Roost experiment to settle argument!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by iananderson, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. iananderson

    iananderson Out Of The Brooder

    22
    7
    31
    Mar 31, 2014
    Hey guys, I thought I would post about what happened to settle an 'argument' between me and my father recently.

    I built a new coop in the spring and after researching on here, fitted 4" flat roosts with rounded off corners which the chooks took to straight away. However, my father paid us a visit last week and we had a proper discussion about whether a flat roost is the best way to go.

    Anyhoo, the argument led to a little experiment. I went and cut down a sapling to provide a round roost about 2 inches or so, and for good measure we added a 2" flat roost rounded off on the corners. I fitted them all at the same height and let nature take its course.

    For the third night now there as been NO chickens sitting on the new, smaller roosts!

    So, the chickens have spoken, a 4" flat roost rounded off on the corners is the best (lol!)

    (Incidentally we live in Norway now so get mighty cold winters)

    [​IMG]

    Cheers
    Ian
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,356
    7,952
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    The flat roost will assure that their feet are covered; hence, no frozen feet this winter.
     
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

    13,781
    2,563
    416
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    Interesting. Too bad you didn't have a bet on it!
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,497
    2,161
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I bet my 1" dowels would be preferred and result in warmer foot temperatures during periods of extreme cold.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,356
    7,952
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I'll see your bet and raise you 5. [​IMG]
     
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

    13,781
    2,563
    416
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    [​IMG]
    See your bet and raise you 5 EGGS ?
     
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    There are several flaws in your experiment, the perch you suggest the experiment showed they prefer was already their established perching area, chickens (like most animals) are creatures of habit and don't jump at new things when they are comfortable with the old...

    I know if I went out to my coop and added a new perch identical to the existing and at the same height it would get little to no use over the ones they have been using for months, change up the type of perch and that only makes it less desirable at first...
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  8. iananderson

    iananderson Out Of The Brooder

    22
    7
    31
    Mar 31, 2014
    In that case there may be flaws with your argument, since offering an identical perch would give them no reason to swap :)

    Whilst I do agree that creatures are habitual, I feel that a chicken that was uncomfortable would move to a more comfortable place, if such an alternative existed. I am not convinced that chickens are so smart that they would let habit (i.e. choice) override instinct.

    I also remember reading about an experiment carried out that showed a preference for flat perches, something to do with pressure on the bones once the bird is settled down.

    Anyhow, I think I'll keep the flat ones since they seem happy enough with them.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,497
    2,161
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    To do this for useful results I would setup a large number of pens each with a small number of birds. Then have two identical locations in each pen selected. Randomly pick treatment arrangement in each pen. Then place birds in pend after roosts added. I have forty off pens.


    One of my concerns with chicken husbandry is their ability to cling to roosts during inclement weather, especially where wind is involved. The real fun is during blizzards.
     
  10. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,384
    305
    148
    Jun 10, 2014
    Even humans do this - people will stay in bad jobs for decades because they're habituated. There's a threshold effect there - something slightly better won't be chosen over habit, but if you put a new roost in 2 feet higher, they'll move to it immediately.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by