question about range chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by papeine, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. papeine

    papeine Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Hastings
    For those of you who let your chickens run... I have a question. My sister-in-law has 15 chickens that she lets out every morning..twice now one of her chickens hasn't come back to the coop at night. She's been there in the morning.. she was wondering if this chicken is possibily laying eggs somewhere in the woods and is sitting on them.. She's been getting eggs for about two weeks about one a day..
    Mine aren't free range..because I have no protection for them and I have a dog!!!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I would think it more likely that she is sleeping in the trees. That's where I would check first. If so, a dog crate inside the coop to keep her confined there for a week or so 24 hours a day, while the others free range until her little brain re-sets might do the trick. A tree is not a safe place for a chicken at night and sooner or later that hens luck is going to run out.
     
  3. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm wondering if she meant the chicken didn't come back at all? If so, you are correct. It probably met with a bad fate.

    My chickens "free range" in a very large yard (900 sy) but it is completely fenced in all the way around and even over the tops of some very tall trees. That was a major project.

    However, within this yard are five fruit trees and many, many shrubs. I have two coops within the yard and only two out of about ten sleep in the coop.

    I tried the "lock them up for a week" attempt to keep them from being "tree sleepers." Didn't work. The first night they were back in the trees. It's nature. If there are trees and they get the notion (after all there were trees before there were coops) it is what they are hard-wired to do.

    The best way to keep them from sleeping in trees is to not have trees available before nightfall.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:I tried that once, but the darned trees would NOT cooperate. Luckily, all my chickens who DO range freely over most of the full acre are always back in their coops by nightfall. Before nightfall.. The chickens love roosting in the trees during the day, though.
     
  5. DAFox

    DAFox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SW MO in Vernon Co
    Your SIL should look around for a nest. One of mine likes to hide a nest and go broody.
     
  6. papeine

    papeine Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Hastings
    Quote:She does come back..They find her in the morning wanting to get back with her buddies, She's done this twice now. She an Americauna (sp).. I don't think this breed is necessarily the "broody type"...
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yeah...I'd guess that she's laying elsewhere...hiding a nest somewhere. As was suggested...keeping her contained for a day or two in the coop might retrain her to come back to the coop to lay, and hopefully to come back to the coop in the evenings...
     
  8. DAFox

    DAFox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SW MO in Vernon Co
    Quote:She does come back..They find her in the morning wanting to get back with her buddies, She's done this twice now. She an Americauna (sp).. I don't think this breed is necessarily the "broody type"...

    Ahhh...true Ameraucana or is it an EE? I don't know if true Ameraucanas tend to hide eggs, but, alot of Easter Eggers do that. It's an Easter Egg hunt every day. Good luck trying to change that habit. I've got one that likes to go to the Silkie coop to lay eggs most of the time.
    Dale-Ann
     
  9. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    We have an EE hen that goes to the front porch of the house and gets on the back of the wicker loveseat every evening when everyone else goes back to their coop. She must feel safer there.

    Here she is [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2010
  10. MTFarm

    MTFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 21, 2010
    Quote:Ours must not have the notion.

    We've rarely had a tree-roosting problem (wooded area) and I've either investigated a likely spot after dark, found the birds, and taken them back to the tractor, or waited around roosting time watching for where they went and then did the same.

    I would try locating and returning them rather than crating them. When we have had an issue, a couple of 'corrections' as described has taken care of the issue.

    Good luck with it.
     

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