sheesh teenagers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BoostPsi, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. BoostPsi

    BoostPsi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 11, 2014
    ok ok not exactly teenagers but they seem to be rebelling like some do. My flock consists of 3 Easter Eggers, 1 Andalusian and 1 Old English game hen that are just over four months old.

    I've been letting them into the yard during the day for over a month now....they have always returned to the coop/run a little while before dark on their own. NOT the past four nights. The first three evenings I figured maybe I wanted to lock them down a little earlier than Mother Nature so tonight I waited until 30min after dark to check on them... they decided to roost on a school bench on my back patio instead of returning to the coop. Whats up? Are they just rebelling against curfew? I did leave my laptop on the patio table near the bench...maybe they browsed the BYC coop pictures and are telling me they are not staying in prefabbed housing anymore.

    Are there any tricks to make them want to head back on their own?

    thanks in advance
     
  2. CharterChick

    CharterChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Mine did this and I kept them locked up for 3 days. That has worked so far. My new problem is they won't use the nesting boxes!
    Another thought is I would make sure there isn't a predator in their coop... like a rat or something.
     
  3. BoostPsi

    BoostPsi Out Of The Brooder

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    no predators in the coop... it did get ants a few weeks back when someone was taking tomato chunks upstairs for their midnight snack but one cleaning took care of the problem and they returned many times on their own after that.

    Now that you mentioned keeping them locked up for a few days, that may have started the problem. They began venturing from the garden and pecking at potted plants that I value(I keep telling them if its in the dirt have at it, in a pot NO CHICKENS ALLOWED but they don't listen)....so they were put on lockdown for two days until I could move things around and block access to the plants. I am not sure if they ever returned on their own since that happened...if they did it was only for one night.

    I may have to start tossing meal worms into the run before dark and then shut the door on them but it would be better for all if they just go in on their own.
     
  4. CharterChick

    CharterChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop

    They are rebelling against you! Lol one of my hens tried not cooping*(autocorrect made cooping copping. What is copping? Geeze!) up one night so I locked her out of it she was in it the next night lol silly birds!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  5. BoostPsi

    BoostPsi Out Of The Brooder

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    copping would be what they wouldn't do....cop to it.....when interrogated there was a lot of "wasn't me" from the table and ground floor(p1)...they were cluck-less once I showed the evidence(p2)...

    leaving them out one night and closing the coop is an option, there really aren't many predators here in town especially against the sliding door that is open for ventilation all night...but I would hate to lose one or all of them trying to teach a lesson


    P2
    [​IMG]
    P1
    [​IMG]
     
  6. CharterChick

    CharterChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aberdeen, WA
    My Coop
    Sneaky little birds. I have a tomato plant on my porch they like but they leave the one in the ground alone! Lol maybe try planing something for them in their area? My aunt has potted plants around and in her coop FOR the chickens! Spoiled little boogers!
     
  7. BoostPsi

    BoostPsi Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow how things change in several months!!!!!

    looking at the pictures they look so funny...now they're all grown up and mature............the little occasional teenage rebels have become full on defiant adults

    all five WILL NOT return to the coop at dark....we have an old school bench on the back patio and that is where they roost. They return to the coop to lay but will not "go home" at night. I have to carry them and return to the coop/run. That means they're in lockdown on days when I know I won't have time to deal with them. We're city folk and there aren't many predators here that can get to them so many nights I just left them out but a coyote was spotted by my neighbor about ten houses away last week so EVERY night its time for birdies to go home.


    Does anyone have any tricks that I can try to get them to return on their own? I've tried the lockdown for days method, that just made all of them stay out now.....I can toss treats into the run before dark and shut the door but I hope they will do it without me bribing them
     
  8. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Usually when chickens repeatedly refuse to roost where they're supposed to - there's something that's making them uncomfortable in the coop - and often it's predator related.

    Something is making them say "its no good in there" - you need to figure out what it is.
     
  9. BoostPsi

    BoostPsi Out Of The Brooder

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    I think I need the chicken whisperer...they have never been bothered here(at least that I have seen or found evidence of). The bench where they roost is about 15ft from their coop. The patio has two sliding glass doors that lead to the family room and someone or other is in the room pretty much all day long...they always come to the screen and cluck and that is the door I use when going outside to feed them. I was thinking it's either to be closer to the hand that feeds them or they don't want to be in the coop because some days I don't let them fee range the yard. I wish they would go back on their own, anyone here can lock the run door at dark but it's my job to carry each one and put them away.

    A friend just sent me a link to a chicken chunnel, that's starting to look better and better every day for both the plants here and me. I wish I would have seen the chunnel idea before buying a greenhouse to keep this summer's garden chicken proof.

    I hope this makes sense I replied from my phone and can hardly focus on the screen..can't find my glasses
     
  10. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens aren't smart enough to be upset about you not letting them out - and refusing to go to the coop because of that. You're overthinking this.

    In the morning my birds come sprinting out of their coop, run 500 feet to the duck house, and start scratching food out of the duck bedding - and they go right in at night - so I really doubt your birds are just trying to get closer to the food source.

    There's something they don't like about the coop - and you need to figure out what that is. It's not your house, or your patio, or free ranging. The coop could smell funny, their roost could be drafty, it could be rodents, or it could be pests - plenty of pests are more active at night. Some of the mite/lice species hide during the day and feed at night. Or it could be that one of your hens is a jerk and is causing trouble when they're trying to roost.

    This sort of behavior is really common in birds that have had run ins with predators - so it could be a predator issue - which could be something as simple as a raccoon walking by every night and taking a look in before moving on, but doing enough to spook the birds. City folks have way more predator problems than country folks - city/suburbs are great environments for small predators (racoons, possums, skunks, etc) - city living leads to lots of rodents - and that's what these things eat. We have more coyote problems in the country, but coyotes eat a lot of possums and racoons.


    EDIT:

    Actually, there's one other thing that it could be - and that's lighting. I've seen some weird issues where outdoor lighting coming on has caused birds to cluster in the light before dark and then when it starts getting too dark, they basically can't figure out how to get back to the coop (chickens can barely see in the dark) - and just end up roosting right there. How well lit is this bench that they're roosting on?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015

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