Roosting in trees!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AKChickenGal, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2016
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    My birds are 15 weeks old and I usually let them free range in the afternoon and evening. They used to all go to the coop and fly up to the roost before dark and I would lock them in with no problems. Now they have quite the urge to roost in the trees in the yard! It was just the Golden Campines and Silver-spangled Hamburgs that made it up to nice roosting branches, but once the wyandottes and sussexes saw them they wanted up there too. I live in Alaska where there are many nighttime predators and the summers are short so I can't let them do this. How do I keep them out of the trees without clipping their wings???
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Maybe you could put a light in the coop and then turn it off once you have locked them up.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Pull them down out of tree tonight and lock them in coop for at least three days before release. Consider modifying coop to have better roosts, more ventilation and possibly increase light levels in some manner as suggested above. My games I sometimes have to pen for extended periods to keep them from roosting in trees. More typical breeds do not require as much confinement time to get desired switch in roost location.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    x2. make sure that your coop is well ventilated, plenty large enough, and has plenty of roosting space. Then net them all and keep them in the coop for a few days. You will have MANY losses to predators otherwise! Did they have a scary event in or near the coop recently? Is one of the birds keeping the others out? Mary
     
  5. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Southeast Alaska
    They all get along fine and there has not been a traumatic event. I was told that hamburgs like roosting in trees under normal circumstances and now mine are old enough to know they can. The rest of the chickens go in the coop on there own, which makes me think that there is nothing wrong with the coop itself. It has more than the recommended space for 15 chickens, and it is clean and well ventilated. There is extra roosting space that isn't filled up at night.

    Centrarchid: Did your hens go back into the trees after being kept in the run for a few days? I captured all birds the first night and locked them up and they have not been let out of the coop/run area since then (about a week). They love being outside, but I am afraid they will try to go back in the trees where I can't reach them.
     
  6. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, and it is light until 11pm, and they usually went back to the roost by 9:30 before. So I don't think extra light will help.
     
  7. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    And the trees they fly up into are right next to/above the coop and run, so they are not far from home or from their familiar areas.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I will bet the more gracile Hamburgs are lower in the pecking order relative to other members in the flock which is correct would motivate the Hamburgs to roost away from others. Space recommendations are based on confined flocks where criterion for meeting space needs it everyone apparently healthy. Your setting has were birds can excersize a choice where they feel they need more roost space than the reccomenders think.

    You may be correct on lighting although I suggest you still try increasing it a little about roosting time. Chickens do not see as well under low light levels as we do so what you think is adequate may not be.

    Imprinting on roost location is not just about geographic location. Height and nature of roost location is also important. Roost are selected and remembered based on 3-dimensions.
     
  9. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you everyone for all the advice!

    I let the chickens out this evening and I added some roost space in the coop a few days ago. We will see if they all go back in the coop tonight!
     
  10. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Success! They all made it back to the coop to roost. They managed to pull up some of my garden veggies and perch on the coop roof for awhile, but they are all safely locked up.

    I think it was adding the extra roost space and giving them a few days to get used to it that helped. We'll see if it stays this way. They certainly are happier roaming outside!
     

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