Worried About Sleeping Habits

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shortie513, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Shortie513

    Shortie513 New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2012
    Hampstead, Maryland
    I have 5 hens. I put them in their coop for the first time overnight Friday, and they have been out ever since. The weather has been fair enough for this.
    Every morning though I am noticing that 4 of my girls are huddled up in the run under the coop sleeping together in the corner, and 1 is alone in a nesting box.
    Is this normal? How concerned should I be? Are they trying to tell me something????

    I am a first timer, any help/advise would be great!

    Thanks​
     
  2. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    it sounds like you're leaving the pop door open at night?
    mine are afraid of the dark. maybe they go outside because there is more light, then huddle because they feel exposed. perhaps a temporary small light of some kind inside the coop would help them feel better in there after dark.

    mine suffered a dog attack that killed their friends. the remaining 4 huddle in one nest box at the beginning of the night. when i go out in the morning, they are on the roosts. they have a dim light i keep on in the shed so i can check on things in the night if i want to. when it's pitch dark, they are really spooked.
     
  3. Delta2 23

    Delta2 23 Flock Master

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    Pretty normal especially if they've just gone out into the coop. They won't know the "bedtime routine" yet. We had to close our chickens into the coop for a few nights before they got the hang that that's where they should be.

    It's also possible like bj said, that they might be enjoying the light. Or maybe even the frseh air, who knows!
    The one in the nesting box could be getting picked on, at the bottom of the pecking order. Those hens tend to sleep away from the others. Have you noticed her getting pecked at all?
     
  4. MnKHarden

    MnKHarden Out Of The Brooder

    Similar situation, hope it's OK to post here

    My chicks are 6 weeks old, I just putting them out during the day and bringing them back in to the brooder at night. Last Friday was their first night in their hen house, I put them in and closed the pop door, they all slept in the corner on the floor, the next night they went in on their own and slept in the same area. Sunday same but not sure where they slept. Tonight they went in and I went to close the pop door and I didn't see them right away (through the windows) so I kept peeking all 6 of them were in the nest box. I wasn't sure what to do so I left them because I didn't want to disturb them while sleeping. I use 2x4's for roosts and also have 4 or 5 inch tree logs lying on the floor that they liked in the brooder. Should I have kicked them out of the nesting box?
    Thanks
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    As a general rule I try to promote roosting in elevated locations as soon as they will do it. It provides a measure of defense against predators that do not climb well and enables rapid assessment of flock condition at night. This should be taken in context of when (what age) they begin to roost off ground. Freindly adults can promote early roosting as can an unpleasant experience while roosting on ground. Early elevated roosting can start as early as 5 weeks post-hatch or take as long as 16 weeks. This can be a function of breed and temperature as well. Strong fliers tend to go up higher quicker and low temperatures can delay.
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sleeping in the nest box is not a good thing. They tend to just let the poop drop when they sleep. Since they aren't laying yet, block or remove the boxes till they are roosting on the perches. Are the roosts higher than the boxes? They like to perch high when the sleep.
     
  7. Shortie513

    Shortie513 New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2012
    Hampstead, Maryland
    She isn't getting peaked at. During the day, they all play together just find, but every night I watch her walk right inside and curl up for the night while her "friends" stay on the ground.
    I was just outside with them and they were all running around together.
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My guess is that the one in the nest box is just a little ahead of the others. By the end of the week they all should be seeking higher ground to sleep on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  9. Shortie513

    Shortie513 New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2012
    Hampstead, Maryland
    When I got home from work they were all in the box...LOL!

    So, maybe they figured this out on their own!? [​IMG] I am so nervous with every move they make, they are like my babies!!! [​IMG]


    I am going to have my husband add some places for them to perch on that are higher up, maybe that will catch their attention.
     
  10. MnKHarden

    MnKHarden Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks for the replies. The roosts are higher than the nest box, I almost thought they were too high for them but they were on them this morning. I blocked off the nest boxes and they all went to the corner.
     

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