Funny Sleepers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Brian, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. Brian

    Brian Songster

    Sep 30, 2007
    Jacksonville, ORegon
    My chicks are nine weeks old. They've been sleeping in the pine shavings on the floor until recently, in part because of very cold nights and the location of the heat lamp. I just let them stay on the floor at night where they could huddle closely if necessary. This takes extra labor though, since I have to change the shavings in that spot on a daily basis.

    Well, I decided to cage-off their normal floor spot, elevate the heat lamp, and let the girls start getting use to their "adult" roosting perches up above. The first night I did this, four of the sixteen went to the perches, and the rest found a new spot on the floor. When I discovered this, I moved those on the floor to up on the perches. I wanted them to be warm and get the effect of their whole-flock heat mass. Opps! There I was out in the dark (missing American Idol) with a flashlight and the glow of the red heat lamp bulb, watching as they had to find just the right spot on the perches. This went on for 15 minutes! Oh everyone was rearranging! Twenty five minutes has elapsed. I apparently made a pecking order faux pas, big time. Many didn't like there place in the line-up, so they began disturbing the others by trying to step over other's backs to get into their idea of what was the place for them. In the mean time, one by one, three fell to the floor. Plunk! I picked them up and put them back. More moving and shuffling now. I gave up and put them all back on the floor. I went back inside and heard Simon Cowell saying something belittling to one of the contestants.

    The next night (last night) I put more obstacles on the floor, and all but three went up to the roost. So, once again, I bit the bullet and ventured into the mysterious world of roosting orders! I put (gulp) the three up onto the perches. Well, they started getting picky again, so I turned off the red lamp and my flashlight and stood their in the dark and waited a minute. Soon I could make out that they were hunkering down and resting. I turned on the heat lamp and skidaddled out of their tout de suite!'s the funny part: I went back 30 minutes later to see how they were doing. OK, well, they were all in place sleeping (I peered through the window), but it's how around a third of them were sleeping, and I've never in my life seen anything like it. These chickens were sleeping on the perches with their heads hanging down (long necks) like limp noodles! Their heads hung down around 6 inches. They looked like shoes on a board with shoelaces dangling. Weird! Apparently they are still so use to the floor sleeping, that they've yet to get the hang of sleeping with their heads resting on their necks or backs! They looked like they'd tip over any moment!

    Craziness I tell you! Craziness!
  2. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    I'm with you, its crazy! When mine were in the brooder we had to put a cover on it to keep them from flying right out! They would bump into the chicken wire trying to ecscape! They moved into their coop now with a handy roosting spot, and guess what... you guessed it, all cuddled up on the floor using each other as pillows!!
  3. Gersbud

    Gersbud Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Central Michigan
    Very funny. Yes you entered into the very bizzare world of chickens and their sleeping order. Mine also have the exact spot to sleep in and Don't mess with it. I go out every evening and there onthe roost are the chickens all in the same exact order as the night before. Crazy. The only chicken tht wasn't on the roost was the Rooster.
    He slept in a nesting box with 2 hens. Crazy [​IMG]
  4. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    chickens will learn to roost in their own time.i really wouldnt worry about it.
  5. Brian

    Brian Songster

    Sep 30, 2007
    Jacksonville, ORegon
    Quote:Yes, quite true, and I appreciate those words, BUT, it's gone down to 24 degrees at night here lately. I wanted them to be all together and near the heat lamp for warmth (which I can put above the roost, or down by the floor), and not have just a few up on the perches freezing. That's the reason for all the fuss.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2008
  6. After hearing all this I think I'm going to keep my brooder ON my roosts! Flat, about 6" apart...good height to work with them at 32"///[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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