prolonged roost squabbles!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by spokanechicks, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. spokanechicks

    spokanechicks Hatching

    Jun 13, 2011
    My six pullets have been in their coop for about three weeks now and have had almost no problems except that they seem to spend a long time jockeying for position on the roost every night. The roost is about three feet off the ground with a ladder leading up, and in the morning I always find them all roosted and happy but man every night they spend an hour knocking each other off and pecking each others feet. Is that normal? there does not seem to be a space problem, I had two five foot 2x4s and removed one because they were not using it. Should they all be on riddlin (haha)?

  2. Tres Amigas

    Tres Amigas Chirping

    Jan 25, 2011
    EA WA - 2 chicken yrs.
    [​IMG] Although a bit of jockeying for position is normal, it sounds like a five foot roost may be a bit tight for 6 pullets. If I remember correctly from my reading here on BYC, the recommended space is a foot each on the roost, although my girls don't have that much. It may be that the two roosts were too much, but they grew, and now could use the "extra" space. Is is possible to put the other roost back? You might try that. I'm sure more experienced BYC'ers will chime in with better info. Again, welcome to BYC, neighbor!
  3. spokanechicks

    spokanechicks Hatching

    Jun 13, 2011
    Thanks for the reply! 1 ft per bird was my reading as well. I will adjust if that is the problem. The reason I have not made that conclusion yet is that when they are fightin now they are all crammed to one side of the roost. I should have specified that first. They are all fighting for the same far side leaving half the roost unused. In the morning they all seem happy enough... Does that change anything?
  4. ronikins

    ronikins Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    SW Missouri (Ozarks)
    Mine do the same thing. They play leap-frog for certain spots. They squabble for a while in the beginning but are quiet and happy when I let them out in the morning. Not sure HOW long mine squabble and what is normal, though.
  5. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    Try running a second roost. You may have a dominant who will pick and fight till it's too dark to see.
  6. spokanechicks

    spokanechicks Hatching

    Jun 13, 2011
    Thanks for all the help. I took out the ramp and put in a ladder/ roost. Then I yelled, "I don't want no fights now!" The variety seems to be calming things down a little. Some of them are choosing the round ladder rungs, and others are choosing the 2x4. Plus its funnier to watch them walk up and down the ladder than the ramp. Chickens are weird I am noticing that a lot of things about the coop require tinkering to maximize happiness.

  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:And that, my friends, is THE most important thing about keeping chickens! Maximizing happiness - increasing theirs will increase mine.

    Chickens are such funny little people, aren't they?

  8. Buff-Island-Australorp

    Buff-Island-Australorp Songster

    Apr 1, 2011
    Bixby, OK
    The only thing within your control is providing them enough room on the roost. Beyond that, you have no idea what they are really hollering at each other about.
    I recently doubled the length of my roost since the chickens are growing, and I actually lowered it, and moved it to a different wall of the coop. You talk about confused!!! They didn't know what to think!! But all is well now.
  9. latebloomer

    latebloomer Songster

    Feb 10, 2011
    green mountain state
    mine have about ten feet of roost but they're always trying to knock each other off of the best spot, which to my eyes isn't different from any other spot...

    perhaps i'll put in a second roost and see what happens
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    My 3 1/2 month olds are constantly squabbling over the roost at night time. They all want the end against the wall, as I assume it is great for leaning against. The screams and squawks I hear go on for 15 mins after I shut them in for the night. Some of them sound like somebody is being bitten or stepped on! LOL My girls have plently of roost space, but it is normal to jockey for position for the best spot on the perch. [​IMG]

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