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One otherwise healthy chicken stopped roosting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by trictle, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. trictle

    trictle In the Brooder

    Feb 17, 2010
    Hello. I have 4 chickens, 9 months old. They are vivacious and noisy and appear for all the world to be healthy. One hen clearly stood out as the mother hen from an early age and she remains so. Oddly though, she seems to have stopped roosting at night. She used to roost. All the others roost. In the last few weeks she seems to prefer sleeping below the roost. Occasionally she does get up there but most often is found below. I haven't really been worried but she's taken to sitting in the "line of fire" under the other chickens at night. I have surmised that as she is herding the other three to bed and watching their backs against assassins, she might be waiting too long thereby getting caught out when it is too dark for her to see well enough to get up on the roost. I've been turning on an outdoor light but that doesn't seem to help. Any ideas? Thank you for your help.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You don't want to leave an indoor light on all night. You could try putting her on the roost for a few nights. Some chickens prefer to sleep on a platform; one of mine sleeps on top of the nest boxes, so I just let her, and scrape the poo off in the morning.
  3. trictle

    trictle In the Brooder

    Feb 17, 2010
    Thanks. That is comforting. It does seem odd thought that she used to roost and now, when it's getting colder, she doesn't want to be on the roost with the other three. She seems fine though.
  4. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    How are your roosts set up? Like ddawn said, she may just be more comfortable with a platform, even though it's the floor in her case. When I started out I used alder saplings for the roosts thinking that chickens perched like other birds. Later I found out that chickens don't really like to perch (grasp a branch etc. tightly) while the sleep, but prefer a surface that they can keep their feet flat on. Mine are much happier now that they have 2x4's (wide side up) to "perch" on at night.

    You may want to get a hold of your girl and look at her feet too. It's not at all uncommon for chooks to get foot injuries from coming off the roost to hard, bumblefoot, or cuts/scrapes from scratching around during the day. She may have a little something going on that doesn't bother her much during the day, but makes roosting uncomfortable. She could have also just decided that she likes the floor better--sometimes chickens are goofy.

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