What would make chickens go roost early?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kuntrychick, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. kuntrychick

    kuntrychick Songster

    Jul 19, 2009
    For some reason today my grown chickens went in to roost at like 4pm...sun still shining bright...nowhere near dusk. The 19 week old teenagers & the 9 week old young ones stayed out until dusk. What would cause this? It wasn't cloudy or anything, although it has been a cool breeze for most of the day, but at that time the wind had finally settled down.

  2. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I have often found that chickens know more than humans about what is best for them and what they need and when. although it does make you wonder sometimes why they do certain things.
  3. christineavatar

    christineavatar Songster

    May 1, 2011
    Bolinas, CA
    It may also be so jockeying for the roosts. Perhaps the younger ones are starting to sit on the highest roosts and the older ones are claiming them first.
  4. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Songster

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine

    My deer hunting is a sporadic thing, some years yes, some years not. But I've always noticed, even just out driving at night, that the deer are more active in advance of a storm, filling their bellies before they go to ground to wait out a storm.

    They know. If that's what's driving your chicken, it's just a matter of them having simpler brains, sensing and paying attention to things that don't even register with those of us two-legged, non-feathered creatures.

    As to it being a pecking order thing, with the oldsters getting to the preferred roosts before the upstarts, that works, too. If that's the case and it presents a problem, you could rehome the seniors to Florida, where they could find restaurants serving supper at 4pm so they could beat the sun to bed. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011

  5. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chirping

    Sep 12, 2011
    My Coop
    My 10 week old Doms have been roosting around noonish and I started to get concerned about it but then they came back out a couple hours later to grab something to eat and drink. Being that it is starting to get colder, I think they would rather be in thecoop where it is nice and warm as opposed to standing around in the run where it is cool.
  6. wyododge

    wyododge Chirping

    Sep 30, 2011
    They're probably just hung over, all day in the sun after a hearty night of poker, roost fights, and keep away, let alone the whiskey they made from their scratch can take it out of ya... Now imagine you have to jump four feet to get to bed.

    That would just stink, I would probably go to bed early too.

    On a serious note, I have a few that go in early as well. They just started getting in early and everyday a good hour or two before sunset, they are in the coop on the roosts. One white Wy, One black Giant and a NH red. They must have to get up at night to stir the mash.
  7. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Crowing

    Apr 23, 2008
    Central Louisiana
    I think it's the sudden change in our weather -- I noticed some of mine are doing the same thing - also, I have a good 1/3 to 1/2 of my flock - the older girls -- going into moult, just as they did last year at this time (I marked it on the calendar) & that affects them, too.

    Also, some of the younger ones are hanging around the coop longer in the mornings instead of going out.. I'm hoping they are "thinking" about laying!

  8. darin367

    darin367 Songster

    Dec 1, 2010
    Shelton, Wa.
    i've come to the cocnclusion they do what they want...... i've seen them roost at 3 p.m... and at other times wait 10 minutes before dark.... don't know what happened a month ago but 1 rooster and 3 hens stayed the night in their run, all i could figure is they fell asleep out there before dark and couldn't see to get to the coop. i went out after dark, locked the door and didn't notice till the morning... lucky a coon didn't get em.....so who knows what they're thinking... i have noticed the younger ones stay out later, just like us i guess.....
  9. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Mine will roost early if they had a lot of food. Such as gleaning in the Garden or bumper crop of mulberries fallen, or apple windfalls dumped by the bucket.

  10. Blue

    Blue Songster

    Apr 6, 2010
    With my chickens, I've noticed that if it's raining, they all tend to go to bed earlier. Also, if it's windy or the chickens decide it's too cold, they go to roost earlier. However, I have several different flocks, and I've also noticed that each flock, as well as each individual flock member, has its own ideas about what constitutes too wet, too windy, or too cold. I've also noticed that the chickens will stay in the coops longer on cold mornings and spend more time in the coops throughout the day during cold and/or very wet weather.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011

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