If another roost doesn't help, then what?


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
Yes, I have experience as a chickenkeeper now, but this one is a new one on me.

Because of the way the coop is designed and to maximize floor space, we only have two long roosts in the younger birds coop, on walls facing each other. One roost is high, one low. The low one was meant for the silkies, but they never use it. The silkies prefer to roost on top of the highest nestbox and I have no problem with that.

The other birds - turkens, SS, SFs, and easter eggers get into prolonged roost fights every night. At least a couple of them get knocked to the floor. They jump back up and the fights start all over again. Tonight one of the silkie decided to try her luck on jumping from the top of the nestbox to the roost. She sat on the very edge, minding her own business, but one of the turkens went ballistic and knocked her off again.

We raised the lower roost, so it's several feet off the floor but still lower than the other. Still no one will use it, preferring to fight it out on the higher roost instead. Now I have four birds crammed together on top of a nestbox, the two silkies and the two SS.

Some roost fights are normal, I know. But what about these prolonged vicious ones?

Meanwhile, I go to lock up my brahmas and everyone is in their usual spot, quiet and peaceful.

What's wrong with these younger birds?!? (Insert frustrated words here!)
You know a lot more than I do about hens so I will just share what I do when my teenage daughters go at it.

If there is no bloodshed, let them work it out for themselves.
(Not exactly advice worthy of a standing ovation but it works for me.)
That's usually my motto Taz - no bloodshed, let them work it out. However, there has been bloodshed on at least one occasion. I found blood smeared on the wall behind the roost, but checked each bird over and couldn't find any sign of injury.

Maybe they just need more time to get through the teenage "years". My brahmas used to fight, but never like this.
Kat, I hear beatin' and bangin out of the coop EVERY night after I close the door.
My birds have all been together for AT LEAST a year and a couple of them get booted off the perch every night.
In my coop, it's jockeying for position on that top rung and NOONE wants to give it up.
You might want to bring the other roost up a little higher than the one they are all fighting over now. They seem to like higher roosts. If they roost on the higher one, wait a couple of days then lower it dead even with the other one. Chickens are creatures of habit and some of them might stay at the old one while the others might stay at the "higher" one. Their thinking is one upmanship to get the higher/better roost parking spot. lol.
I was thinking too of evening them out. Mine have started roosting on the TOP of the screen door that separates the two sides of the pen and it is tearing the cuckoo marans comb up as she is pressed up against the hardware cloth on the top of the pen. I reckon I am going to half to put a piece on top of the door to stop them. These chickens keep you busy don't they?
This sounds good. You could even remove the favorite roost for a day or two to let them get used to the other side. Then put the favorite one back at the same time you raise the other one.
Make the roosts the same height, and maybe even add more? If you allow at least 12 inches of width per chicken, that usually allows enough room for everyone to settle in with minimal squabbling.

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