Found Chickens sleeping on the ground in the run tonight after weeks of going inside

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sn0wwhite, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. sn0wwhite

    sn0wwhite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2013
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    When I came home tonight I found my SLW rooster and the bottom of the pecking order EE laying on the ground of the run under the coop. The BO and BA were asleep inside the coop. They've been going in fine for a couple of weeks so I wonder what happened tonight? I have noticed that usually the EE goes in first because if she's last the other sometimes aren't kind to let her in easily.

    Is it possible that she couldn't get in so she slept on the ground and then the rooster who usually is tight with the alpha hen BA just wasn't going to leave her alone or am I attributing human kinds of thoughts to chickens?

    I put the rooster in the coop by pushing him through the pop door, then picked up Benedict and brought her around to the big front door and set her inside up on a roost. The others have been chicken piling on the floor no matter what I do.

    Thoughts? I'm about to head out of town for a few days and don't want to be worried while I'm away. The coop is VERY secure, but I'd still feel better if they were in a more comfortable place to sleep.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    A good rooster will protect this hens, so he may have stayed with her to protect her, or he may simply feel more of a bond with her. Chickens can definitely have "cliques" and "best friends." It's certainly possible the others wouldn't let the EE in the coop, or hassled her enough that she chose not to go in.

    I wonder if your roost is not comfortable for them, or too high, or something. Chickens' feet do not curl around a small roost like a broomstick and are more comfortable on a wider surface, such as the wide side of a 2x4 or a fat branch. Also, some kinds of mites live on the underside of a roost during the day, so it might be worthwhile to check for this. Another possibility is that your coop needs better ventilation -- not having any idea what your setup is. I know of some good sized Orps who actually slept on a shelf because even a wide roost just wasn't comfortable enough for them.

    I wouldn't worry about their sleeping on the floor if they prefer, or even the ground, if these areas are secure. You just don't want them to get in the habit of sleeping in their nests, to avoid poopy eggs.
     
  3. sn0wwhite

    sn0wwhite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2013
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    Thank you. I'm new to chickens (just since May) and have a brand new coop. I am using a 2x4 on its side and one night I put them up and they stayed, but they aren't going back up. I have two roosts now too because I thought the first was too high and too far back. The new roost is only about 20 inches high.. they fly up higher to the closet dowel roost that's out in their run.

    I'll try not to worry about them... maybe tomorrow will be different. It's nice to see the Rooster is behaving like a good guy though... he's illegal in my city so he only gets to stay as long as he behaves.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd probably change the closet dowel for a flat board just because I'd feel badly if I didn't -- even though they may like it just fine, lol.

    I have a crippled hen who sleeps on the floor under the roost, which is as close as she can get to the flock. I hate it because the poop can fall on her, of course, though for some reason I've never seen poop on her back. I've tried some things (put a nest box in her spot, etc.) to save her from getting poop dropped on her but she foils my plans every time. I finally gave up and just let her do as she chooses. Funny birds.
     

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