Newbie Advice! How can I get my Rooster to Change his Roosting Spot??


11 Years
Sep 16, 2008
Hi! I am a first time chicken owner and need a bit of advice. A feral rooster wandered into my yard sometime last year. I started taking care of him and over time he has become extremely tame and is now our family pet. He likes to spend his days in our house, chilling out in the living room and watching t.v. with the family and at around 6 p.m. he starts to make a grumbling sound to let me know it's time for me to let him out so he can go back to his tree to roost for the night. Unfortunately, the tree his has chosen to sleep in is on my neighbor's property and on the other side of a high chain link fence which he has to fly over every day to go from their property to our yard and back.

So far, my neighbors have been very tolerant of his crowing in the morning but I am sure their patience must be wearing thin. I thought that maybe I could just keep him indoors in our house for the night so they would not have to deal with our rooster. I even bought a small dog house which I modified into a mini coop that I was going to keep in the washroom and let him sleep in during the night. However, every time I try to keep our rooster indoors past the 6 p.m. mark, he starts freaking out!!! He starts grumbling and crying and trying to fly into the doors and windows. He also seems to have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and starts making disgusting watery poop!! He even starts hyperventilating and panting with his beak open and I am so worried that the stress of it all is going to kill him so I always give in and let him go to his tree. I don't know if he's just being a drama queen or if he really is going to keel over and die!

Does anyone have any ideas about how I can get my rooster to change where he sleeps at night? If I lock him indoors for the night and he freaks out like this, is it going to kill him? I really am at a loss. If I don't find a way to keep him on our property at night I'm afraid my neighbors might end up killing him instead.
Is this normal chicken behavior? Do they hate change that much?? Please help this newbie!!! Any advice will be very much appreciated. Thank you!!
Having been feral is probably why he wants outside to roost at night. Have you tried moving your little coop out and making a fence to go with it? You could put a "tree" in the fence for him to roost on.
Hey, thanks so much for the reply! You're right, maybe because of his feral background, he may never be happy sleeping indoors. I do have several trees in my own yard but I guess they are just not to his liking. He seems to insist that he MUST sleep in my neighbor's tree!! A few weeks ago, their tree (which isn't very big but is kind of old) split and half of it came crashing down and I thought "Great! Maybe now he'll be more open to finding a new roost!" He was really agitated that night but somehow still managed to find a little perch to balance on and still sleeps in the remnants of my neighbor's tree. This is one stubborn rooster!

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