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Hi. I’ve had chickens for 25 years and I now have a situation I‘d like advise on. Last winter a raccoon killed all my chickens. This was the first time in 25 years that it’s happened. They were sleeping in the rafters of a 20 x 20’ building and still were eaten. I got six new chicks this spring and they didn’t have anyone to learn from and took to sleeping in the trees about 20 feet up as soon as they were old enough to run free. I live in central Ohio and it’s now getting cold but they still insist on sleeping in the tree. I can’t catch them during the day or get them at night because they are so high up. Will they be OK outside in the winter? I thinking not. My only other option is to buy a net and catch them, but I’d have to lock them up indefinitely and I’d rather not do that. Plus there’s a possibility they may get eaten in the building and I think they’re safer up in the trees. Any help appreciated.

Sky Building Window Twig World
 

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Frostbite would be the biggest concern. Are they large combed birds? Those suffer the most.
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Frostbite would be the biggest concern. Are they large combed birds? Those suffer the most.
They are Rhode Island reds, bard rocks, and Americanas. I’m going to buy a net but they’re gonna hate being locked up for the foreseeable future. Our winters are generally not bad but sometimes it can get very cold.
 

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They certainly are targets for owls with no leaves on the trees.

If there's a reason for them to go up, like food, water and treats they learn to accept the safety. Even my Guineas come running at night for me to put them up so they can have their treats.
 

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If your chickens will come to you when you call them, you don't need a net. You can catch them with a bent coat hanger or they actually make hooks to catch them by their feet.

 

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Interesting. I've never seen anything like that before. I'd be concerned about a sprained leg though, not fun to deal with. Personally, I dont even bother with a net anymore unless it's an absolute emergency. I just go out to the coop in the dark and snatch a bird off the roost, much easier.
 

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Except for that whole tree thing.

Another trick is to put treats in the lock up spot each evening. Put it near the door at first, then move it back further the next night. Once they're all in close the doors.
 

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Except for that whole tree thing.

Another trick is to put treats in the lock up spot each evening. Put it near the door at first, then move it back further the next night. Once they're all in close the doors.
Yes, it's about forming new habits, otherwise some may try to spend the winter in the tree.
 

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I recommend dried mealworms. All chickens I’ve met love them. They quickly learned that the sound of the mealworms in the bag means it’s time for treats and they sprint to me when they hear it. Sometimes they even run to me if I have an empty bag and i crinkle it a bit.😀
 
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