Wandering Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shanoree, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. shanoree

    shanoree New Egg

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    Jan 23, 2015
    My chickens have been disappearing one by one to the neighbors coop. They used to come home on their own at dusk and I would let them out in the morning to free range. They immediately run over to the neighbors and mingle with their chickens. One disappeared and didn't come home one night. Neighbor said she hadn't seen her. Then this month, another one disappeared. I saw her during the day so I know she's alive and she comes home to lay her egg but at night, she's not there. Then two days ago, another chicken disappeared but I have the exact number of eggs I'm supposed to? I have a rooster. I thought his job was to keep the ladies in line and bring them home at night? How do i get my chickens to come back home? I give treats and good food i thought.
     
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is weird. They feel safe enough to lay in your coop but feel better roosting in the other coop? What does the neighbor have that you don't?
    What are you feeding them? What kind of roost system do you have? How many hens do you have? Does the neighbor also have a rooster?
    really weird......maybe they have assimilated into the other pecking order and don't want to argue at home...just thoughts.....I hope someone here has the answer for you. There are a lot of great people on this site. Good luck and [​IMG]
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    What is your hen to rooster ratio? And that of your neighbor's flock?

    Show pictures of all roosters involved.
     
  4. shanoree

    shanoree New Egg

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    I have one rooster (red one) and had four hens. One white, two black, and a brown hawk looking one. The neighbor has a rooster also but a smaller breed. She has a ton of chickens running around of all varieties. I feed them Layena feed and have mealworms/corn every morning for a treat. Sometime give them pecking blocks of seed and ears of corn.

    Roost system is a beam in the middle of a large chicken wired area with four long beams cross wise. They usually all fly to the top and huddle. Four fit on top so I guess the one brown one left because she didn't fit.

    I'm going to ask my neighbor to see her coop and see what she has that I'm doing wrong.

    They have the standard tractor supply house with two laying boxes but they prefer to use just one. It fits 2-4 chickens.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    First of all, it's not the rooster's job to bring the hens home at night and put them in the coop. It's YOUR job as a good neighbor to keep your chickens off your neighbor's property. Many people would not tolerate this because they do not want to chance their chickens possibly getting diseases or parasites from your birds. (Sometimes visiting chickens are invited to the house for supper) If your coop is one of those little boxes that are called "coops" and is supposed to fit 2-4 birds, it' probably only big enough for 2 standard sized chickens. I think looking at your neighbor's coop is a good idea. The only way you're going to keep your chickens home is to fence them in.
     
  6. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds as though your coop is just too small, it's a fixable mistake. it sounds like your birds want to be together but can't. You and your neighbor should talk about having the flocks mix like that and if one flock comes down with something, both flocks must be treated at the same time/way etc. Do you know if your neighbor is upset about the mixing? Which one of you will have to give in/build fences? Given the proximity of the flocks, some pests or diseases could occur naturally in either flock sharing the same ground regardless of fences. Some diseases would be a management problem on the part of the keeper. I really recommend talking to your neighbor and building a bigger coop.[​IMG]
     
  7. shanoree

    shanoree New Egg

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    [​IMG]

    .[​IMG]

    This is our coop and there are four poles in the middle for them to roost on. But the inside is small so I'm assuming I need to get more boxes for them to be happy?
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I think that as things stand at this point, you are likely to have your whole flock assimilate into hers unless you put up a fence to keep your flock home. I'm guessing that where she has a larger flock, your girls are more comfortable with that: there's strength in numbers. I wish you the best with this dilemma.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. shanoree

    shanoree New Egg

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    Who has to be the good neighbor to keep their chickens off of the other's property? She has 20 chickens and I have 4 so is it her responsibility or mine. I imagine we could build a 9 acre fence to keep the chickens from mingling but then again, that seems a little much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    You do, since it seems to be your problem. You don't need a 9 acre fence. You do have a nice sized yard if that is your pic. You could easily enclose the rest of the little blue coop, giving them some more roost space, then they'd have the entire run space as well. If you wanted to give them more range opportunities within that run, you could put in some deep litter, and some hardware cloth covered frames full of greens for the girls to work over. Nice looking set up, BTW. I'm guessing that they'll be more content when they have more roost space. But, of course, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Good luck.
     

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