Renegade Chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HillCountryMomma, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Where my chickens will ROOST!!!

    My birds are driving me NUTS! I have about 16 hens (mixed breeds) and two roosters. They are, oh gosh, a little over a year old now. We brooded them in our big barn/shop then moved them out to an old storage shed that we don't use anymore. It's nice and clean, good solid walls and floor. Two windows for sunshine. I prop the door so they can get in and out and the horses can't! The chickens spent the first couple months of their life out of the brooder in the coop. Ever since they have been free range. At first they roosted in the coop, then the decided they'd rather roost on my front porch!!!

    There's been no going back. They were roosting (and pooping!) all over our porch swing so I took it down hoping they'd move. They did. Kinda. To the front yard fence right off the porch/drive way. WHich they are now pooping all over. I've been feeding them in the coop, they sometimes lay in there (but would rather lay in the shop or my old mares feed bucket!). But they won't roost there.

    How do I convince them to move? I'd like them to lay in the coop (have nest boxes, stuff for them to perch on, etc). I feel rediculous for being bested by my birds, but they are so darn persistent!

    Thanks,
    Liz
     
  2. TheMartianChick

    TheMartianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Maybe you could lock them in the barn for a week to "re-educate" them...
     
  3. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2008
    Lock them up in their coop for a couple of days and then a few nights after that. Put golfballs or wooden eggs in your nest boxes and that should fix your problem.

    Chickens usually have to be reminded where they are suppose to sleep and lay. If they go back to wandering, just lock them again for a few days.

    -Kim
     
  4. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Thanks y'all!

    I kinda had a feeling it was going to involve me catching and hoisting chickens back to where they belong. *sigh* I have tried that a couple times in the past. Alas, the birds have been more determined than I have been.

    I'm going to have to wait the stinkers out.

    Wish me luck tonight... Seems I always get everyone caught up and tucked into the coop and then I'm left chasing that ONE last bird around in the dark. Usually one of my Americanas. Maybe I can bribe them with food![​IMG]

    About using dummy eggs... I have a few of the hens actual eggs that I've marked with a permanent marker that I just leave in the nest sites (the ones I want them to use, not always the ones they want to use). They don't fall for it. Are they smart enough to look at the magic marker mark and laugh at me as they run away to hide their nest somewhere unknown (I know, I know... but if you knew my flock you wouldn't think I was so crazy for thinking they were conspiring against me!)? I'll have to try a plain dummy egg. I've noticed my green egg layers segregate from my brown egg layers, so there is some color recognition going on. I thought that was pretty cool.


    Liz
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe there's something they don't like about the nests or roosts.

    If mine start laying elsewhere, I usually find a "reason". Once there was an opossum sneaking into their coop. Once I put "new" nests in, but they were too narrow and they had a hard time turning around inside because they were so big. Now I bought 5 black chickens who hang out near the nests every day and it's causing a conflict with the layers, who've all started laying in coop #2 next door.

    Once I fix said problem, they lay in their house again.

    Chickens really LIKE habits, and it's best to work with that innate desire.
     
  6. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can't catch them, withhold food for a day(or two depending how stubborn they are) and the give them their food in the coop. Sneak out and close the door! I've caught ferel chickens this way.

    -Kim
     
  7. CUDA

    CUDA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Michigan
    I agree, there may be a reason they don't want to go in there, I would check everything out for sure. If you want to catch them, just wait till dark, then pull them off the roost one at a time...works every time! lol
     
  8. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    easiest way to get them in there at night is to feed them in there. if you give them scratch in there every night, you'll train those chickens to go where the food is. they'll be there waiting for you after a while.
     

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