Cold Nights and Pecking Order

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JPHens, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. JPHens

    JPHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    I have four pullets and I'm new at this - I've had them since mid October. They have a clear alpha hen and one who tends to be pushed around by her more than the others. My concern is sleeping in the cold. Tonight the three non-alpha gals went to roost, all cozy next to each other, with the Alpha gal still out in the run. When she came in she pushed the lowest status hen ("Rusty" off the roost, and Rusty moped around a little. Then she went onto the other roost, by herself. It is around 30 degrees F, and I think she'd probably be more comfortable next to others. It does get colder than this in the winter (Massachusetts). I would love to know more about pecking order and cold weather roosting. Thanks for any feedback.
     
  2. Coop de Cuse

    Coop de Cuse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 22, 2013
    East Syracuse, NY
    The temp should be fine. I live in Syracuse and it was down to 7 last night and all of my feathered friends were ok.

    If you want all of them to roost together, try moving the lower hen next to the others after the lights are out. The others should not notice. I have to do that sometimes and it helps to do it when they have a hard time seeing.

    I hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  3. JPHens

    JPHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    Hmmm... I've heard this suggested before, to move them at dark. We'll see if the mean sleep-related behavior continues... thanks for your reply.
     
  4. Coop de Cuse

    Coop de Cuse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 22, 2013
    East Syracuse, NY
    [​IMG] I hope it works [​IMG]
     
  5. babyfoot

    babyfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have my roost all at same level and all together so they have no option but to sit beside each other. They still get pecked at dusk but once it gets dark they all settle down and sleep.
     
  6. Chickens R Us

    Chickens R Us Chillin' With My Peeps

    My hen lowest in the pecking order will go by other lower hens and if she gets pecked at will hide her head under another hen and the hen pecking her will stop, once it gets dark everything calms down and everyone is quite.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. JPHens

    JPHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    Thanks for the ideas and feedback, everyone. I think they are all too big now to be on one roost, so maybe moving the slightly lower roost up to give them more proximity to each other is a good idea.... now two different ones have slept all alone.
    Cheers
     
  8. kschicks2013

    kschicks2013 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2012
    Fernley, Nevada
    I have 6 hens. I noticed since winter set in and it gets dark earlier they have gone to roost on the roof of the coop instead of inside the house. Their coop is inside a larger enclosure which has a roof and I put tarps around it to keep the drafts out. Can you tell me why they have started roosting on the roof instead of inside. They don't do this all the time. I end up picking them up and moving them into the hen house.
     
  9. bgrantalasykes

    bgrantalasykes Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2013
    I have a pullet that separates herself from the others as well.. although for at least a week i would move her to the roost with the others and she would be fine. But the next night far away from the others. Finally i let her be and slowly she is making her way closer to otherson her own once i stopped interfering. It is much colder here than 30, i think she senses it getting colder and is resolving pecking order versus survival issues on her own. Im only going to intervene now if tempertures are a dangerously low and she is still not huddling with the others. Just wanted to offer another perspective! Im still new at this
     
  10. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2013
    I had same problem awhile back. I moved my lone hen to the roost with the others after dark several nights but the next night I would have same problem. this hen also got left out other times also.
     

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