Teaching Chickens To Perch…

After reading your last newsletter, we thought you might be interested in our story of our chickens perching…

The first chocks we had were three bantam Buff Orpington.

The chap from whom we bought them did not provide any perches in their enclosure, but we made sure they did have some where to perch. However, despite all our persuasion which did include putting them up on the perches, they would never used the perches.

A year or more later, we decided to expand our flock. (We had lost one of the birds after a hot Australian summer.) We bought some three-week-old chicks (a cross between Rhode Island Red and Plymouth Rock), but kept them separate from our bantams until they were bigger. The chicks liked the perches we provided them, as much as they like talking!

So we introduced them to each other. That evening the chicks quite happily roosted on the perch, and this annoyed the Orpingtons as they could not enforce who was boss. They continued sleeping on the floor of the coop.

During this time one of the Orpingtons went broody, so the other was feeling quite lonely, rejected by her companion, and unable/unwilling to perch with the younger birds. After a few days, she eventually decided to camp with the younger the birds, and kept camping with them.

When the other Orpington was satisfied the she did not have any eggs to hatch, she discovered there was no one to sleep with on the ground. In the end she joined the other birds on the perch.

So now all our birds sleep on the perch at night. It looks like we needed the younger birds to convince the bantams that it is nicer to sleep on the perch!

Warm Regards,

Rosalie Lawrence