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What would make chickens go roost early?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

For some reason today my grown chickens went in to roost at like 4pm...sun still shining bright...nowhere near dusk.  The 19 week old teenagers & the 9 week old young ones stayed out until dusk.  What would cause this? It wasn't cloudy or anything, although it has been a cool breeze for most of the day, but at that time the wind had finally settled down.

post #2 of 11

I have often found that chickens know more than humans about what is best for them and what they need and when. although it does make you wonder sometimes why they do certain things.

Standard White Cornish, Dark's & White laced Red Cornish Breeder..........If you don't have Cornish you don't have Chickens. Breeding the best, to the best.
As good as a few and better than most, What You'll Tolerate in your flock is what you'll get.
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Standard White Cornish, Dark's & White laced Red Cornish Breeder..........If you don't have Cornish you don't have Chickens. Breeding the best, to the best.
As good as a few and better than most, What You'll Tolerate in your flock is what you'll get.
Reply
post #3 of 11

It may also be so jockeying for the roosts. Perhaps the younger ones are starting to sit on the highest roosts and the older ones are claiming them first.

Chickens sure are fun!
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Chickens sure are fun!
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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by al6517 

I have often found that chickens know more than humans about what is best for them and what they need and when. although it does make you wonder sometimes why they do certain things.


Ayuh.

My deer hunting is a sporadic thing, some years yes, some years not. But I've always noticed, even just out driving at night, that the deer are more active in advance of a storm, filling their bellies before they go to ground to wait out a storm.

They know. If that's what's driving your chicken, it's just a matter of them having simpler brains, sensing and paying attention to things that don't even register with those of us two-legged, non-feathered creatures.

As to it being a pecking order thing, with the oldsters getting to the preferred roosts before the upstarts, that works, too. If that's the case and it presents a problem, you could rehome the seniors to Florida, where they could find restaurants serving supper at 4pm so they could  beat the sun to bed.  wink


Edited by ScottyHOMEy - 10/30/11 at 1:01pm
A small flock for too many eggs --  1BR, 1BO, 1 WW, 3 RSLs and  one that was supposed to be a BSL but I suspect is a BA.  Separate accommodations for two or three runs of Cx's each year.
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A small flock for too many eggs --  1BR, 1BO, 1 WW, 3 RSLs and  one that was supposed to be a BSL but I suspect is a BA.  Separate accommodations for two or three runs of Cx's each year.
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post #5 of 11

My 10 week old Doms have been roosting around noonish and I started to get concerned about it but then they came back out a couple hours later to grab something to eat and drink. Being that it is starting to get colder, I think they would rather be in thecoop where it is nice and warm as opposed to standing around in the run where it is cool.

The person who gets money dishonestly is like a bird that hatches eggs it didn't lay. In the prime of life he will lose his riches, and in the end he is nothing but a fool.
Jeremiah 17:11

1 Wife - 2 Dogs - 3 Goats - 2 Dominiques - 1 Cockatiel
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The person who gets money dishonestly is like a bird that hatches eggs it didn't lay. In the prime of life he will lose his riches, and in the end he is nothing but a fool.
Jeremiah 17:11

1 Wife - 2 Dogs - 3 Goats - 2 Dominiques - 1 Cockatiel
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post #6 of 11

They're probably just hung over, all day in the sun after a hearty night of poker, roost fights, and keep away, let alone the whiskey they made from their scratch can take it out of ya... Now imagine you have to jump four feet to get to bed.

That would just stink, I would probably go to bed early too.

On a serious note, I have a few that go in early as well. They just started getting in early and everyday a good hour or two before sunset, they are in the coop on the roosts. One white Wy, One black Giant and a NH red. They must have to get up at night to stir the mash.

post #7 of 11

I think it's the sudden change in our weather -- I noticed some of mine are doing the same thing - also, I have a good 1/3 to 1/2 of my flock - the older girls -- going into moult, just as they did last year at this time (I marked it on the calendar) & that affects them, too.

Also, some of the younger ones are hanging around the coop longer in the mornings instead of going out.. I'm hoping they are "thinking" about laying!

12 hens, 6 RIR chicks, 5 guineas, 2 dogs, 2 "official" cats, 1 blue parakeet & 1 retired-but-stays-busy husband!
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12 hens, 6 RIR chicks, 5 guineas, 2 dogs, 2 "official" cats, 1 blue parakeet & 1 retired-but-stays-busy husband!
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post #8 of 11

i've come to the cocnclusion they do what they want...... i've seen them roost at 3 p.m... and at other times wait 10 minutes before dark.... don't know what happened a month ago but 1 rooster and 3 hens stayed the night in their run, all i could figure is they fell asleep out there before dark and couldn't see to get to the coop. i went out after dark, locked the door and didn't notice till the morning... lucky a coon didn't get em.....so who knows what they're thinking... i have noticed the younger ones stay out later, just like us i guess.....

post #9 of 11

Mine will roost early if they had a lot of food. Such as gleaning in the Garden or bumper crop of mulberries fallen, or apple windfalls dumped by the bucket.

Just a old coot with some backyard chickens and a garden.
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Just a old coot with some backyard chickens and a garden.
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post #10 of 11

With my chickens, I've noticed that if it's raining, they all tend to go to bed earlier. Also, if it's windy or the chickens decide it's too cold, they go to roost earlier. However, I have several different flocks, and I've also noticed that each flock, as well as each individual flock member, has its own ideas about what constitutes too wet, too windy, or too cold. I've also noticed that the chickens will stay in the coops longer on cold mornings and spend more time in the coops throughout the day during cold and/or very wet weather.


Edited by Blue - 10/31/11 at 10:19am
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