How do your chickens go to bed?

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Bev

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How do your chickens go to bed?
« on: March 27, 2013, 21:31 »
Hi, I never thought about chicken behaviour at roosting time until recently...

My neighbour rescued 8 battery farm chickens. She watched them going in at dusk and thought one of them was bullying the others or establishing herself as boss. She realised after watching them for 2 or 3 nights that she is sort of rounding up each chicken and sending it off to the hen house and then going in herself once she has got everyone else in.

I only have 2 chickens and I am not sure who goes in first as they pretty much go together I think it is my brown one as the white one, seems to be quickest to pop back out again if I get there too soon, or is that just because she is tamer? I am not sure who is the boss as they are very amicable and having a chicken palace as my friend describes it there is not much to fight over.

Also if I go up to the chicken run very soon after they go in they are on the first perch near the door, a litlle later and they are on the second perch, very late and they are tucked up in the nest box!

Another friend had her ducks go missing and now her chicken and cockerel won't go near the chicken run, we think it must have been a fox but there were no feathers which was a bit strange. The cockerel has now taken up residence on the very highest part of a partition between 2 stables and the hen nests on a shelf inbetween two grooming kit boxes and lays her egg there every morning! It is quite funny if you go round there in the evening and there is so much commotion from people and horses coming and going and these two chickens just calmly roosting in the middle of it all! Tee hee.

How do your chickens organise themselves?

Bev

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splash101

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Re: How do your chickens go to bed?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 08:29 »
Isnt it annoying when you think they've gone in for the night and then one pops back out again. Having a gravel pathway doesnt help though.

There's always one or two on guard while the others go in and then the last one to go in does the security checks around the coop before finally going in herself.
They all head for the nest boxes first as it is out of sight from the pop hole. As soon as i close that they all start moving down onto the perches.

Last year i had a broody hen that hatched two eggs. One chick male and the other female.
At 4 weeks old, the male chick taking his responsibilities very seriously, was the one that was on guard until the mother and female chick had gone in and then spent a considerable amount of time outside doing the security checks.
It was amusing to watch.

I'm sure it makes perfect sense to them

I've also got one that lays her eggs under a bush and whilst she is there laying, the other 3 are close by on guard

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Elvira

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Re: How do your chickens go to bed?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 15:13 »
My old cockerel was very protective and used to round the girls up at bedtime (poking his head out of the coop if he heard you approaching to close the pop hole). Napoleon (current cockerel) is rather lax and takes himself off to bed leaving the girls to sort themselves out. I think he gets into the coop early to grab the best spot  :D

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Bev

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Re: How do your chickens go to bed?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 17:49 »
Aaagh!

They are really funny! Until you have them you just think they are a bit stupid don't you?

I am absolutley amazed at the x-bats next door, they arrived not knowing how to walk or anything and now, only 2 weeks later they are a fully functioning flock. In fact even a day later they had it pretty much sorted out.

I love the way they are all looking out for each other.

Bev

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moomintroll

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Re: How do your chickens go to bed?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2013, 14:35 »
My cockerel Max goes into the coop first at night, and shouts for Amy to hurry up and get to bed. If she doesn't obey, he comes to pop hole and sticks his head out and gives her a right telling off... and failing that he comes back out and does the wing dancing jig around her and then she goes in lol  :D

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Bev

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Re: How do your chickens go to bed?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2013, 20:10 »
Wow Moomintroll, yours are funny :D Mine must have been reading this post because last night they both popped out when they heard me coming, then I stood around waiting for them to go back in, I had not put my coat on because I thought I would only be a minute! Brrrrr!

The brown one wanted to go in but kept pausing with her foot on the ramp. Then white one came and jumped the que and went in first, maybe she is the boss. The brown one always comes out first but the white one is often laying then.

Tonight they went to the nest boxes within 15 minutes. Perhaps because I cleaned them out and put more fresh hay in.

Bev

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Chicken_Lover

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Re: How do your chickens go to bed?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2013, 09:42 »
My cockerel usually rounds up the girls when he feels it's bedtime.
1 Leghorn Cockerel, 2 Warrens, 4 Lemon Goldfish and 1 Jack Russell, One Big Party!!!!!! :D :D

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Stree

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Re: How do your chickens go to bed?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 19:34 »
I have two runs next to each other. The mini Pekin black bantams put themselves to bed at dusk, usually no bother.
I have a cock and hen chocolate orpington in the other pen . These two are both ditherers when it comes to bedtime. Nice big hen house with lots of straw.
Both of these henhouses have nesting box lids that come through my side of the pen, to get eggs without going in the run. and the hatches are raised and lowered by cable and pulleys from outside the runs.
So one night, orpingtons dithering as usual, so Iwas waiting along with my 5 year old grandaughter.......
No sign of wanting to go in after 10 mins or so. Well past dusk now.
More to entertain my grandaughter than anything, I lifted the nest box lids and said " Ooooh,its full of chicken money! Would you believe it, both orpingtons shot in as if fired by cannon to have a look! Quickly released the hatch to close it. Job done.
What is sillier is,  it works every time!



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