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Sleep Walking

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.

5 comments:

  1. LOVE this post. I don't know what it is about it, but I can just tell how much you love your chickens.

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  2. You do take such special care of your girls. I can't wait to have some girls of my own.

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  3. Thank you Claire, you are right, I love those girls even more than I could have imagined!

    From Beyond My Kitchen Window, I can't wait for you to get some girls of your own! I know that has been a dream of your for a while now. I am sure that one will come true someday :) Thank you for stopping in.

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  4. I'm about to get my first set of chickens and I was wondering, why don't you want them sleeping in the nest boxes?

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    1. Great question! When the chickens sleep in the nesting boxes. This leads to poop in the boxes. This can cause the eggs to become soiled easily. Typically, you should not wash your eggs because they have a protective bloom on them. The cleaner you can keep your freshly laid eggs in the nesting box the better. I also find that the chicken's rear ends stay cleaner when sleeping on the roost vs. in the boxes. That being said, it is sometimes a losing battle with the Silkies. Most nights I find myself removing from the boxes after dark, picking them up and guiding their feet to the roosts. Here is a post that might be helpful: http://www.tillysnest.com/2011/07/clean-eggs.html Thank you so much for the wonderful question.

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Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I look forward to reading them with each and every post that I write and I also love hearing from you.