I'm going to EAT that bird if she doesnt behave!

pixie74943

Songster
10 Years
May 25, 2009
610
13
154
Adelaide, Australia
So, I have six chickens... I have six roosts. 3 of my birds sleep IN the nest boxes
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Here's what happens, every night. In order of age, hen 1 and hen 2 go in, curl up on the top roost, and sleep. Hen 2 kills anyone who tries to come up there, Hen 1 sits happily in the corner.

Hen 3 comes in, takes up residence on the middle roost.

Hens 4-6 attempt to sleep on the bottom roost, and are repeatedly smacked in the head by hen 3, until the give up and sleep in the nest boxes.

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Attempt number 2, the coop is double in size, with chicken wire across the middle, and a small door between the two sections.

Hen 1 and 2 take up their favourite spot, guard it, and go to sleep.

Hen 3 takes up residence in the new half, guards the ENTIRE darn HALF.

Hens 4-6 try and sleep in the original section, on either the middle or lower roost. if they jump up to the middle roost, they either get pecked in the back of the head by Hen 2, and Hen 3 takes offence, comes over and beats them up. If they all huddle on the bottom roost, they squabble, and occasionally Hen 3 gets annoyed and beats them up anyway.

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Attempt 3. Chicken wire is removed (because hen 3 takes the whole darn space anyway. all roost in the new section are made the same height, and spread about so that chickens cant reach between them and peck each other. Hens 1 and 2 take their original spot, and hen 3 patrols FIVE FLIPPING ROOSTS and makes the youngens sleep on the floor.

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I give up!! I am sick of scrapping a nights poop out of the nest boxes, and when I dont I get no eggs!!!
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Help!!!
 

poseygrace

Songster
8 Years
Apr 29, 2011
411
10
136
Georgia
Well, it's clearly related to pecking order, and you can tell who "rules the roost!" (Now we know where that expression comes from...) Are they all the same age? I have some younger ones (15 weeks) in with some mature hens, and it took them several weeks to sort out the sleeping arrangement. The newbies would sleep in the nest boxes, and the big girls would get on the roost. After about 3 weeks of this, the little ones have finally migrated up with the big girls and they all sleep together. If they are newly put together, or some are younger, I'd give it time. If not, I probably wouldn't worry about it too much, as long as they aren't getting really bullied. Are they fine during the day, and this just happens at night? I've heard you can put a little cloth curtain up over the next boxes and they'll still go in to lay, but they won't roost in there. I haven't tried it myself. Good luck!
 

NYRIR

Crowing
9 Years
May 13, 2010
3,080
32
256
Petersburg,NY
So sorry for your troubles! I would try "knocking ger down a peg" (or roost,so to speak
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) What if you put her in a crate so she CAN'T guard the roosts for a few nights?Not sure it would work but it'd be worth a try. Yes,the nest box sleeping drives me crazy too but it's always my younger ones doing it.Eventually they sleep on the roosts...Good luck
 

galanie

Treat Dispenser No More
10 Years
Aug 20, 2010
7,950
349
361
Colmesneil,TX
I'd leave them alone and let them work it out. I rather enjoy the entertainment of watching the silly things and their evening roost antics.
 

write2caroline

Songster
10 Years
Jun 21, 2009
2,156
84
218
Jacksonville
Yes, nothing like removing her for a couple of nights to change up the batting order. Also I would close off your nesting boxes at night if you can.

I have 4 coops and it is funny how they choose to live in them. I have a bachelor coop used by 1 standard and two bantum roos. I have the bantam coop which was not suppose to be a bantam coop but somehow they missed that memo.

Every night since I cannot close off the nest box they all go to the far right side of the coop to sleep - some in the nest box. Even when I clean out that next box - no one ever lays an egg in it. Most the girls lay eggs in the bachelor pad on the south end.

Then I have the ugly pink coop (hubby used really ugly oops paint - it is a serious eye sore) It has no nest box but they occasionally do lay eggs in the fresh pine chips. Everyone likes this one - Preferred by the majority of the girls and the one Roo. It has 3 roosts up high about 2'6" high and the coop itself is up about 4 feet on stilts so I don't have to bend to clean it. Between 12-15 girls sleep in this coop at night.

I then have the coop that was intended for the bantams - also a pallet coop and also up on stilts for cleaning. 5-6 prefer this coop but all cram in on the right side for some odd reason and two insist on the nest box so daily I have to put in a board and remove it to keep them out.

Between the two a frame coops catawabe and the two pallet coops - they seem to prefer the pallet coops perhaps because they are up so high.

Caroline
 

axion_lotus

Songster
9 Years
Jan 19, 2011
482
7
111
Central NC
I agree, putting her in a crate so she can't be greedy over the roosts for a few nights sounds like a good plan. She seems a little too big for her fluffy chicken britches.
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shellyga

Songster
9 Years
Oct 23, 2010
1,355
2
141
Milner
We had a similar problem with our group of 12 younger birds( 18 weeks old at the time) and the rest of the flock. It took a spring cold snap and the desire for shared body warmth for the younger birds to be welcomed to the upper roosts. Now they are fully intergrated. We just installed a roost bar on the other side of the coop for the new group of younger birds.. since there is NO MORE room on the other roosts..lol Our "thinking caps" have been dusted off to rework the roosts to accommodate more birds.. that darn chickn math!
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Shelly
 

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