Roosting Behavior

One way to better get to know your chickens is to watch them at dusk, as they settle in to the coop at night. There is the inevitable jockeying for position. Top ranked hens get the highest roost. In the Hencam barn, the most vied for spot is the roost next to the top nesting box. Marge will get there first, but them up comes Eleanor who squeezes in and pushes her over. Blackie doesn’t even bother to try to get that prime real estate.

Friends sleep together. Betsy Ross and Eggers perch next to each other on the edge of a nesting box. Marge and Petunia like to be near each other. Petunia, for some unfathomable chicken-brained reason, is my only hen that sleeps facing the wall. The other hens, with that nice hen rump right in their faces, peck at her tail feathers. It’s not mean or aggressive. They can’t help themselves. That’s why Petunia’s tail looks so scrawny.

Recently, with chilly night temperatures (50s!), the hens are sleeping closer together. Snowball is up to her old tricks. She wedges herself between the two fluffiest girls on the highest roost and stays toasty warm between those live feather comforters.

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