Roosting in trees

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Cashie, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Cashie

    Cashie Out Of The Brooder

    Hi all - Chicken Question: I rescued an abandoned leghorn pullet that had been free ranging in a local park for who knows how long. I caught her easily enough with some chicken scratch, brought her home and slowly integrated her into the flock. She gets along fine with the girls. I've had her now about 4-5 weeks.

    I let my girls out of the coop every morning and shut them back in every night. Under normal circumstances, my girls put themselves to bed on the roosts in their coop. However, my rescue bird prefers roosting in the trees at night unless I can get her back into the coop before dark. I'm not even sure which tree she is in, because she disappears at dusk and is back by morning. I have never seen her leave the yard. Now, a couple of the other girls ( my two youngest ) are starting to fly up into the trees or onto the roof of the coop, if I don't herd them into the coop before dark. At least I know where they are, but I don't like leaving them out at night and I can't climb up to get them.

    Any way to break this behavior, besides getting home before dark every night?
  2. Heathero617

    Heathero617 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    Not a clue, but 2 of mine found their way up to the roof last evening and refused to come out of the adjoining tree. We'll see if they are ok here in about an hour. Didnt sleep well last night but i cant get up to where they perched!
  3. joskt0204

    joskt0204 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2011
    east TN
    I've been herding mine into the coop earlier in the evening, because they were all tree roosting too. Luckily, their chosen trees aren't too tall, so I could reach them with a ladder. (You really haven't lived until you have climbed a ladder to pluck a chicken out of a tree in the dark!)
  4. Heathero617

    Heathero617 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    Ohhh i wont pluck them down in the dark, and the tree they decided to roost in was about 16 ft in the air. They got to the roof of the coop then up into the tree. Everyone is accounted for and on the ground this morning.
  5. Cashie

    Cashie Out Of The Brooder

    Well, I did figure out a way to get them down out of the trees after dark, which is good since when the time changes in a couple of months, I'll be home after dark every night.


    I bring a lantern out to the coop to light it up and serve them a little bit of their fave: some cooked oatmeal or chicken scratch. They come a-running. I was concerned about them roosting out of doors because we have critters that will eat them. Besides, I certainly don't want them thinking they can leave the yard, because that's when chickens plan their revolt.
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    You could try locking them in the coop for a week or two. Reteach them where home is.

    Good luck

  7. Cashie

    Cashie Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:Thanks, Imp, I thought about this but just didn't have the heart. They look at me so forlornly and insistently in the mornings and when I go out to open that coop's door in the morning, they push right past me like they own the place. I know who rules my roost. They are my chickies feminista.
  8. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2010
    North Carolina
    I had this issue with some young pullets a few weeks ago. I tried everything, but after I lost one of them, I decided my only option was to cut their wing feathers. I just snipped one wing so they are off balance when they fly. They are unable to get up so high now and I've only had to pluck them from a low branch one night. The other nights they've gone into the coop. Good luck!

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