Roosting Order ?????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dirtsaver, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Songster

    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    We've had chickens long enough to understand(and witness)pecking order. We see it in action every day in fact! What we are curious about is "roosting order". We have seen references to chickens having a roosting order where they have the same place on the roost every night.

    In our coop, the older girls get the top roost,no question,but the seven pullets seem to sleep in a different place every night . No "designated seating" for those girls. How does that compare for the rest of you BYC'ers out there?
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Stable social groups have consistent roosting locations. Growth and maturation change group social structure. Disturbances while going to roost also cause changes. As do temperature changes.
  3. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The thing I notice most consistent when my flock roosts is that they seem to prefer to roost next to their former brooder mates, or BFF's. Occasionally, this order gets interrupted and it appears to be the cause of roosting friction.

    I've noticed also that when merging juveniles with adults, they get picked on far less at roosting time if they can be kept in a bunch at the far end. Any youngster that accidentally tries to roost in between older chickens who happen to be former brooder mates usually gets pounded with angry beaks.
  4. marisaalexandra

    marisaalexandra Chirping

    May 13, 2012
    NorthernValley, NJ
    Yes-- I have just witnessed this firsthand!! My two ~25 week hens, a leghorn and peppery RIR, gave hell to our two 16-week-old Buff Orps, even after we had them look but not touch for a longish interval.

    THANK HEAVEN, after a month of stress and newbies shoved out into the run, they finally all voluntarily file into the coop at dusk and roost peacefully together. But the roosting order really surprised me: it's New Buffie, Old girl, Old girl, New Buffie every time.

    Finally tonight it hit me that the order could be an expression of pecking order-- it must be so much warmer to be in the middle of the chicken sandwich, yes?

    I think everything they do is so interesting, and y'all are saving my marriage by giving me another place to pose the thoughts and questions! [​IMG]
  5. autumnjanene

    autumnjanene In the Brooder

    Jul 6, 2012
    DeSoto, MO
    My two biggest roosters like to roost on a high bar across from the other "ladder" roost, almost like they're watching over the smaller guys and girls. My male silkie sleeps in the nesting box and the female silkie sleeps on the trashcan where we keep the feed.

    They certainly have their designated spots and now that I've introduced 10 new chickens to our original flock of 5, I'm happy that they're all roosting together! Except for white silkie. He's special.
  6. heybarb

    heybarb Songster

    Mar 9, 2012
    North Carolina
    I've got 7 that are roosting together...the highest roost has the top chickens - A rooster on each end with my 2 white leghorn pullets in the middle. The middle roost hold my 3 girls that seem to fight to keep out of the lowest spot - they are constantly switching places on the middle roost. My other 2 girls are sleeping with with chicks, but I believe when they return to roosting, they'll be up with the top girls where they used to be.
  7. MadMonkeyOne

    MadMonkeyOne In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2012
    My chickens at the bottem of the pecking order D:
    She is missing a bit of her face due to the bullying. Just split em up if it gets to violent.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: