I had a meeting this evening and my husband locked up the girls. We are expecting rain tomorrow, so I double checked the coop's windows. I also wanted to be sure that no one was sleeping in the nesting boxes. Under the cover of darkness, I approached the coop.
Checking the nesting boxes for sleeping chickens seems to be a regular habit. Yet when I checked the last three nights, I found the nesting boxes had been empty. Last night, I had even noticed that the sleeping arrangements had changed on the roosts. Instead of eight girls cramming themselves onto a 4' roost, yes unbelievably that is what they preferred, they are now evenly distributed between roosts. Two larger girls and two Silkies now sleep comfortably with room to breathe on their own roost.
I was not surprised when I checked in the boxes this evening. I found a Buff Orpington egg in the right box and Dolly in the far left. I scooped up the egg and then I scooped up Dolly. She was fast asleep. I first placed her on the pine shavings outside of the box. I needed to reposition myself to place her on the perch. After turning my body, I gently lifted her up and guided her feet to the roost. Still sound asleep, her body slowly sank like a rag doll off the back of the roost. I picked her up again, using two hands this time, and ensured her feathered feet were properly placed on the roost. She settled in next to Autumn.
I closed up the coop and whispered my good nights. I know that chickens cannot see in the dark. Therefore, they typically stay in one place once darkness falls. I wonder if they realize when they wake up that they are in a different place from where they started? Its times like this when I wish we could communicate better. I'd love to tell them that I am responsible for their sleep walking.