Chickens insisting on all sleeping on the top roost


7 Years
Mar 13, 2015
We are the proud owners of 13 pullets. We have our coop setup and all has been well however regardless of the roosting space available they insist on sleeping on the top roost. All night long, some will only have standing room, others sleep on the edges, some are so close they have to spread their wings out over adjacent sisters.

Here is a pic from our webcam showing an example. Sometimes one will carefully balance on the edge of the windowsill. The one on the lower rung will eventually jam herself into the crowd. The process goes on for hours.

Is this normal? Will they eventually divide up and spread out on both roosts? I can't imagine they are getting a good nights sleep!

Anyone else experience this?

It's that pecking order thing rearing it's head.....nobody wants to be on the bottom roost - it's not the prime real estate that the top roost is. You can either let them continue to sort it out, because eventually they will not all fit up there, or bring your second roost to the same height. I'm sure folks with more experience than I have will chime in.
If mine were all crowding onto one roost like that, I too would make all my roosts the same height. In our flock, we got our chicks 3 and 4 at a time at all different times and we find that they divide themselves off into groups that way. The 4 that were chicks together hang out, the 3 that were hang out and so forth.

We have a bench that is about half the height of the roost, that several of them roost on. Then there is the real roost, which is 10 foot long wooden ladder laid flat, so there is more than enough room for all of them to roost up there, but most gravitate towards the two ends with one having the middle to herself. Then we have two small shelves attached to the wall above the roost for the ones that like to go up really high and we have about 3 that use those. It seems to work as everyone has a spot and there is no fighting.
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I have found that no matter how you place your roosts there will be a fav and pecking order will determine who gets it
Thank you all for the great information and advice. I am going to modify the roost so that both bars are the same height.
The chickens coming home to roost each evening has become real entertainment around here every night.


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