Weird sleeping behavior?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by newbie donna, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. newbie donna

    newbie donna In the Brooder

    May 18, 2010
    SW Missouri
    Perhaps it's normal behavior for chickens and I just don't know about it.

    My chickens are just about 8 weeks old and look for all the world like adults however, it's their sleeping habits that concern me. In the chicken house is a ton of room for roosting, which I've seen them doing during the day. At night, however, all 17 get atop the nesting boxes, which isn't that big at all. They literally stack themselves on top of one another and of course, when one on the bottom wants to move, it awakens them all and they have to get back into position, some barely balanced on the edge with their heads hanging off. This is probably a sad bit of information but, I have sat up with them in the henhouse to watch them sleep. They surely can't be rested in the morning 'cause every couple of minutes, someone isn't happy with their position and it all starts again.

    I live in SW Missouri so, it's quite hot and humid here. I can't believe they are doing this for warmth.

    During the day they are free range. Aside from their feed and treats, they eat whatever treasures they can find. They seem completely happy and healthy other than the sleeping thing. Is there something to be worried about here?

    Any wisdom is greatly appreciated!
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    Absolutely nothing to worry about-it's all hierarchy-they seem to think that the ones on the top rung "rule the roost" so to speak.
    You should hear the racket in my coop at roosting time-EVERY night, several of them fall/get pushed off of the perch jockeying for position.
  3. Armageddon

    Armageddon Songster

    Feb 3, 2010
    Southern California
    Mine slept in a huddle and alot still do an they are 22 weeks and laying me 10 eggs a day....I have 17 hens and 1 roo...
  4. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing 10 Years

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Mine went into the coop at 5 weeks and after awhile half would roost on the roosts & half on top the nesting boxes. Yes, my boxes are higher than my roosts, one thing the Organic Gardening article back in 1993 when we built did not warn against! I had 23 chicks at the start and after I gave my sister her 8, 13 would roost on the nest boxes and two on the roosts. I put plastic coffee cans up there one night & they scared themselves flying up there & knocking them down, so then 14 were on top the next boxes and 1 on the roost. The other day I hung pie plates over the boxes, only near the side where they fly up, as I could only find two. Now 4 fly up there and huddle on the end where there is no pie plate & 11 are on the roost! Will hang another today & hopefully they will get the idea. I also want to get rid of the one rooster, as he is the leader & flies them up there & also bills out the food! I have two roosters, so he has to go anyway. Good luck. I have to get them off, because there is a crack In the roof of the old boxes & the poo falls into the boxes & I have to get ready for eggs in about 6 weeks. Hanging pie plates usually work for most roosting problems.
  5. Berkshiremom

    Berkshiremom In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2010
    Western MA
    My little stinkers are doing the same thing! They have been in the coop for over a week, they use the roosts all the time during the day..8:30 pm rolls around and all of a sudden they move to a corner of the coop and pile up all over each other. I've tried moving them back to the roosts and no go...they just crawl back to the corner and smoosh each other...I keep hoping no one gets smooshed to death!
  6. dee88

    dee88 Chirping

    Jun 26, 2010
    Mine do the same, all pile up in the corner on a shelf above the nesting boxes. Oh well, must be instinctive to stay together. I don't see why they have to sleep on roosts. I have a wood closet rod installed above the shelf. I thought they like to roost at the highest position but not mine! I'll let you know if something changes... They are about 12 to 13 wks. old, all hens
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member 9 Years

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    They are still "kids" huddling together. Soon they will start roosting like the "big chickens."

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