2+ year old Buff wont come down from top roost


5 Years
May 24, 2014
Southeast MA
Forgive the length. I read several other threads on this but each was different from mine. She's 2+ years old and within the last few weeks started getting up to the top roost. It's a rafter about 6 feet off the floor and maybe 2.5-3 feet higher than the roost they use to get to it. The buffs never used to get up there, but now this one does almost every night and then is the only one to not come down. I think maybe once she was down by the time I got home from work, but if I leave her she usually wont. She's always been at/near the bottom of the pecking order, and hasn't been bullied any more than the usual "know your place" stuff lately except when I left her up there for a couple days to see if she would come down. Then after I got her down the rooster and a couple hens gave her hell for a little while and then it was back to normal.

I've been getting her down every morning because the back of her comb gets darker (not bright red like normal) sometimes and I don't want her to dehydrate. That's my best guess about what that is. She does eat. I can't watch her constantly but I toss some food in the water to get her to notice it and drink when I get her down sometimes. She's not molting. I've noticed a lot of the poop in the coop seems darker lately, but it can't all be hers and the consistency seems normal enough. One of the buffs has a very slight limp from when it was younger but I don't know if it's her and she doesn't seem injured at all.

The only thing I can think of is she can get up but then is scared to get down. So my ideas are to a) build a ramp down to a lower level or b) build another roost midway so she can "step down." Except some of the other threads said they had these (even ramps all the way down) and the hen still wouldn't get down. I don't want to keep getting her down every morning before work...it's ridiculous but the alternative as I see it is a dead buff orphington. Which I want to go broody by the way cuz I've been rotating eggs to try to hatch naturally and my two buffs aren't cooperating. The total flock is a RIR rooster, three RIRs, two barred rocks, and the two buffs. Thanks ahead of time for any help.
You could remove the top roost. If there's not enough roosting space add another somewhere that isn't as high.
I think she is afraid to come down maybe she had a hard landing and that is why she is afraid. Maybe she was the one that had the limp. I would prefer taking her down every morning to having a dead hen.

There must be some place you could tuck a lower roost for her. If it is such a problem maybe you could rehome or trade for a tougher hen that would knock the others off the roost. Then they could roost on the highest one.

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