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Nighttime security for neighborhood chicken

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tenderbuttons, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. tenderbuttons

    tenderbuttons Hatching

    Sep 22, 2009
    We've sortof become unintentional chicken care-takers as one came to us a couple of months ago and has been here ever since (might have something to do with us feeding her...). She roams our yard and the neighbors' yards during the day and appears to be pretty healthy and has managed to elude the hawks, cats, dogs, raccoons, and possum so far. Anyways, we've gotten kind of attached to her so we wanted to build something a little more secure for her to sleep in at night, since she roosts outside our bedroom window.

    Right now she is roosting on top of a fence post about 5 feet high, next to our house under the eave, wrapped up in grape vines. We've tried giving her a pet carrying kennel to go into, but it freaked her out and she's completely avoided it. I was thinking about building up around her roosting spot, little by little, so it doesn't freak her out so much but I don't know if that will work.
    Is there anything I can do to get her to use a secure box I build her? She won't let us touch her, so I don't think I'll be able to pick her up and show her in. The main thing I want to avoid is scaring her away and her having to find a new roosting spot.
    Ideally I'd like to get a tree branch for her to stand on, build a secure wooden box around it, have the floor open, but with some raccoon-proof hog wire below the perching branch, and then a door that we can close at night. Does she need anything else, or does that sound okay?


  2. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    Is there anyway for you to put a roost where she is out? in the main time...built alittle Lean too...when she is off that area, add the lean too...with the same roost...and food/water in that area....

    Also you can catch her with a cloth net, BUT before you do built her a mini coop to keep her safe...she may not be happy at first but you will keep her alive and know where she is when bad weather hits, protecting her from other dangers.

  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Unless you are going to confine her permanently you may not be able to get her to roost in a locked-up area without scaring her away altogether.

    I am wondering if you could maybe just predatorproof the place she is roosting *now*, by blocking major access routes for predators? You have the advantage that chickens can fly. So might it be possible that the judicious use of, say, metal flashing on fences or fenceposts or trees, so nothing can climb up past the flashing, might make things more secure? Or any other such arrangements to make it harder for predators to get to that windowsill?

    Good luck, bless you for wanting to take care of your 'guest',

  4. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    You can catch her easily at night. She will just sit there and let you pick her up once it's dark,that's why they are such easy prey for racoons and such. Just put your hands over her back and wings and the tuck her under you arm. She needs a safe locked up place to sleep at night, she has made it this far but you don't want to wake up to a squack and a pile of feathers. Even if you just pick her up and put her inthe dog crate at night and let her out to roam in the day would be an improvement to her "homeless" situation.
  5. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    I agree, she's been lucky so far...and if u do this, u might start getting eggs from her in the kennel..lol...wonder where he eggs are if any?....
  6. tenderbuttons

    tenderbuttons Hatching

    Sep 22, 2009
    Well we've tried waiting til she is asleep to pick her up and put her in a dog crate a couple of nights now and she doesn't seem to ever go to sleep! I've been out there at 11pm and she still sees me coming and gets ready to jump down from her perch if I come any closer. Am I just not waiting long enough for her to fall asleep? She's at her roosting spot by 7:30pm or so, so I just figured she'd be asleep by 11pm.
    Is it possible that she doesn't sleep at night? I guess it would explain how she's still alive...

    In other news though, she's found a little nesting area behind a bushy plant where she's left us 6 eggs in the past 7 days. We've been passing them on to our neighbor up the street who feeds her also - he was glad to have them and pretty surprised- apparently he thought she was a rooster.
  7. awtandrocks

    awtandrocks In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2009
    If she is that alert when you go to check on her at night I personally would leave well enough alone.

    Maybe you could just make it harder for say a coon to climb to her or that they would make a ruckus doing it she she would have a chance to get away. And if she is tucked in under a eve it probably would be hard for a owl to make a swoop in attack.


  8. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

  9. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Sounds like my rooster. I swear the man never sleeps!

    Looking out for his ladies I guess, and probably the reason why your guest is alive as well.
  10. flakey chick

    flakey chick Songster

    May 3, 2007
    You could give her a little help with a deterrent like this .

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