon. The other caught on and wasn't letting anyone near her! I'll be pulling out the two dominent chickens as I open the coop this morning. Plan to keep the rest locked in today and hopefully catch the other leghorn to put in the tractor by noon. Speaking of which, got the head out and open the coop!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by