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My leghorn keeps sleeping outside

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mhaldopoulos, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. mhaldopoulos

    mhaldopoulos Hatching

    Nov 9, 2015
    Recently, my flock of nine 33 month old hens began their molting which they have done before. My littlest leghorn, who I effectionantly call "Runty", has lost a lot of feathers, which is normal. However, when I go down to feed my flock in the evenings, Runty stays outside while all of her sisters have gone in their coop to sleep. She perches on a log placed on a support beam about three feet off the ground in the run and closes her eyes to sleep. When I see this, I move her inside the coop and put her in a nest box with her sisters. This has continued for a week or so.I have never seen this before and I am growing kind of worried. What should I do?

  2. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Songster

    Aug 24, 2013
    She may be stressed by the others. Is she low on the pecking order? Is there plenty of room in the coop for the number of chickens you have? Plenty of roosting space?

    I will let you know, I recently had two cockerels move to the pine tree outside the coop. They felt pressured because I have so many young cockerels and decided to move to their own "bachelor pad." I free range, and they go about 20ft up in the tree at night. Not much I can do about their decision (other than removing some of the cockerels, which is a work in progress). Anyhow, long story short is that after about a month of this, it finally caught up to them when a fox or coyote was waiting for them when they came down from the tree Sunday. I lost both of them. Luckily it was before I let the whole flock out, as I could have lost a more valuable pullet or hen.

    This starts winter lockdown for us, I was hoping to make it through November with the warm weather we have had!

    Get that girl happy to be inside, it's getting colder out!
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Don't put her in a nest box. Place her on the roost until she goes in on her own.

    Do your birds sleep in the nest boxes?
  4. mhaldopoulos

    mhaldopoulos Hatching

    Nov 9, 2015
    To answer MistyMountain and ChickenCanoes questions, my flock has no particular pecking order or hierarchy. However, some of my birds are tougher and more aggressive than others and Runty, despite her size, is one of the tough ones. My coop has plenty of space and four 18''x18'' nest boxes
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    All flocks have a pecking order, you are just not seeing it, your hen is hiding because molting is uncomfortable and they don't like being touched, and they can act like they are unwell, she should get better after all her feathers come in.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Agree with this.

    Any group of animals has a hierarchy. Even humans, even though we don't always like to admit it.

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