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Chicken huddle?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sabine, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. sabine

    sabine Hatching

    Aug 11, 2011
    I recently moved my girls (only 4) into a new coop and they seem to be quite comfortable, going inside and sleeping in there, but what has been happening is that they are all huddling on top of each other in one of the nesting boxes.

    As none of them are laying at the moment I decided to block the nests off with some overturned pots but as soon as I remove the pots everyone is going back to the chicken huddle in on nest box.

    Any idea why that is and what I can do? As I would like them to actually lay eggs in there again I will have to eventually open the nests up again.
    And why the huddling? They can't be cold it hasn't even dropped below 0 C


  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Make sure that your roosts are higher than your nest boxes. Keep the nest boxes blocked until the hens have been using the roosts for a week or more.
  3. sabine

    sabine Hatching

    Aug 11, 2011
    Hmmmm, the roosts are a little lower than the nest boxes and I'm not sure I can change that but I have a look.
    I will keep the pots in for another 2 weeks and try again then.

    Still wondering what the huddle is all about, it's not that there is enough space. There are two nests but all 4 of the girls would insist in cramming themselves into one

  4. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Songster

    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    The reason sourland told you to put the roosts higher than the nestboxes is that the chickens will instinctively roost as high as possible, both for predator protection and for warmth. Hence, they are all attempting to roost in the nestbox. They are probably trying to roost in the same one because they want to be close to each other, for warmth and company.
  5. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I have several chickens that huddled together at night for several weeks. They did not roost with the other, older chickens. There was plenty of roosting bar available. After a while, they got larger and larger; and started roosting on the bar.

    There are some things that we won't know.


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