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roosting in trees - is this safe? (pic)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pixiechic, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
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    My chicks are about 4 months old and have been out in their coop for about two of those months. They go out to free-range (in a large fenced area) during the day and then go back into the coop at night all on their own. We go close the coop door when it gets dark, and open it back up and let them out again every morning.

    Sunday morning we noticed that a couple of chickens were running around in the fenced area before we’d been out to open up the coop. We thought maybe they’d been hiding under the chicken coop the night before, because we didn’t see them outside at all. Last night, we happened to be outside at dusk, and found out where they’d slept — in the trees!

    We watched as Kudzu (an Araucana girl) flew up onto the lowest branch of a sweetgum and perched about 7 feet up. She was followed shortly thereafter by Shakespeare, our Barred Rock cockerel. Kudzu then proceeded to a higher branch, and then an even higher one, until she was up about 12 feet. Tonight they are both out there again, plus Magpie, a little Barred Rock pullet.

    [​IMG]

    They seem happy, and it's a beautiful moonlit night, so I can't really blame them for wanting to be out there. However, I know we have predators, including coyotes, because I lost two of my Cornish Xs that way before the coop was built. Is it safe for chickens to roost in trees? If not, is there any practical way to get them to come down and go into the coop?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  2. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Can't see the pic. You have to use photobucket.
     
  3. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
    North GA
    Quote:How about now?
     
  4. oldegger

    oldegger Out Of The Brooder

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    pixichic, no problem with seeing the photo on your first post here.
    not so sure as to how to break the roosting in trees. Short of triming the lower limbs. LOL
     
  5. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    We had to climb our trees, grab them, and put them in their coop many times before they figured it out.

    It's really not safe to let them roost in the trees. Chickens can't see very well in the dark and things have easy access to them. Big owls would love a free meal like that.

    You might want to get them into their coop and run and allow them a few weeks to adjust to life in there before letting them free range again. By then, they'll be used to the new roost.
     
  6. brooster

    brooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    If you let them roost in the trees and you have coons, they will soon find them. If they are just pets and not show birds, i would clip their wings.
     
  7. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you! I hadn't even thought of this. Looks like I will be doing some wing-clipping and branch-trimming this weekend. I'll hate clipping Kudzu's beautiful wing feathers, but I'd hate losing her to a nasty raccoon much more.
     
  8. brooster

    brooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    just remember, you just clip one wing, not both.
     
  9. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will do - thanks! I found the instructions here on the BYC site.

    (<--- just had to get that 100th post in!)
     
  10. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update: This evening, DH and I clipped one wing on the four chickens we've seen flying around the most. It was really easy to do, although it took the two of us a while to catch each chicken.

    Still found Kudzu and Shakespeare in the tree tonight (albeit on the lowest branch), even in the rain. We bent the branch down and chased those two rascals into the coop! Tomorrow, I'll cut back as many of the lower branches as possible and we'll see if that helps.
     

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