Chickens awake at night, not sleeping in their cage.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by floridamel, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. floridamel

    floridamel Out Of The Brooder

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    I have two Rhode Island Reds that are 7 months old. They free range in the back yard and have a cage that they can go into and out of freely, where their water is and the lay their eggs. They also sleep in their cage, in the back corner inside of a planter - it's where they chose to sleep the first day we got them (when they were 2 weeks old), and have slept their ever since.

    They have always gone to their cage at sunset and slept until sunrise, until 4 days ago, when I found them roaming the yard at midnight. This has happened every day since then. At first I thought they were just feeding at night since it is so hot in the day. But now I noticed that they have been sleeping on the ground right outside the back door instead of in their cage.

    Any idea what's going on here?
     
  2. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe it's the heat, or maybe they were traumatized by something?

    I'd be really worried about predators with that setup - do you not have any in your area?
     
  3. floridamel

    floridamel Out Of The Brooder

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    Nope, no predators to worry about here. I thought maybe they were traumatized by something anyway, like a loud noise or even a rodent that spooked them. But one night, they were sleeping outside the door, and we led them back to their cage with treats - they slept in there for the rest of the night then with no problem.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  4. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine do the same thing as do my geese and ducks, i keep lights on at night and they are up by the house , they never did this in the winter, so i am going with the heat as posted by Smittenchicken.
     
  5. floridamel

    floridamel Out Of The Brooder

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    Glad to know I'm not the only one. The heat would explain why they are feeding at night, but it still seems weird that they are sleeping on the concrete outside the door. Their cage is in the coolest spot in the yard, shaded all day, so I would expect it is cooler in there.
     
  6. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    I bet they just feel safer there, my chickens change roost areas all the time.

    Sometimes some of them will sleep with the dogs or on them if it is cold [​IMG]
     
  7. floridamel

    floridamel Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh okay. That would be fine with me, I just was worried that something was wrong. I was quite a shock to turn on the light at midnight and see them scratching around for bugs in the dirt!

    I'd love to see a chicken sleeping on a dog [​IMG]
     
  8. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Are you telling me you chickens are out at night and there is no light on? Now i would find that strange sense they can't see in the dark.

    It is raining here if it continues i am sure there will be some chickens sleeping with some of the dogs, i will take a photo for ya.

    Here is one of my kids and 2 of my old boys

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  9. StormyMoon

    StormyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Maybe whats cool to us isn't whats cool to them.
    If you get down on the ground feel the cement at night it is often usually very cool.
     
  10. floridamel

    floridamel Out Of The Brooder

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    Zazouse, that picture is adorable!

    And yes, they are outside in the dark, no lights, searching for snacks in the lawn. The lights inside are on, so there is a little bit of light where they have been sitting right outside the sliding glass door. But their cage is not near the door, so it is pitch black over there.

    Stormy, that may be what it is, they might like the cement.
     

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