Hen roosting alone

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gavada, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. gavada

    gavada Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2011
    Gainesville, Virginia
    Hello. We just started the awesome experience of keeping chickens about a month ago. We started out with two hens and then decided to get 2 more this past weekend. When we designed the coop we designed it to be big enough for 4 hens to sleep in (they have a large free range section of the yard and spend most of their time their). We have two roosts that we thought were big enough for 2 hens each. However, when we added the 2 new hens last weekend, in typical chicken fashion, they made the roost big enough for 3 hens. There is no way they can possibly cram another hen on one roost so one of our girls roosts on the other roost alone at night. I'm not too concerned about this now since the weather is so warm, but will it be a problem when winter comes? We live in northwestern Virginia on a mountain. Winters tend to get chilly. Would it be better to somehow rig up a longer roost so all four can get on one? Should we get another hen (a bit concerned about coop size, but again they only sleep inside, the rest of their time is out in the yard)? Or will this not be a problem when it gets colder?
     
  2. Jloeffler

    Jloeffler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
    Northeast NC
    If you just added the new hens recently they could still be sorting out their social order. I wouldn't worry too much right now. If, as it gets closer to the weather getting cold enough to concern you you might try adding another perch inside the coop or you could go ahead and add it now. It might shake things up a bit. Odds are they will continue to adjust their sleeping arrangements over the next two weeks.
     
  3. ButtersMama

    ButtersMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2011
    I'll go with above poster...good advice.

    It makes me smile and warms my heart that you care so much [​IMG]
     
  4. gavada

    gavada Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2011
    Gainesville, Virginia
    Ok. We'll wait and see how it goes as they get more used to each other (they all came from the same brood we just picked them up at different times). I was mostly just concerned about the lack of body heat for the one girl. And I'm always looking for a good excuse to get another hen. [​IMG]
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I doubt that northwestern Virginia gets cold enough to be concerned about cold. Remember, some people keep chickens in Alaska in unheated coops. If they can sit on their feet and there is enough ventilation to get the humidity and ammonia out, even in winter, you should be fine.

    My flock of around 20 are several different ages. There are maybe 5 mini flocks in the flock, as they tend to form groups or alliances. I have one who pretty much keeps to herself, and have had others do this, too. They have a complex social order. She may seem a bit isolated to you, but she is with a flock, even if she is a bit separate in that flock. I'd just let them do their thing. They might appreciate another roost or not. As for another hen, that almost always involves a period of "putting her in her place." It will no doubt work out in the end, perhaps even in favor of the loner, but there will be some adjustment.
     
  6. Jloeffler

    Jloeffler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
    Northeast NC
    Ddawn, your tag seems awfully apropos for the situation, then again who am I to stop a fellow chicken addict from adding to the addiction! [​IMG]. Need any suggestions for what new hen to get?! Lol!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

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