Wild Birds Living in Chicken Coop


Dec 3, 2018
Seeing as it's winter, wild birds always like stopping by for food and water in our chicken run, though we always scare them away when we see them. Normally, it's just a nuisance, but now we have multiple quail attempting to live in our (small) coop with 5 other chickens (2 Delawares, a Colombian, an Easter-egger, and an Australorp). When I went to feed and water them today, 6 male quail ran out and while another male and 2 females remained stubbornly in the coop.

For obvious reasons, the quail cannot stay, and I need them out as soon as possible for fear of disease. I do not own any birds other than chickens, so I have no place to put them; however, I do not want to harm the quail in any way.

My only thoughts are to shoo them out before our automatic door closes in the coop or to build a bird house and attempt to relocate them (neither of which seem very plausible).

Any advice?
Many peeps are shaking in their boots with the fear that they will encounter a disease from wild birds. While that is absolutely possible, it is not all that likely. Secondly,,,,,,, if diseased birds did visit your outdoors, they already left their germs in the droppings that they dropped while in fly-over mode. To sum it up............. it is difficult to protect your birds against everything possible out there.
I have been keeping chickens for over 20 years now. Pets only BTW.
Never encountered a disease as a result of wild birds, or squirrels, or other.
Obviously if I was raising 10,000 chickens for eggs or meat, I would take bio-security seriously. I also would not let them out of their enclosed warehouse.
My suggestion for your situation may or may not sound good.:idunno
Provide feed outside your run to attract the wild birds and Quail there. Remove the uneaten portion in the evening to keep other nighttime scavengers from making it their food source/location.
I feed wild birds, and squirrels on my grounds. this way they stay away from chickens feed.
Here is a link to a post I did on another thread that explains my whole operation.


WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and:welcome
@Grits&Eggs - Haha, like silkiemother said selling wild birds isn't an option. I'm happy having them in my yard and living near my chickens, just not in their coop :)

@silkiemother - Catching and relocating is an option. We do have a fake owl, but it may scare the chickens as they themselves are pretty small. I'll give it a try.

@cavemanrich - We have an outside feeder; it's just covered by a lot of snow at the moment. If they're attracted there and don't stay in the coop, I'm fine with it.

Thanks to all who have responded!
The only solution I can think of that would keep them out would be to make an enclosed coop/run - basically fencing the wild bird out.

You could try as suggested and making feed available to the wild birds elsewhere, that might work, but will also attract other critters like rodents if you aren't careful.

While it's true that chickens can be exposed to disease with just flyovers and one should not worry to much about that, having wild birds living inside the coop will likely bring in external parasites like lice/mites and possibly worms too.
The only way I was able to keep wild birds out of my coop was by enclosing the entire run in hardware cloth (juncos were coming through the chicken wire). On weekends when the flock is free ranging, the gate to the run is open and the juncos occasionally visit. I just tell my dog, “Lexi, get the little birds!” and she happy dashes into the run, chasing them all out. Does your flock free range with an open coop all day? Do they use a pop door or human sized door? I’ve heard of using strips of clear plastic sort of like vertical blinds, that the hens can go through (by pushing them aside), but smaller birds cannot. Might that work for you?
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@Wyorp Rock - It might be necessary to implement that. Good idea!

@micstrachan - Their coop is has a human sized door that can be opened, but is almost always locked shut. The chickens get in and out through an automatic door (their size) that opens in the morning and shuts after dark. They also have a small run where a heated water dish is located (it freezes in winter) and then a large area for open range. The plastic strips sound like a great idea to block off the run :)

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