Pile on the Roo!

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Green Lantern, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 2, 2012
    Dunstable, MA
    So, I have 14 hens and one roo, George. He is a really sweet guy and takes great care of his hens. In an apparent show of appreciation, they all try to be REALLY, REALLY close to him when they go roost each night. It's so bad that hens try to sit on top of each other just to be closer to him. They have plenty of space on the roost for everyone to have their own space, but no, they have to be near him! One even sleeps under him on the poop board! That's great that they want to be near him, but it causes all kinds of ruckus every night as they fight over position. This isn't just the usual pecking order from what I can see. Any ideas how to get them past this before one of my hens gets really hurt?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  2. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 2, 2012
    Dunstable, MA
    Anyone there? I need some help with this...
     
  3. ChemicalchiCkns

    ChemicalchiCkns Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2012
    Are you certain, they are desiring the Cock? If you remove the Cock, for a little Time, do they remove to a greater Distance from that Place?
     
  4. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Out Of The Brooder

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    Dunstable, MA
    I
    I will certainly give it a try Though I am not sure why that space suddenly would have become so popular. Then again, they do things all the time that don't make sense to me.
     
  5. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 2, 2012
    Dunstable, MA
    Thanks for that thought, by the way. Much appreciated![​IMG]
     
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Evaluate their living space more closely. Is the coop drafty? Are there cold spots or hot spots within your coop? What condition are your roosts in? My birds like to roost on a 2x4 flat side up. Although we do see chickens roosting on tiny tree limbs, many chickens prefer a large roost-especially chickens who don't free range very much. Chickens cram together at night for safety and warmth.

    Yes, they will squabble at night to determine who gets to sit where on the roost. And as flock dynamics change you will have periods of settling in at night with little problem, then suddenly there is a flare of tempers and all kind of squawking can be heard.

    If everything is okay within the coop the birds will eventually start to roost further apart. Let them figure it out on their own as your appearance may add more stress to the situation.

    A photo of your coop might help us out.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas

    Good post. A lot of the time, people assume one thing when the actual cause is something totally different.

    How old are they? Immature chickens will be more likely to crowd together.

    In addition to hot and cold spots, look for windy spots. Is there some type of light causing distress, maybe a flashing or blinking light that acts like a strobe light? That would disturb me.

    How are the windows situated? Is it possible some predator (or something they perceive to be a predator) is looking in the windows so they are crowding to get away? It could be a moving tree branch or a moving shadow.

    Look at the roosts to see if there is a difference in one area versus the other. The one sleeping on the poop board instead of on the roosts sounds strange unless they are still fairly young. Then it would not be all that unusual. I put boards and tree limbs both up for a while and mine actually preferred the tree limbs (some fairly narrow) even though the boards were as high or slightly higher. I think a lot of their preference is what they get used to. What you are looking for is a difference in the roosts (shape, size, or height) that might explain it.

    I certainly agree to leave them alone and let them figure it out after you check that the set-up is not causing it. Flocks have been sorting things out on their own for thousands of years.
     

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