Roost Shape May Impact Behavior While Sleeping

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,387
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Holts Summit, Missouri
This evening I sat in one of my three larger pens waiting on the owl to come in so I could spy first hand on it. A chair was placed in the coop near about 18 birds roosting in two locations with one group very close to my head and at the same level. We hung out together for a good 90 minutes.

About half the birds were roosting on a 1" dowel while the other half where roosting on either a sawhorse with a 2 x 4 on top or the roosted on a flat surface of a barrel or milk crate. Those on the dowel were very quite. Those roosting on the flat stood up more and patted feet down on surface they were standing on.
 
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centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,387
17,762
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
The majority are are age-0 (pullets in lay hatched this year) with a large minority of age-1 and about 8 birds three years or older. I was not able to discern who was who. The older, high ranking birds are concentrated on the round perches, although location of perch is likely over-riding factor influencing roost location.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,387
17,762
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
These two groups are like the one I was sitting among (not shown).

20181129_173330.jpg
20181129_173311.jpg
 

JedJackson

Crossing the Road
Jul 6, 2016
6,256
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NW Washington state
I think this is all about grip. Chickens like to be able to wrap their toes around whatever they roost on, so maybe those roosting on flat surfaces moved around more because they were searching for something to grip. In nature, jungle fowl have to cope with wind while they roost, so being able to hold on is important. That's just a guess, though.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,387
17,762
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Maybe moving more because they could do so easier?
Is that one barrel, to the right in first pic, open at top?

Groups picture are not the ones I was with. as I have another pen not shown. Will photograph actual group tonight. The more noisey group I think were moving to get comfortable. If correct, then those roosting on dowels will spend more time with head tucked under wing through night which I take to indicate more sound sleeping.
 

roosterhavoc

Enabler
9 Years
Jan 5, 2012
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Groups picture are not the ones I was with. as I have another pen not shown. Will photograph actual group tonight. The more noisey group I think were moving to get comfortable. If correct, then those roosting on dowels will spend more time with head tucked under wing through night which I take to indicate more sound sleeping.
Very interesting observation. Were you still planning on posting the pics of the actual group you’re talking about? Maybe tomorrow?
 

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