Small group won't roost at night

Jul 17, 2021
58
139
71
Northwest Iowa
Hello! We have 26 chickens - Barred Rock and Jersey Giant - 4 of them roosters. We also have one Cochin rooster. They are all 8 weeks old now. All but the Cochin and 3-4 Jersey Giant hens are roosting fine at night. However, the Cochin and the 3-4 hens sleep in a corner of the coop. The Cochin lays down and the hens lay on and around him. Is something going on with this behavior - are they trying to perhaps protect him? Or do these just like laying on the floor?
 

3KillerBs

Addict
13 Years
Jul 10, 2009
19,333
55,334
1,266
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Hello! We have 26 chickens - Barred Rock and Jersey Giant - 4 of them roosters. We also have one Cochin rooster. They are all 8 weeks old now. All but the Cochin and 3-4 Jersey Giant hens are roosting fine at night. However, the Cochin and the 3-4 hens sleep in a corner of the coop. The Cochin lays down and the hens lay on and around him. Is something going on with this behavior - are they trying to perhaps protect him? Or do these just like laying on the floor?

Your flock is doing wonderfully well to have so many of them roosting at such a young age. :)

My 12-week-olds are only now reliably roosting and the 8-week-olds are just starting to think about it. A couple get onto the roost but then come back down to join the cuddle pile.
 
Jul 17, 2021
58
139
71
Northwest Iowa
Your flock is doing wonderfully well to have so many of them roosting at such a young age. :)

My 12-week-olds are only now reliably roosting and the 8-week-olds are just starting to think about it. A couple get onto the roost but then come back down to join the cuddle pile.
Thank you! I didn't know that they were young to be roosting. This is our first flock :) I am going to attach a couple pics to this post - I am guessing that this must just be a cuddle pile! The first is our cochin. In the second you can't even see him - he's on the bottom of the pile 😲 This happens every night. He's always on the bottom. And I see in the pic now there is even a Jersey Giant rooster in the pile.
 

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JudithB

In the Brooder
Jul 19, 2021
14
41
36
Hello! We have 26 chickens - Barred Rock and Jersey Giant - 4 of them roosters. We also have one Cochin rooster. They are all 8 weeks old now. All but the Cochin and 3-4 Jersey Giant hens are roosting fine at night. However, the Cochin and the 3-4 hens sleep in a corner of the coop. The Cochin lays down and the hens lay on and around him. Is something going on with this behavior - are they trying to perhaps protect him? Or do these just like laying on the floor?
Do you have enough space for them? How high are your perches? Are they spaced right? Giants and Cochins are a heavy breed and typically the heavier the breed the lower they choose their perches. They will also need significantly more space than Barred Rocks.
 

3KillerBs

Addict
13 Years
Jul 10, 2009
19,333
55,334
1,266
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you! I didn't know that they were young to be roosting. This is our first flock :) I am going to attach a couple pics to this post - I am guessing that this must just be a cuddle pile! The first is our cochin. In the second you can't even see him - he's on the bottom of the pile 😲 This happens every night. He's always on the bottom. And I see in the pic now there is even a Jersey Giant rooster in the pile.

Yep, That's how the young ones sleep.

I'm told that broody-raised chicks learn to roost earlier than brooder-raised chicks, but most seem to go up on the roost between 2-4 months.

I still have 2 floor-sleepers as adults. They *can* get on the roost and there is room for them, but they prefer cuddling on the floor.

The funny things about that is that one of them is well up in the pecking order and that the other one may sleep on the floor but she's the one I see stretching up from the perch to peek out the Monitor when she hears me coming up to let them out in the morning. :D
 

JudithB

In the Brooder
Jul 19, 2021
14
41
36
Ok, I wasn't aware they were that young! Wouldn't be worried if they aren't roosting yet. Heavier breeds roost later as well. Give it a month or two.
 
Jul 17, 2021
58
139
71
Northwest Iowa
Ok, I wasn't aware they were that young! Wouldn't be worried if they aren't roosting yet. Heavier breeds roost later as well. Give it a month or two.
Thank you, JudithB! I did not realize that about heavier breeds either. Feel better about it now - I thought maybe our cochin was getting picked on! Appreciate your response :)
 

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