Picked on hen won't roost, and winter is almost here

Cleopatra Opal

Chirping
Oct 15, 2018
24
18
54
Wisconsin
My 8 month old RIR is the lowest in the pecking order. I had four girls, all raised together, but just lost one to an unknown eggbound problem :( My heart is still healing from that and now my RIR has decided to go from sleeping on the roost area floor to sleeping in a nesting box. I cannot get her to stay on the roost with the other girls. I have gone out over and over after dark. I put her up on the roost and she looks intimidated and jumps down. It's not violent feather pulling bullying, but the firm peck, 'you don't belong by me' behavior. I've tried moving the other hens down the roost one way or the other to see if they can get along rearranged, but no go. There is plenty of space on the 2x4 roost, but I don't have room for a second roost addition. For the most part, they get along during the day and will forage and mingle without too much issue, it's just the roosting! How can I get my girls to get along to roost for the cold Wisconsin winter ahead? Thank you for any advice!
 

BantammChick

Crowing
May 8, 2017
1,034
3,831
376
chicken coop
:frow:welcome I have a chicken that has a hurt leg, and last year it was getting colder, so we built puffy a box. Do you have room for something like this in your coop??
Also maybe she would be warm enough in the nest box?
DSCN6676.JPG
 

Cleopatra Opal

Chirping
Oct 15, 2018
24
18
54
Wisconsin
:frow:welcome I have a chicken that has a hurt leg, and last year it was getting colder, so we built puffy a box. Do you have room for something like this in your coop??
Also maybe she would be warm enough in the nest box? View attachment 1583046

Love that idea! I wish I had more room to build, but we are in town and have limited space. I have read that it's not a good idea to let them sleep in nesting boxes so I was trying to avoid it. Plus, the nesting boxes are in a bit more drafty area and the roost area is protected, so afraid she won't be as warm.
 

Cleopatra Opal

Chirping
Oct 15, 2018
24
18
54
Wisconsin
A second roost bar is the ideal solution but since you said there's no space, then block off the nest boxes at night and let her sleep on the floor. Don't try to force her to roost if it's causing her to get pecked by the others.

Sounds like a roomier coop is something to consider in the future!

Thank you for the reply. I can't wait for he day we are rural and can offer lots more room! I will try covering the boxes at night. So sleeping on the floor (covered in pine shavings) is ok? This is our first winter and I want them comfy as possible :love
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,874
30,488
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
I will try covering the boxes at night. So sleeping on the floor (covered in pine shavings) is ok?

Like I said it's not ideal, mainly because being on the floor can place them at some risk of being pooped on, plus depending on coop set up it could put a bird more at risk from pests like rodents, but there will be more peace for all the birds in the flock this way. If possible make sure she's not spending the night in a spot under where the other chickens are sitting, so she doesn't get pooped on. She shouldn't have an issue staying warm.
 

TwistedSteel

Songster
7 Years
Jul 15, 2013
127
286
206
Florida
You can put up a divider/shield on the roost where she can sit up there without them being able to peck her. If possible make it from plexiglass or maybe a frame with hardware cloth so they can still see each other. When the problem is resolved in time you can take it down and save it in case you ever need it again.
 

Cleopatra Opal

Chirping
Oct 15, 2018
24
18
54
Wisconsin
You can put up a divider/shield on the roost where she can sit up there without them being able to peck her. If possible make it from plexiglass or maybe a frame with hardware cloth so they can still see each other. When the problem is resolved in time you can take it down and save it in case you ever need it again.

Oh I like that! Thank you for the idea :)
 

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