Why the Whitest Birds?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JackieK318, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. JackieK318

    JackieK318 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2007
    Missouri
    So, last night, my free range flock went in their house - except one leghorn. I took the broom and the flashlight and got that one down out of the tree. I thought it was just a fluke and that chicken was having an off day. So, tonight, I look out and see a white blob in the tree by the driveway. It's a small tree; obviously, not the brightest birds being only 5 feet off the ground. I go out to get the rouge bird and find two leghorns. Everyone else, even the guineas for goodness sakes, went home, but the whitest birds around had to roost in the smallest tree in the yard.

    Why are they doing this? Is there something they may not be getting in their coop? Is there a way I can break this habit? Should I confine everyone for the next few days to retrain them?
     
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Are they getting picked on by the other birds?
     
  3. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I've had some of mine do that once in a while. I just lock them in the coop for few days to reset the birds train of thought.
     
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Jerry used to do that, if I didn't open the rabbit hutch in time for him to go to bed....I think it's a Leghorn thang!
     
  5. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Quote:Well actually....it's a bird thing, thus a chicken thing.

    We "train" or condition them to use the coop instead of trees but a chicken's natural instinct is to roost in trees like they've done since the dawn of time.

    Last night, as usual, my flock waited till the very last bit of light had left the sky before they went into their coop. Mine free range all day and come home just around sunset and hang out around the coop/run but wait till it is almost completely dark before going in. Anyway, one got separated from the rest and was still on the wrong side of the fence after they had all gone in. She started to panic trying to go through the fence instead of around it. I tried herding her around but she was freaking out and would not move from where she was. There was a magnolia tree right above her and she turned and looked up and was just about to jump up in the branches when I caught her and carried her to the coop.

    We even planted a small tree that had sturdy branches in their run and they immediately began roosting, during the day, on the branches. I believe the only reason they all come in from the woods at night and go to their coop is because they have been conditioned to do so and they like being together. Wouldn't surprise me one bit if they started sleeping in the trees instead.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to go sleep in the trees. On year a coon broke into the chicken pen, by learning how to open the door!!! And all the survivors went and slept in a tree... needless to say, they all got killed for sleeping in the tree over night.
     
  7. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    Sometimes during the day I will wonder where the chickens are, and I forget to look up, way up. They perch in the oak tree branches 10 to 20 feet up. No problem about having to fly up, the oaks are bent so much they walk up the trunk. I have been trying to get the girls back to the run at least an hour before bed so no one gets stray thoughts about spending the night up in the oaks.
     
  8. JackieK318

    JackieK318 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2007
    Missouri
    I kept everyone in today to 'retrain' them. They were all boking at me this morning to let them out. I feel bad, but I don't want anyone getting anymore crazy ideas. I know it's what they naturally do, but it worries me!
     

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