Chickens or night owls?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tlagnhoj, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. tlagnhoj

    tlagnhoj Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2010
    1am and the chickens are out and about? What's this? I thought chickens generally spent the entirety of the night roosting. In the five minutes I watched them, one made her way back in to the coop, but the other 3 just stood around like they were lost. One even hunkered down as if to go to sleep.

    There were no events that would have brought them out of bed that I know of. We have nearly zero predators and they were not startled or even acting curious.

    I'm not concerned about their health, just thought this was an odd behavior. Has anybody else seen it before?
  2. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    In my experience this is VERY odd behavior. I would be amazed if something did not startle them. My birds will stir and move around the roost if and when I come visit but they never leave the area. Chickens are almost blind at nigh which is why they are such easy prey.
    I have used this time of night to move roosters to death row, a row of cages I put them in as a holding room for butchering, and to move hens from the nesting boxes when they decide to roost there.

  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have seen similar under two conditions. First is will exceptionally bright full moon supplmented with flood lamp. Second is when a predator disturbs birds and they have calmed dawn by time you see them.
  4. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    I agree completely...this has been my experience as well. If they are close to your house..maybe the lights from the house is a part of the problem.

  5. tlagnhoj

    tlagnhoj Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2010
    It might have been the moon, but the house lighting hasn't changed in the year we've had them. And it's not a direct light into the run either. I did not turn on the light in the room that looks out into the run. My dog would have alerted us to any animals prowling around. And we just don't have any honestly.

    I've been leaving the door to the coop open so they can make their exit on their time instead of mine now that it's getting light earlier. This may not be the first time they've done it. It's just the first time I've noticed. I'm going tocheck again tonight.

    I am intrigued.

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