Molting hen sleeping in nesting box


Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2019
Boston Area, MA
My Coop
My Coop
I think they get uncomfortable with the pin feathers and would just rather stay out of the scrum.
Good point.

I have enough roost space that they can get away from the crowd without resorting to a nest.
On cold nights, the available roost space doubles in length 😄 The above photo was of all of them on a comfortable, warm night. We’re going through a cold spell and now they look like this at night:

But maybe she doesn’t feel like maneuvering to the empty area.


May 23, 2021
Central Ontario, Canada
Yeah I've pulled them out of nesting boxes before (when broody). I use a light just so I can see what I'm doing, then when I'm done I turn it off and they stay on the roost. The most important thing I've learned about handling chickens after dark is I have to talk to them the whole time. The very first time I decided to pick up a chicken after dark (with only a dim light just outside the coop), I thought I'd do it quietly so as not to wake them up too much. I'd read that somewhere on BYC. Go gently and quietly and don't talk. Maaaaaan was that a mistake! (not everything on BYC is good advice...) They must have thought I was a predator sneaking up on them. The chicken I gently put my hands on exploded into a tornado of feathers and screams, banging from wall to wall before flying out of the coop (I'd left the door open so I could carry him out without having to fumble with the handle... extra stupid). We had an extended chase sequence around the back yard, both of us tripping over kids' toys strewn about the lawn, in the dark. I finally caught him and he only calmed down when he heard my voice (he'd been screaming over it until that point and couldn't actually hear me). I went back to the coop which was echoing with alarm screams, turned a light on and talked to the chickens until they calmed down (they are pets so they are bonded to me and calmed by my presence). They sat their butts down and went back to sleep as soon as I turned the light off. Now whenever I need to go into the coop after dark (to move a broody back to the roost, to check on something, etc.) the first thing I always do is announce my presence and talk to them continuously. Nobody has freaked out ever again. They respond softly with "oh, it's just you, cool" and we talk back and forth while I'm taking care of business. Then we say our goodnights and I leave a peaceful coop. The end.
Been there done that 😆😆

I know I shouldn't laugh .... But I did, sorry but too funny.

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