Why do my chickens all cram into one coop to sleep when there is another coop almost empty?


Oct 15, 2017
Cookeville TN
I wondered where to post this and decided "chicken behavior" is best.

I started with 22 chicks. They are now 7 - 8 months old. 8 pullets (Group A) were from the Farm store and 14 (Group B - 9 pullets and 5 cockerils) were from a local farmer. The two groups were raised in separate brooders. When I was sure which were cockerels, I culled four of them, leaving 1 cockerel and 17 pullets.

I had bought two identical made-in-china coops, and when I moved the birds outside, Group A roosted in coop A and Group B (with the remaining Cockeril) roosted in Coop B. I lock the coops at night and open them in the morning. The chickens free-range in a big, fenced back yard during the daytime.

Over the past few months, the pullets from group A have been migrating to coop B to roost, even through there really is not enough room there. Last night, there was a lone pullet roosting in Coop A and 16 pullets crammed into Coop B with the Cockerel.

However, egg laying is about evenly distributed--1/2 the eggs are laid in coop A and 1/2 are laid in coop B. Eggs range from 12 to 14 per day.

I've been working on building
051818 chicken coops.jpg
a bigger coop, but I am not a carpenter and progress is slow. Heres my question: Should I just let the birds roost in whichever coop they want? Coop B gets filled with poop pretty quickly. Or should I force some of the birds to sleep in Coop A (by closing the door and locking down Coop B early.)

Any thoughts?


Sep 9, 2018
Manchester UK
Also it's good they have formed a flock and not two groups, I agree with the shed idea, that's what I did, like already said, nothing fancy, a few nest boxes and one or two roosts.

I used cardboard boxes cut out for nest boxes, easily replaced if they get damaged.

If you do go for the shed idea, get some poop boards placed under the roost, a lot easier to keep the coop clean.

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