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What would get Chickens off roost in middle of night?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Doormantnt, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Doormantnt

    Doormantnt Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Glen Burnie, MD
    Kind of an odd situation last nite. Around 1230 last night the girls (6 mixed breed, all year and half old) were clucking and raising Cain....kinda like the an "egg song", but disturbed. I went out, and all seemed well, but they were bothered by something. Was thinking (and ready) for predator, but no sign of anything.

    The coop, and roofed, and completely wired run was secure, and no sign of anything bothersome.

    It was raining last night, and 3 of the ladies were wet like they had been out for a while (rain blowing thru wire walls).

    So I checked coop and it was clear, then I closed the pop door (something I was out of habit of) and returned to bed...and all as well when I let them out this morning.

    So, what would make 3 of 6 chickens get off of the roost in the middle of the night, and venture out into a run, in the rain.

    Would a rat scare chickens off roost, and out of coop in the dark?????? would something prowling outside coop force them out????

    the run is 4 foot hardware cloth buried a foot, and 4 foot 2" x 3" square wire over that finishing out to 7 foot height. so if something made it into coop, it would have had to fit thru 2x3.

    thanks for the insight


  2. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    It really does sound like some kind of predator. I would look around and see if you can see any tracks outside the run.
  3. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    It takes a lot to wake chickens at night as they are in a stupor so it had to be something substantial happening such as a predator. If it were loud noises that disturbed them you probably would've heard that too. I'd go into CSI mode. [​IMG]
  4. AllAlaskan

    AllAlaskan Chirping

    Jun 19, 2010
    Alaska, MatSu
    I know often times I will go out late at night to check on my birds (11-12pm before I go to bed) and I have noticed its not uncommen to find 1-3 of the 12 birds up and about while the rest are on the Roosts.
  5. emrys

    emrys Songster

    Sep 3, 2009
    There are some rather deadly predators that can climb 3 ft of hardware cloth and go through a 2x3 opening. Weasels come to mind. If it were me I'd get back into the habit of closing the coop at night as the pen isn't secure from small but able chicken killers.
  6. Doormantnt

    Doormantnt Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Glen Burnie, MD
    Thanks for the replies.

    emrys, I whole heartedly agree. I will continue to lock the pop door at night. Once they are in the coop nothing bigger then half inch can get in. I'm a contractor/fabricator by trade, so coop is stronger and better built then my house..LOL..

    I'm in the burbs, and the worst predators around are a rare occassion of a possum or coon, and neighborhood children, but nothing regular. More hawks in the day then anything else.

    The only thing that I have seen semi-regular is a "good ol' city rat", but traps, and .22 shorts, and I haven't seen any in a while.

    just kinda stumped....I couldn't figure out why a chicken would go out in the rain, in the middle of night.....that sounds like a start to a riddle....LOL....sorry. little sleep deprived.

    Thanks again.


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