Why High Roosting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PTFowl, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. PTFowl

    PTFowl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2011
    WA
    Why do chickens like to roost as high as possible? Safety, warmth, dominance, all of the above, other reasons? Any body know of any studies on this? Do all chickens like to roost as high as possible? Currently only one-third of my small flock (5 out of 15) are night roosting on the highest roosts (a little over 5 feet up) and two out of the five of those roosting are the heavier breeds (Barred Rock, Cuckoo Marans). None of the lightest breed (Silkies) are roosting. Half of of the mid-size breed (Polish) are roosting.They're all only about 2 months old.
     
  2. Manningjw

    Manningjw Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Quote:I think you hit the nail on the head other than warmth. When you think about it, in the wild and even in domestic flocks predators primarily come out at night, when the chickens are sleeping. They need to be someplace safe and will fight over the highest spot if there is limited space there.

    One night we forgot to open the chicken door up until after dark when closing it to change their nests. One of our birds was missing that night, we freaked out, looked all over(havent lost any since they were chicks). [​IMG]

    We couldn't find her anywhere, finally we found her roosting (and unwilling to move off of) our gate right next to the coop which is about 5'8" tall - and her wings have been clipped because she was flying out of the run too often... One thing is for sure, if she goes missing I wont give up hope that she is still safe and found high ground to protect herself from predators.
     
  3. ThaiChick

    ThaiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2011
    STL, Missouri
    My birds do this now. We had a bad predator problem this past summer and now they prefer to roost high. It's fine by me as long as no one gets injured getting down.
     
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Instinct. For birds who have never had a predatory threat in the night and roost in pred proof coops....they are going on pure instinct and not necessarily learned behavior.
     
  5. PTFowl

    PTFowl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2011
    WA
    Thanks all for the input. It sounds like the consensus is that safety appears to be the primary reason behind the high roosting and, it can be a combination of instinct and learned behavior.
     

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