Roosting in trees-again

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by VespaGirl, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. VespaGirl

    VespaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    My chickens started roosting in a tree next to the coop at night-first it was two then all the leghorns joined in then I saw another one up there although I couldn't see who it was. They had done this a while ago and my husband knocked them out and we put them in the coop. They stopped for a few weeks but Sunday we had to rehome our rooster and now they are back at it. It's supposed to start raining and I don't want to be getting them out of the trees at night again. Should I lock them in the coop for a few days as I saw someone else suggest? Does that seem like the best method? We're having some work done in the yard soon and I need them to be where they should be at night. Oh they do go in for food and water during they day.
     
  2. Wishing4Wings

    Wishing4Wings Isn't it Amazing?

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    Locking them in the coop sounds like an easy idea to try first, or maybe somehow block off access to the tree.

    Is it possible there's something in or about the coop that makes them not want to roost there? Enough space and ventilation? Nice wide roosts up high? Could a rat or something be bothering them at night?

    It might just be adjusting to not having the roo around, but they'd be much safer in the coop. One raccoon up that tree and you could lose them all. [​IMG]

    Best wishes! [​IMG]
     
  3. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've had one pullet roosting in a tree cos she is the little one and the others pick on her. Every night I have got her out the tree and put her in the coop. It has taken about a month but I've been rewarded, the past week she has put herself in the coop even though she is still being picked on. Interestingly this has coincided with her starting to lay.
    I am lucky that the tree she roosted in was low enough for me to reach her.
    I believe it is important not to let them stay in the tree as they get used to that being the normal place to sleep.
    The fact that this has happened when your rooster was rehoused would suggest to me they are sorting out their pecking order again, there may be extra squabbling. Perhaps, if space allows, extra roosts so they can get further away from each other in the coop would help.
    If it is too difficult to get them out the tree then yes, i would leave them in the coop for a couple of days. And I would feel bad that they weren't out wandering in their garden and I would spoil them with their favourite treats. [​IMG]
     
  4. VespaGirl

    VespaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    There is good ventilation and I don't see any signs of rats (ew). So since it was the next day after the rooster left I am hoping there is a connection. It is too hard to get them out of the tree every night. They get high and it was a comedy routine with my husband the goats and the dog. So they are in the coop. Not too happy. There is enough room for everyone to roost and have extra room in case someone gets bitchy. Since there is no way short of cutting the trees down to keep them out I hope it works. I wonder how long they need to be in there?
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Trees are way more natural for them, so it may be an ongoing issue, truthfully. They want to be as high as possible for safety. I had birds sleeping in trees for 2 years without issues, I just decided to quit free ranging and cooped all the birds. So now, those birds sleep in the rafters lol.
     
  6. Wishing4Wings

    Wishing4Wings Isn't it Amazing?

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    I was reading on another thread that someone's Polish chickens wouldn't go into the coop for the night. She'd find them sleeping on the ground underneath. Her assessment of the situation was that they are too stupid to know any better! [​IMG] If out free ranging, they often can't even find their way back to the coop! At least yours are smart enough to get up in a tree!!! [​IMG]


    As for how long to keep them locked up, I'd give it a couple of days. There's probably one leader that the others follow, so if you can get her into a routine, that might work.

    Keep us posted! [​IMG]
     
  7. VespaGirl

    VespaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Funny thing we have one Polish that survived (out of 5) and she goes in. And she is a pretty stupid chicken. So if she can figure it out! I think I'll leave them in til Monday and see if they figure it out. All I need is for them to get eaten before they even start laying eggs!
     
  8. Mac14

    Mac14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens sleep in the tree too! SOOO annoying! :)
     
  9. Wishing4Wings

    Wishing4Wings Isn't it Amazing?

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    That would be the ultimate bummer!

    I let mine go out into a different area of the yard, and two couldn't figure how to get out of the run to get where the others were enjoying scratching through leaves. They had to walk away from the others to get through the pop door, but that must have been counter-intuitive to their little bird brains. I had to go over and call them to the door so they could get out. [​IMG] Guess we can't have too high expectations for chickens!

    It really is the most natural instinct for them, so they are trying to be good chickens! It is annoying though. Do you have roosts up high available for them? Mine always crowd and shove to be on the top one. Kind of like sumo wrestling on a balance beam!
     
  10. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    All of my birds did this, and occasionally still do. I used to leave them for the night up there, but after we lost one to a coon, they're not allowed anymore.

    While I can manhandle them out of the tree, that can be annoying. So I just go out before dusk, and start throwing dry oatmeal into the coop. They LOVE it and run in. Lock the pop door, end of story.
     

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