Hens were now not roosting

Vannahen

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2019
18
10
29
Missouri
So I have 7 hens, all raised from pullets, have never seen any hostility at all, not even a little. They have plenty of run time 7am-6pm. They have a swing,
Food, treats.... I’ve noticed the last month I have 2 hens that have went to a different roosting bar, the other 5 all on the highest, and recently I’ve been going down there to check and they are walking around in the coop floor and just tonight it was dark out, they were both out in the run!! Is this a coincidence?? I am quite paranoid and worrisome,
As this is my first time with hens.. should I wait and see if this keeps happening? No signs of bullying, no injuries. I’m worried
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
17,750
20,603
912
Colorado Rockies
To solve this mystery you need to do some snooping at roosting time.

If you go out at dusk just as the chickens are going into the coop, watch what goes on. Here are things to watch for:

-Late comers trying to fly up to a spot between two chickens and they end up bumping off a roosting chicken due to the tight space.

-Chickens flying up to the perch and getting attacked by those already there.

-A bully lying in wait just inside the coop door to way-lay the later comers.

-Those hens you find still wandering the run after dark, take inside and place on a perch. If they immediately get hammered by the chickens on either side, that's a clue.

Most of the above indicates lack of adequate roosting space. The rule of a foot of roosting space for each chicken is inadequate. In order to accommodate all, there needs to be room for wing action. That means two feet of roosting space per chicken.

My youngest are seven months old. They grew up in their own coop at the opposite end of the run from the main coop. It has less than five feet of roosting space and there are five of them. Several weeks ago, two of them moved to the main coop on their own volition due to the crowded roosting bar in their natal coop. Luckily they had the option of migrating to the larger coop where there was extra space or there would have been conflict. This voluntary migration has occurred with almost every bunch of chicks raised in the rear coop.

Chickens crave adequate roosting space, and when they don't have it, they search for better accommodations. This is what your stragglers are likely doing.
 

Vannahen

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2019
18
10
29
Missouri
To solve this mystery you need to do some snooping at roosting time.

If you go out at dusk just as the chickens are going into the coop, watch what goes on. Here are things to watch for:

-Late comers trying to fly up to a spot between two chickens and they end up bumping off a roosting chicken due to the tight space.

-Chickens flying up to the perch and getting attacked by those already there.

-A bully lying in wait just inside the coop door to way-lay the later comers.

-Those hens you find still wandering the run after dark, take inside and place on a perch. If they immediately get hammered by the chickens on either side, that's a clue.

Most of the above indicates lack of adequate roosting space. The rule of a foot of roosting space for each chicken is inadequate. In order to accommodate all, there needs to be room for wing action. That means two feet of roosting space per chicken.

My youngest are seven months old. They grew up in their own coop at the opposite end of the run from the main coop. It has less than five feet of roosting space and there are five of them. Several weeks ago, two of them moved to the main coop on their own volition due to the crowded roosting bar in their natal coop. Luckily they had the option of migrating to the larger coop where there was extra space or there would have been conflict. This voluntary migration has occurred with almost every bunch of chicks raised in the rear coop.

Chickens crave adequate roosting space, and when they don't have it, they search for better accommodations. This is what your stragglers are likely doing.
Thanks so much!! I just ran down there and they were both now on the lower roost pole. Also their coop is large 8ft by 6 ft for only 7 hens. I will start sneaking around and checking!
 

aart

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