One bantam started roosting in tree at night

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by noortychooks, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. noortychooks

    noortychooks New Egg

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    Dec 12, 2013
    Hi all!

    I have been lurking for a while but this is my first post, apologies if its been done to death but all the other threads I found seemed to be about newly acquired chickens.

    So.... a bit of background, I was gifted five chickens in the summer (a friend had rescued them and could no longer keep them), i have one big orpington and 4 bantams (although don't know which type). They have all been happily taking themselves off to bed ever since they started free ranging.

    About a week and a half ago I got home late, went out in the dark and shut the door to the coop, I always usually do a head count but on that day it was cold and dark and didn't bother as they are always usually in there. So the next morning when my daughter went to let them out she told me off as I had left Oreo (thats the naughty chook) out all night!! That was the first time they hadn't ALL gone to bed at night, and ever since that day the same chook has been missing in the evenings and back in the morning.

    For all that time I have been at a loss as to where she is actually going and searched the whole garden, sheds under things, and anywhere she could possibly be, but couldn't find her! So last night I realised that she is about 7-8 feet up a small tree that is close to the coop!!! In the morning she waits near the coop for the others to be let out and still seems to be considered a member of the group by the others during the day.... so why would she suddenly decide she is no longer going in the coop?

    I'm in the UK and slightly concerned about the temperature as it is below freezing at night these days, also concerned about predators but here it is mainly foxes and think she is *reasonably* safe that high up.

    Apologies for the essay and I guess what I'm trying to work out is why the sudden change and what I can do to resolve it?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens are so funny! I guess if they decide that they like a certain place better than another, they will just plant it there and sleep. If it's just her, than I wouldn't think something got into the coop, like what happened with my girls. (I came home at about 8:30 and found EVERY hen outside, walked in the coop and about fainted; a very large snake was slithering towards me!) My new Ameraucana would want to sleep on the roof of the coop at night. It took a good month of me getting her down and putting her on a roost for her to get the idea that she was supposed to sleep inside. So repetition worked for me.
     
  3. noortychooks

    noortychooks New Egg

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    Dec 12, 2013
    Thanks for the reply,

    Wow, glad theres no snakes round here!! ... as I say its only really foxes that pose a threat... and possibly owls? It's more the cold I'm worried about if I'm honest, I feel so bad for her have been giving them warm layers mash porridge in the mornings :)

    So would you recommend getting her down and back into the coop or just leaving her to it?
     
  4. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable knowing that I had a hen outside all night. That's just me. I live by woods, so name a predator and I'm sure we have it. Some people do let there chickens roost in trees though. [​IMG]
     
  5. noortychooks

    noortychooks New Egg

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    Dec 12, 2013
    Yes, I do agree, it has had me quite worried!!

    Well guess I need to get the ladder out [​IMG]
     
  6. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
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    Good luck and I hope I helped!
     

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