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Pecking Order...will a single chicken freeze without being in the huddle at night?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BBB Becky, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. BBB Becky

    BBB Becky In the Brooder

    Nov 15, 2016
    Georgetown, MA
    I have six golden comets. These are my first chickens and live in MA. Five of chickens roost together on the high bar. The sixth chicken is alone on the low bar. Will she survive in the winters without other chickens next to her?

  2. lbenedict15

    lbenedict15 In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2016
    Moriah, New York
    I have one hen who loves to be by herself. There is plenty of room on my upper roost for everyone, but she just refuses to go up. She survived last winter no issues at all. She is an orphington though, and they tend to be pretty hardy.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    When a bird won't join the others on a roost it's usually because they are pecking at her or forcing her off (pecking order). Or she may be afraid to try and join them. Do you notice them bothering her when they are outdoors?

    I don't know if she would freeze - it depends on your weather, as well the construction of your coop. You could help her stay a bit warmer if you tack a towel to her roost area. Chickens like to lay their head down over their feet to keep them warm.
  4. BBB Becky

    BBB Becky In the Brooder

    Nov 15, 2016
    Georgetown, MA
    I haven't seen them bother her. But, she roosts alone. How would I attach a towel?
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Show a picture of her showing feathering. Generally a bird by itself can keep warm assuming of good weight. good health, good feather and mature.
  6. BBB Becky

    BBB Becky In the Brooder

    Nov 15, 2016
    Georgetown, MA
    Thank you for the suggestion of tacking a towel on the roost for the chicken that sits alone at night. She loves it.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Make sure that towel doesn't get damp....could have the opposite effect....more like an ice cube.
    Never seen a chicken put is head on its' feet to keep them warm, definitely nestle their breast and belly feathers over their feet tho.

    Have had many birds roost 'alone' in winter, they were fine.

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