Hen roosting in pine tree, will she freeze?

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I have a hen with a phobia. After watching some of her sisters kidnapped and killed in the hen house (not me, an animal of some kind), she refuses to roost there at night. Every night she roosts in one of my BIG pine trees. In the morning, she joins her sisters and spends the day with them. Occasionally, one of the other hens joins her. This has been okay with the summer weather and I thought she would come inside when it became colder. Her sister has, she won't. Since the temperature can drop way below 0 and I have high winds, I'm worried about her. Any advice?

-- Cheryl (bramblecottage@hotmail.com), October 29, 2000


Sounds like it gets pretty cold where you are. Our chickens have always roosted in our pine trees, out of want though. I could never get them to come into the coop at night. We have a grove of cedar trees by the barn. I have not lost any chickens to hurricanes (unbelievable!) or cold weather. But here in VA., it gets cold, but not much. I would suggest bribing them with something to come into the coop at night. I hope you find something that works.

-- Bernice (geminigoats@yahoo.com), October 29, 2000.

I had a (young) bantam hen that roosted outside all of one winter, on a windowsill on the south side of the barn. Most nights she was fine. On really cold nights (-20 and colder) I just picked her off the sill and put her into the duck house for the night, closed the entrance door and latched it. It's hard to say whether yours will survive or not up there -- a lot of critter-killers climb JUST fine. If you pick her out of the tree enough times and put her into the house and secure it for the night so that she's safe, she very well may start going in voluntarily. Put roosts up high enough inside so that no critter can reach her -- she can obviously fly to get up there.

-- Julie Froelich (firefly1@nnex.net), October 30, 2000.

The only problem with roosting in the pine is owls!You're liable to minus the hen.We had 7 chickens roosting in a tree in fall,by spring there were 3 left-and they moved into the barn. Set some traps and nail the varmint.

-- Karl (kbechler@frontiernet.net), November 03, 2000.

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