Everyone says chickens can’t fly, but obviously these people have never had a chicken well versed in the art of roosting in trees. Have you ever had a chicken insist that it knows where it wants to sleep? How about a bird that always hopped over fences? Well, best of luck to you.
Many breeds of chickens are pretty laid back and relaxed. These are not the chickens that never jump over fences. These are not the chickens that sleep on TOP of their chicken coop. And these are not the chickens that use your trampoline as a launching pad to fling themselves to the highest branch well out of the reach of all brooms, ladders, and sources of bribery. These are not Fluffy.
Fluffy is not a fancy looking bird. She is grey and has a floppy bright red comb. She insists that chickens flying is normal even when you trim their flight feathers. Fluffy taught the entire flock how to escape an electric poultry fence. Thanks Fluffy!
Fluffy also taught the entire flock how to roost in trees at night. For chickens in the wild, roosting in trees is a pretty good strategy. Get as high up off the ground as possible and you avoid a great many predators. Unfortunately, owls have caught on to this trick.
If you let your chickens roost in trees you will likely lose one every so often to the owls. This is unfortunate when you have chickens that insist on flying.
If your birds are persistent like mine, it can be a bit of a pain. I could never let them out of their run. Unfortunately, that is kind of a bummer for them, and for my garden. The best solution is to only let them out when I am home and can herd everyone back into the coop at bedtime. Make sure you have attractive roosts inside the coop to help encourage them to want to go to bed there.
What To Do When Your Chickens Are Roosting In Trees
Occasionally you may get really caught up in cleaning up dinner, bathing the two year old, and listening to the pre-teens bicker about who’s turn it is to have the cat in their bedroom. When that happens, your sneaky, flying, tree-roosting chickens might have to be relocated after dark.
I recommend a ladder and a long stick to gently encourage them to flap down to the ground. A willing six year old to grab the chickens once they hit the ground is helpful too. If they’re really high up there you may have to lob water balloons or use a hose. (Only if it’s warm enough for your birds to get wet).
With any luck you’ll retrieve all your wandering fowl and get them buttoned up safely in the coop. Next time someone tells you chickens can’t fly, invite them over for your middle-of-the-night chicken chasing in the dark!
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