Roosting in the Tree

Discussion in 'Behavior & Flock Management' started by Rt66Chix, Nov 1, 2012.

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  1. Rt66Chix

    Rt66Chix Mother Hen

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    Early this Summer, one of my hens hatched and raised 2 chicks. I only held them a few times as they were quickly acclimated to their fenced in yard and they moved so fast, I could never catch them. I named them Bonnie & Clyde because they were often on the run--outside the yard, slipping through a small opening in the fence. As they grew older, they were no longer welcome inside the tractor with the others (roosting space is limited). So, even though I bought a small pegoda type house suitable for 2-4 chickens to accomodate the youngsters, they began to roost up in a nearby apple tree. This was OK for the summer, but lately, especially with Superstorm Sandy pelting down all that rain this week, I have been worried about the little ones.
    I've tried coaxing them right before nightfall with treats to get them to go into the pagoda...but they're just not having it. :( The poor things are roosting in a leafless tree --buffeted by the freezing rain and wind. I may be more distressed about this than they are....but Does anyone have any suggestions?:confused:


    You can see their tree in the background, directly behind the pagoda, in this picture of my chicken yard.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  2. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

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    Hope y'all are doing well after the hurricane.
    Most of my chickens, at least my brahmas, can be picked up anytime I want. The other breeds, not so much.
    I suggest you employ the use of a "net of shame". Any old fishing net will do. We added an extra broomstick (using duct tape) to the handle of ours to make it extra long.
    I'm getting too old to be chasing chickens all over this farm. Any that can't be quickly caught get the net of shame treatment.
    Once caught lock them in their new home for at least a week, preferably two. This will train their little brains to consider the new housing as home, someplace they want to be at dusk. Sure they'll hate it at first, but they'll get over it.
    I've used this technique with every single flock I've owned, whenever moving them into a new home. Now I don't have a single chicken that doesn't seek out their coop at night - no treats, lights or coaxing needed.
     

  3. Sundancers

    Sundancers New Member

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    If they will not come down for treats/feed ... I would wait till they went to roast and bring them down either by hand or net. We have had to do this with our game hens a few times ...
     
  4. Rt66Chix

    Rt66Chix Mother Hen

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    Thank you Sundancers and Birdslave. I will get me a net and head them off at dusk. I'll have to try and get them before they can get up to the higher branches. :)

    Oh, and Sandy went a lil easy on Western PA. Could've been a whole lot worse...thank GOD!
     
  5. 7chicks

    7chicks New Member

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    What stubborn chickens you have Rt66Chix! :p Hopefully the advice you got above will get them back on the right track. :)
     
  6. Roslyn

    Roslyn A Round American Woman

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    Well howdy neighbor (Indiana County)!!

    I have a group of hens and one rogue rooster who go up into a pine tree. I have gone out night after night and poked them down with a stick and I'm just tired of it and they go up, rain or shine, and only on Monday night did a few go into the coop. The others were quite drenched Tuesday morning, but they didn't seem to care.

    Since it's a tree without leaves they are really open to the weather, and since it's only two (I have 10+) I would check and see what time of day they are heading to roost and beat them to it, not allow them to go up. Or catch them going up and pop them into the coop.

    I believe that the reason mine are going up in the tree is because I have too many roosters. The one rooster is the bottom of the 6 and so he is chased out of the coop and pecked at by the males and females. The females that are going up the tree don't want to be hassled by the roosters, so they head to the tree instead of the coop. I have tried and tried to get them to go to the coop, but they want to be up the tree. I have lost a few over the years when a fox was waiting for them when they came down first thing in the morning. However, they don't come down first thing anymore, so maybe they are learning for themselves.

    It's not even a space issue. I have roost space for 45 chickens, and I only have a total of 25, so there is plenty of room, I think it's more a pecking order thing and some hens just don't want to deal with it, so the tree is the easier way out.

    Good Luck! :D
     
  7. Rt66Chix

    Rt66Chix Mother Hen

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    Thanks Roslyn and Howdeeee!
    I believe my problem is that the red tractor seems to be overcrowded with 5 hens and a nice sized Rooster. There is another hen that is lowest in the pecking order and always the last one to go in at night. She roosts in the 'run' part of tractor on a limb I have mounted from one corner to another. I was hoping that the younger ones would use the Pagoda as their sleeping quarters, but someone told me that having separate sleeping quarters----wouldn't work.

    Well, my niece brought me a fishing net yesterday when I got home from work. We didn't even wait for nightfall. She went right out into the chicken yard and captured Clyde. While she held him, I clipped his flight feathers, then placed him into the Pagoda. She proceeded to capture Bonnie with the net and after clipping her wings, she joined her partner in crime in the lil house. If a week or so of confinement does not work, I will try putting them ALL together in the Red Tractor. I imagine I may have to do some remodeling so that there is more room INSIDE their sleeping quarters.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  8. Rt66Chix

    Rt66Chix Mother Hen

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    Happy New Year ---Chicken Folk!
    Well, after several attempts to lock the young pair in the small Pagoda---They still insist on roosting in the tree. I have even repositioned the little house a few times, put it up on bales of straw, place food and water dishes near it... NOTHING has worked. It's supposed to dip into the teens the next few days. I have been giving them warm oatmeal and corn in the mornings... Don't know what else to do....but PRAY.
     
  9. woody

    woody New Member

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    Catch them at night. Lock them in the cage for several weeks. I have some roosters that decide from time to time they would rarer be in the trees. It's just random. With most chickens though once they acclimate to a pen over several weeks they go there as home