Roosting in the run vs. the coop at night

Dovya

Hatching
Mar 30, 2020
8
1
6
Hi everyone - I have a few chickens who don't join their sisters in the "upstairs" coop, where they roost for the night. Instead, they stay downstairs, in the fenced-in run, roosting on a log... is this normal? Should I move them upstairs to the enclosed coop ?
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
20,887
27,142
992
Colorado Rockies
How many square feet is the upstairs roosting space? How many chickens total do you have? How long are the roosts in total feet?

I know from experience chickens need considerable room to avoid conflict when roosting, and that the timid ones will try to remain in the run, hide in a nest or sleep on the poop board in order to avoid the mayhem that happens when the perches aren't long enough to give them maneuvering room.

One way to verify that bullying and conflict due to shortage of roosting space is taking place is to watch your chickens as they go up into the coop to roost. There must be some way to spy on them. If you see a lot of pecking and squawking, bumping and falling off the perch, you likely need more space for these chickens.
 

Dovya

Hatching
Mar 30, 2020
8
1
6
How many square feet is the upstairs roosting space? How many chickens total do you have? How long are the roosts in total feet?

I know from experience chickens need considerable room to avoid conflict when roosting, and that the timid ones will try to remain in the run, hide in a nest or sleep on the poop board in order to avoid the mayhem that happens when the perches aren't long enough to give them maneuvering room.

One way to verify that bullying and conflict due to shortage of roosting space is taking place is to watch your chickens as they go up into the coop to roost. There must be some way to spy on them. If you see a lot of pecking and squawking, bumping and falling off the perch, you likely need more space for these chickens.
We were trying to figure it out over dinner and I think you’re right- as the girls have been getting bigger we think there isn’t enough room for them all to perch upstairs, and I don’t think they like being indoors on the hay.
 

Dovya

Hatching
Mar 30, 2020
8
1
6
We were trying to figure it out over dinner and I think you’re right- as the girls have been getting bigger we think there isn’t enough room for them all to perch upstairs, and I don’t think they like being indoors on the hay.
so how cold is too cold for the girls to stay downstairs in a smaller group?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
87,800
105,944
1,737
SW Michigan
My Coop
How many square feet is the upstairs roosting space?
How many chickens total do you have?
How long are the roosts in total feet?
These^^^ are important questions.
Dimensions and pics of coop and run would help immensely here.

so how cold is too cold for the girls to stay downstairs in a smaller group?
Might depend on your climate.
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
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ThatTeowonna

Chirping
Oct 12, 2020
78
109
63
Columbia, SC
None of my hens are going inside. All 6 are on the roost in the small run. I’m wondering if I need to cover it with w tarp. I’m in SC so our infrequent lows will be in the mid 30’s. But we should have a while before that happens. Would love to piggy back on this post for some input.
 

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