Chickens roosting in trees...

soloequestrian

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Just wondered if anyone else has birds that do this?
Mine are shut in a big run at night and there is a warm, comfy coop for them. Two sleep in the coop and the other five climb a tree that's in the run and roost in it. They all know the coop is there - they lay in it - but they choose to sleep out in the rain, wind, snow etc. I think they're nuts.
 

Clodagh

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Some of mine sleep out. The fox usually fixes it here though! (No run).
It can be because of red mite but I think some just prefer it. Nuts!
 
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well they are jungle fowl pretty much ;)

some of mine have tried it-the Minorcas and Scots Greys for example. I dont allow it, too easy for a fox to pick them off at daybreak but if they are safe its probably the healthier option for them as long as they dont catch a chill.
 
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Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
Just something to check: my banties started doing this, and my old mum, who was very wily re. chickens and the like, said to check the house for red-mite, as they'll know there's a problem in their house i.e. parasites which make them uncomfortable, and will look elsewhere for somewhere "safe" to go.

May be something worth checking: Red Mite is bad, very bad this year, and your chooks just might be telling you something............. ???
 

Leo Walker

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Mine have a huge run with a big wendy house as a coop. Some use it, but quite a few of them prefer to roost on the roof or railings or on the branches I have up for them, etc. Its an L shaped run and they all come into the part where the coop is at night, so I just leave them to it.
 

soloequestrian

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I'll check but it's not new - the older girls have been with me for just over a year now and have always gone up there - they were the first to do it but now all the new ones seem to follow their lead.
 

silv

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Two of mine roost in a tree outside their hen house, they have total free range of my 6 acres, the other five either sleep in the hay shed or in their hen house. Funnily enough the two that roost in the tree are rescues from a poultry farm. Thankfully there are no foxes over here to worry about.
 

JillA

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I love to see them roost high up - means they can fly away from predators if necessary. What breed are they? My rescue warrens can flap their wings to help running but I've never seen one fly, seems to have been bred out of them
 

soloequestrian

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It was the two Araucanas who started the trend - they never went into the coop, just straight up the tree. All since have followed - now have a Goldilocks, Partridge, Copper Maran and Leghorn up there too. One lonely chicken roosting in the lovely, warm, straw-filled coop and she was here before the Araucanas. I checked for mites and there's no sign, and the ones that go up the tree didn't ever test out the coop first so it would be strange if that was the reason. They seem to be gradually going higher up the tree too - they've reached the level of the house roof now, still have another 10 feet or so to conquer!
 

Micky

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Mine used to roost in the trees when I occasionally forgot to put them to bed and their pen door would blow shut in the wind..pain moment the first time it happened until the torch found them in the trees behind their pen! They only did this a couple of times over a span of 10 years, but regarding red mite, if you have a wooden shed, you’re basically fighting a losing battle as the little beggars are very difficult to get rid of, a friend ended up burning her pen and building a new one!
 
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Some of mine sleep out. The fox usually fixes it here though! (No run).
Interested in this, ours roost in a tree and we know there is a fox in the area. I don't know if they are safe and wonder if we should 'force' them into the coop every night. Interested in any experiences of fox taking chickens from tree. Thanks!
 

Clodagh

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Interested in this, ours roost in a tree and we know there is a fox in the area. I don't know if they are safe and wonder if we should 'force' them into the coop every night. Interested in any experiences of fox taking chickens from tree. Thanks!
Obviously foxes can’t climb trees but they will take a bird as they come off the roost, which this time of year is about 4am. Hopefully your hens are landing in a fox proof area when they get up.
 
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