Saturday, May 24, 2008

29 Chicken Pile-up

I'm working on becoming an expert on chicken behavior, but I'm not there yet. Why do chickens try to pile up in the same exact spot. You wouldn't believe the amount of space they all can fit in. They squawk and jostle until they all nod away to sleep in the smallest area possible.
My large chickens have taken to flying to the top of the house and sleeping there. All of them except Cocktail the barred rock. She's too heavy to fly up there. After continually smacking her head against the side of the chicken house she gave up and walked into the house along with another little chicken who has taken up following Cocktail's every move (including banging her head against the chicken house as well). Now Cocktail is walking around the yard with a limp. I wonder if she injured it in her attempts to fly up with the other large chickens. I really don't know what to do to help her or if I should just wait and see if it gets better. None of the other chickens pick on her. She rules the roost.
Another strange thing happened the other day. We went out late to check on them. Byron grabbed the feeder to fill it up for the next day. It's a large one that you fill up and feed falls to the tray below. In the feeder were five chickens. A small one was peeking up from the bottom of the tray where her head was wedged. Byron panicking, tried to shake them out. Me-"Byron no! Just lift them out!" He lifted them out, and luckily none had any broken bones. Bobcat the Ancona did limp around for a few days. How did they even fit in there????
Every single one of our small chickens pile themselves into a corner of the small loft of the chicken house. Including the barred rock. So what you are witnessing is a 29 chicken pile-up. We do plan to build an additional yard and house this summer, and make use of a couple of chicken tractors.


JeanSkirtGirl said...

while you have lot's of chicken's they are so cute! one i hope to have my own farm.

Tiffany said...

Maybe it makes them feel more secure or something? I'm sure it's warm enough there that they don't do it out of being cold. Maybe it's a primitive thing to keep safe from predators?

Melba said...

Hey Kristi,

Maybe they just enjoy each other's company. We all tend to pile in the same room, too. Keith vows that we have no privacy - where we are - so are the kids. I, on the other hand, actually love it.


Betsy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tiffany said...

Melba...that is too funny because my kids do the same thing. We have a lower level den now with a toy room that we've never had before and they either don't play with the toys or they bring them upstairs or wherever I am. It's sweet but sometimes it's like "Go away short people!" lol! ;)

Egghead said...

Well I know chickens like to roost and we have four roosting bars up in our hen house. There is a pecking order as you say but that doesn't seem to matter. Because they get on the bars it hasn't been a problem for us. The only thing is that they are always trying to get in the same nest to lay eggs. I have found three at once squeezed into one little nesting compartment. Every once in a while they will break an egg from all the jostling around. Go figure!