Not returning to Coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yinzerchick, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2011
    E.Texas
    I have been letting my pullets free range since they were about 7-8 weeks old, they're now just shy of 16 weeks. So far I've had no problems with them returning to the coop. Each evening I go out and close up the run, take a head count and everyone is there. Two nights ago, I came up one short. I was so sad, I thought for sure one had been lost to a preditor somehow. Anyway the next morning, there she is, running to me from the barn. Okay, she got lost in the barn, it got dark, she settled in there. Last night, same routine, take my head count, this time 2 are missing. Since it's still fairly light out I start looking around. There she is, now with her buddy, roosting up in a peach tree behind the barn. I took them both back to the coop, and put them on the roosts.

    So, why would she start this all of a sudden? I'm expecting her to probably do it again to night, but hoping she won't. If she does, and takes yet another buddy with her, does anyone have any suggestions as to why, and/or what I should do about it? If she isn't back in the coop, I'm hoping she's in the same spot. That will make it easy to find her.

    The coop and run are large, well ventilated, (6 open windows and 2 vents) with lots of roost space, and I've even been leaving the big front door open till about 11:00pm because it's been so hot here in E. Texas but I don't think it's terribly uncomfortable in there. What gives with this chick?? Is she just a rebel? [​IMG] Even when she was returning to the coop, she was always the last one in.

    Thanks for any input!
     
  2. liz allen

    liz allen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 4, 2011
    Hi just a thought , have you checked for Red Mites?
    They don't like going into the coop if they are been bitten at night. I had a similar problem and it was mites, 'orrile little beggars.[​IMG]
     
  3. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2011
    E.Texas
    Where/how do I check for these red mites? Are they in the coop, or on the birds? Will I be able to see them fairly easily? Thanks!
     
  4. liz allen

    liz allen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 4, 2011
    They will be in the coop. In little cracks and joints, they are grey and after they have eaten, bitten and feed from animal they turn red. Check ends of perches and run your hand underneath if it comes out with red on you'll have mites. Google images will have pics just type in red mite, they are gross:sick
     
  5. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2011
    E.Texas
    Thanks for the idea, but I can't find any. She's probably just being a rebel. I got them all in early yesterday, so she didn't have a chance to roost any place else.
     
  6. liz allen

    liz allen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 4, 2011
    [​IMG][​IMG] Good luck . I had one move into the house for a few weeks a while back.
    I think some of them just like adventure.
    Glad it's not mites they're a pain to get rid of.
     

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