Getting Chickens to Roost in the Right Place

Chickens have a strong homing instinct which drives them to return to the same place to roost at dusk. Those who for whatever reason have decided otherwise, can easily be picked up when it’s dark and placed in the coop.  After a few days to a week at most, they usually give up the tree limb, fence, or corner they fancied and join the others in the coop without your interference.

Make sure it’s dark though! Because as soon as you turn your back they’ll run back to where you took them from. It’s very common for youngsters to choose a corner on the ground away from the coop.  Just pick them up and place them where you want them to be and they’ll catch on after awhile. However, don’t be concerned if your young birds pile up together in the coop, just be glad they’re in there! As they mature they’ll find their way to the roost, usually at around five months old.

This four month old Leghorn chose this spot to roost for the night. After a few evenings of fetching her off the fence and putting her in the coop she gave up and now joins the others on her own.

Leghorn Dottie 9316

Do all Chickens Roost?
No, don’t ask me why… some, such as Silkies for example, are known to hunker down for the night in the coop, off the roost.
I have four year old hens that refuse to roost, it doesn’t matter, as long as they are safely confined at night I just let them choose their comfort zone.

Broody Silkies 10-23-14

Night Behavior
A chicken’s behavior is dramatically different at night. During the day they are full of life, feisty, and confident, but when the night comes they turn into total milk duds, almost is if they were in a hypnotic state. Take advantage of this time, this is your hassle free ticket to handle, inspect, and doctor chickens. Especially the ones that are difficult or impossible to catch during the day.

Chickens are so docile at night you can usually sneak a new bird in the coop after dark, it will most likely go unnoticed until morning. Some chicken keepers choose to introduce birds this way. But I must warn you, a chicken’s night stupor disappears the moment they march out of the coop at the crack of dawn. Be prepared to witness a whole new ball game of unkind introductions to say the least! Learn more about Introducing Chickens to an Existing Flock.

 

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Donkey, Ass, Burro, and Mules… Making Sense of all Those Confusing Terms

Down to the Nitty Gritty | Mules & Donkeys

The Mule is a cross between a donkey stallion (called a jack) and a horse mare. Hinnies are just the opposite – a stallion horse crossed to a donkey jennet.

For all purposes, hinnies and mules are classified and shown together under the general term Mule… Read Article

Donkey Terminology, Which is Which and Why…

Ass is the correct term for the animal commonly known as the donkey, burro, or jackstock.
The term comes from the original Latin term for the animal which was Asinus. The scientific term for these animals is Equus asinus. The term fell into disrepute through confusion with the indelicate term “Arse” meaning the human backside…  Read More

Understanding the Donkey

They may be members of the equine family, but if you’re trying to train one, you probably already know donkeys and horses are absolutely nothing alike.
The donkey is smart, real smart, patient, extremely strong, and not in any way intimidated. They think, reason, and have the ability to make decisions. That gives them all the ammunition they need to test your patience, or worse, hurt you. You will need lots of patience when training a donkey, but, equally important is learning to read their body language… Read More

Need an extra hand around the farm? How about a donkey?

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Sources: American Donkey and Mule Society | Lucky Three Ranch