Chicken only sleeps standing up concerned about frostbite :(

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by keesha63, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. keesha63

    keesha63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I live in Ontario Canada. I have an odd problem with one of my EE's. She 8 months old (and STILL has not laid her first egg btw!) and she never sleeps squatting down on the roost at night. I know this because I have a webcam in their coop and since she first moved in there 2 months ago I have never once seen her not standing...even at 3 in the morning :( All night long she stands there lift one leg up and down...but will not squat down. She drives the other chickens crazy because she periodically tilts over and either falls off the roost or knocks them off. She doesn't appear unusual in any other way and I have seen her laying down in the sand box dust bathing so I know she can squat down. My concern is what is going to happen to her feet this winter? We hit temps of -30C (-20 F) frequently. I know it was important to have the roosts wide enough that their feathers cover their feet....but what happens to a chicken that sleeps standing up? Anyone have any suggestions?

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  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Never heard of a chicken that wouldn't sit on roost and stand like that. Hopefully those with more experience will offer some ideas.

    But, have you examined her legs, abdomen, crop well to make sure there's not something that would make her uncomfortable to sit on roost?
     
  3. keesha63

    keesha63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah it's weird. I have picked her up a few times and never noticed anything unusual. I have seen her squat down before during the day so I know she physically can do it. I will take a really good look at her I think. I don't even know how common this might be because I suspect most people don't see what their birds do at night lol. I wonder if she really feels her legs and feet getting very cold if she would cover them?
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    I have had cameras on mine since they were a week old…you really learn a lot about chicken behavior.


    Have you ever seen her sit on a roost or board?

    Here's hoping somebody will enlighten us….Keep the post alive and others will notice.

    I have never heard of a standing on the roost chicken…and have read all I can find on chicken behavior.
     
  5. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Did a search again: looks like any forum someone posted the issue only led to inadequate roost - but that's not your case.

    Then found 2 of interest:

    first has a photo of what you are seeing and the standing chicken is healthy.

    http://chickensintheroad.com/barn/the-secret-life-of-chickens/


    Found another site with long paper on poultry behavior - can't copy and paste from the reader….but states normal resting in chickens includes preferring an elevated perch and that normal behavior is to rest or sleep standing, laying down and by sleeping or dozing.

    If your chicken looks, acts healthy and no problems on abdomen/breast/crop then she's just different and doubt you can change her.


    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  6. keesha63

    keesha63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ty sun flour...and yes it's quite entertaining to see what chickens do when no one is around. My only big concern with her is frostbite on her feet. I use a panel heater but it only raises the temp by a few degrees. Maybe I'll have to make her socks lol.
     
  7. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Actually last year I googled chicken stockings, thought about hanging some on coop for santa's gifts. Don't recall who, but someone does make knit chicken socks ! ( for real)
     

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