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corner crowding

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rustywreck, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Songster

    Hi, I am very new to this message board, and have some questions about my peculiar hens.
    First let me explain that I am fairly new to raising chickens. I build for them a very, very nice house which is well insulated.
    As evening approaches all of the hens crowd into one corner beak first. There is nothing different or special about this corner of the building, but they'll only go into the one corner. All of them (12) compete to see who gets their beak in the corner.
    I can understand that they may crowd each other for warmth, but I don't understand why it has to be this one corner, and why they all have to be facing the same direction. If I place something in that corner to encourage them to someplace else, they still try to get as close to the same corner as possible
    During the day they move all about the house, but every evening it is the same thing - beaks to the corner.
    They have a roost ladder, but they don't seem too interested in it.
    So, does any one have an answer or explanation to help me out? (if it matters, the corner they want to be in faces south east)
  2. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper


    How old are they?

    This is common behavior for chicks and young birds. You might need to start putting them on their roost at night until they learn for themselves.

    If you put a board across the corner that will help lessen the chance of them suffocating or squashing each other.

    I worked in Medford last year.
  3. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Songster

    They are nine weeks old.
    I can understand the gathering thing they do; but why they are so interested in just one corner, and why they are always beaks in the same direction is what has me confused.
  4. BowChickaBowMow

    BowChickaBowMow Songster

    May 16, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    I dunno, but maybe their feng shui (don' t know how to spell it) is off?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

  5. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Quote:I don't know why they do it.
    Mine did the same thing until I taught then to roost.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:It's just one of many bizarre (there I said it) things chickens do, for reasons known only to them. When mine were younger it was a particular corner of the house.
    Just watch out for smothering of the ones lowest in the pile up.
  7. illinichick

    illinichick Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    SE Il
    My roost is flat, 1'tallx20'widex10'deep and my one year olds and 6 month olds all pile into the Northeast corner. I often leave the fan on at night just to move air in that direction. The BR roo is usually in the middle of the cluster. We also have a 5 month old turkey hen that used to be shunned to the outside and lately, she has been on the fringes of the group.
  8. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Songster

    Try to encourage roosting even if you have to put them on it at dark. Or: get several shallow boxes (cardboard) of different widths, stack them, upside down, in the corner, like a set of steps.Some of the chicks are bound to fall to the lower levels.
    We started our 1 wk old chicks on a roost. It was an upside down CD casset holder that had dowel rods on it.
    Chick Playground
  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    It's actually a normal thing for chicks to do. That's why it's suggested to put something in all corners of a brooder to take away the sharp corner and leave a more rounded corner. Chicks have been known to suffocate under that pile.

    In your case I'd start going in every night after dark and putting them, one by one, up onto their roost. Usually, after a few nights, some of them will start to get it and start going there at dusk on their own. Then, it's just a matter of time before the rest follow the lead. I had one chicken that I had to go out and put on the roost every night for almost two weeks before she finally figure it out! Once she got it... she's never gone back to her former sleeping spot but it took a while.
  10. mirjam

    mirjam In the Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    My chicks started piling into one corner at about 4 weeks old. It was a pathetic site watching them competing for that one spot deepest in the corner. They continued with the nightly drama when moved into their coop and then one night they all decided to use the roost. I didn't bother with the show and tell at all. Their instinct to roost high up will eventually kick in.

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