Is the ability to "roost" important for a hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 5LadyHens, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. 5LadyHens

    5LadyHens Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2011
    Stinson Beach, CA
    This is our current problem. One of our hens flew over the 6 foot fence and made it
    into the mouth of our black labrador retriever. Fortunately I heard her squawking and
    had Jake release her uninjured. Whew!
    Cinderella didn't learn her lesson and repeated the same flight pattern the following
    day. For the second time she had escaped a near death.
    I told my son that we'd have to take drastic action and trim her wings, which I knew
    nothing about. He said he knew how and he proceeded to clip her wings with the
    help of our other son.
    Meanwhile I was curious about this procedure and googled it and found this
    video on youtube:
    decided to be pro-active with the rest of Cinderella's sisters and
    clip all of their wings. I didn't want to worry about any of them flying over
    their 1/4 acre enclosure into the jaws of any creature. After memorizing the
    instructions shown on the video my husband and I set out to clip the 4 remaining
    hens. But I was curious about the job our son had done on Cinderella the day before.
    To my horror...he hadn't stopped midway but continued trimming the entire length of feathers. [​IMG]
    When I was closing their coop door last evening I wasn't surprised to
    see Cinderella on the floor of the coop instead of up in the roost
    with her sisters. She is no longer able to propel herself up there. [​IMG]


    My questions:
    1. How will the feather cutting effect her life?
    2. Does roosting have anything to do with being able to lay eggs?
    3. What are the benefits of roosting that she will miss out on until
    her feathers grow in? Will she not sleep well?
    4. Will all of her feathers eventually grow back even though she was severely

    A Worried Mom
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  2. FriendlyFlyer

    FriendlyFlyer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2011
    1. The feather cutting will not effect her life in major ways. Yes, until her feathers grow back she will be sleeping on the floor, but it won't damage her health. Chickens simply feel safer sleeping up high, she will do fine laying on the ground.

    2. I can't say I'm 100% sure, but I'm 99% sure that roosting has NOTHING to do with laying eggs.

    3. Like I said, the on;y thing she will be without for the time being, is that extra sense of security. She should learn immediately how to rest well on the ground.

    4. YES YES YES!!!! When chickens molt they slowly loose EVERY feather on their body, just in a cycle...when your hen molts next she will regrow those long wing feathers!

    Extra advice: If she is laying right now put a box or bucket on the floor for her to use if she can't fly up to the others. You can also make a makeshift roost that is a few inches off the ground, OR you can place a long board that slopes up to the roosts, that way the hen can walk right up, be with the rest and get down just fine. She won't even remember her feathers were trimmed!
  3. 5LadyHens

    5LadyHens Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2011
    Stinson Beach, CA
    Quote:Hello FriendlyFlyer! Your posting has already made me feel 100% good again! Thank you. [​IMG]
    I love the idea about making her a little gangplank to walk up to the roosting area to join her sisters at night. Brilliant!

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