Hen unable to get down from roost in a.m.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HenalayLady, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. HenalayLady

    HenalayLady Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 29, 2011
    She's stuck up on roost after 7 other hens have left. She paces back and forth, fussing and looking down. After 5 min. I lift her off the roost, put her down and off she runs. Her wings are not trimmed, but she may have lost a couple of outer feathers. Or, could she be having vision problems? The roost is about 6 ft high, two lower level rungs are at 5 and 3 feet. Has anyone else seen this happen? She lays an egg almost daily.
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    She may indeed have certain vision issues, or she is simply unsure of herself, or she hasn't the smarts to figure out the "steps" down.

    How long will she pace up there? All day? If you waited her out for 3 or 4 hours, what would she do?
  3. HenalayLady

    HenalayLady Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 29, 2011
    This hen "Goldie" is 20 mo old and knows her roost very well. Nothing has changed. I haven't had the heart or the time to just leave her there indefinitely. This has been going on about 1 week. She manages to get to her nest box and lay her eggs nearly every day. It's beneath the roost, about 3 feet off the ground. It's not serious, just mysterious! She's seeing well enough to peck the ground for scratch and bugs! I'll try leaving her a little longer today and watching. MF
  4. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    I think you just have a very smart hen who likes having a butler assist her with her morning routine :p.
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Both of my leghorns will fly over the chicken fence to eat grass. One of them seems to be able to get out fine but then acts like she is stuck and wants to go home. She will just pace back and forth and act like she has no idea how to fly over again. At first I worried about her being stuck with no feed and water and I would put her back but eventually I got sick of doing this as she is clearly capable of flying over the fence - thats how she got stuck to begin with.

    After I stopped helping her she stopped flying out altogether for a few weeks. Now she flies out. Paces for an hour then flies back over. I think she is insane.

    You might want to see what happens one day if you don't help her. She may have slipped at some point or gotten startled and has lost her confidence. But if her routine is you helping her down then she will lose the ability to do it - chickens are really big on routines and habits.
  6. tdgill

    tdgill Overrun With Chickens

    wonder if she is pacing and "waiting" for her time in the favorite(?) nest box?
  7. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    There are a number of reasons a hen will be reluctant to jump down from the perch. I currently have four hens of advanced years who wait for me to lift them down from their perch which is less than three feet high.

    The reason the oldest hen, a five-year old Brahma, doesn't like to hop down is that she's heavy and it hurts her feet. I try to keep plenty of bedding under the perch, but she learned years ago to fear jumping down. The others are also getting old and may not see as well as they need to. Also, the coop is narrow, and I've seen them misjudge and hit the opposite wall, which is a window. So they wait to be lifted down rather than risk crashing.

    Check your hen's feet to see if she has any swelling or bruising. If the floor is hard, that may be the problem. It could be simply she lacks self confidence and doesn't believe she can do it. If it's no trouble, just keep lifting her down. There's no shame in it.
  8. cary 1973

    cary 1973 Chillin' With My Peeps

    my girls have a ramp and most the time they all will run down teh ramp instead of jumping so you may want to invest in a ramp

  9. Chambertin

    Chambertin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2012
    Funabashi Japan
    My Coop
    I'm a mean chicken papa.

    Fly up and fly down or sleep on the ground.
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    This is my thought. It's like with kittens and trees. If you can get up there, you can get down.

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