Originally Posted by FeatherofHorse
I recently added 5 hens to the 2 I already had.
When I close them up at night, 4 will either be on top of each other in a nesting box or on top of each other in a corner on the ground. 1 is usually on a roost along with my original 2.
There is roughly 9ft total of roost space. My original 6 hens in this chicken house had to problem with the accomidations.
Perhaps they can't jump up? A pecking order isn't in place yet and the new ones still aren't accepted by the old? I wouldn't think it's cold weather related....we have had some pretty mild weather.
I have closed off the nesting boxes since no one laying now anyway.
What I'm wondering is if this in anyway could harm their wellbeing? Or should I really not miss sleep over it.
So this is my first flock, I have 1 over a year she accepted the roosts and nesting boxes from day 1. About a week later once the run and final details were complete we brought home 5 pullets between 2 and 6 months of age. The first week with all 6 only the first hen was allowed on the roost eventually she let a second up. But I under estimated roost space and so last week we added another bar becuase one of the older pullets was seeming stressed, that night we placed her on the roost she found a spot with the others and is now integrating with the flock much better. The last 3 to roost started last night, it was one of the older pullets and the 2 younger ones I wasn't as worried becuase she has been mothering them the past 3 weeks since the move. Right now I get 2 on one roost and the other 4 on the second roost. The 2 are of course my first and second which also currently hold the position of head hen and second in command.
I would suggest watch for stress, are the 4 integrating with the others as well both in the coop at night and in the run during the day. Try moving a few to the roosts at night (maybe on the other side away from the bossy hens) to see if they might willingly adapt. Or add another bar so the uppers and lowers all feel they have safe yet separate accommodations.
One of the things I saw was Mildred my head hen didn't like anyone within a certain range of her spot, whether over under or beside anyone who was not Henrietta (second in command) was not permitted. Once the second bar was in place they all had more room to spread out and find thier own best spot, now she doesn't seem to mind as long as no one takes "her" spotEdited by sawilliams - 11/16/15 at 10:58am