Tonight I thought I would photograph their bedroom for you.
These are not supposed to be their bedroom, these are the nest boxes. I have naughty chickens and they do not all roost on their perches, they use one nest box for laying, always the box on the right and they like to sleep in the other nest box. If more than one chicken needs the nest box at any one time they form an orderly queue rather than lay in the left nest box. I think it is very cute if they are running around the garden and one needs to lay they will run back to the nest box. It is very convenient for me as I do not have to hunt for eggs. They keep the laying side very clean. Even at this very cold, dark time of year they are still laying one egg each a day. I expected them to stop for the winter, I think maybe next year they will stop, because it is their first year and they are young and fit they have just kept going this year. We love our eggs. I don't usually pack the nests with so much straw but it adds insulation for the below zero nights. Chickens can cope with the cold as long as there sleep area is dry. Damp is more harmful to chickens than cold. I use a thick layer of eco-friendly, wood pellet Cat litter to line the indoor part of their coop. It is highly absorbent and goes in the compost bins when it is spent. Organic Chicken Poo is sold by the 5kg and is very expensive at our local, upmarket Garden Centre as it is excellent fertiliser. I point this out to my other half when he moans about the Crapitty Crap everywhere!
When you have more than one chicken you have a pecking order. Poppy is the top of the pecking order with my trio. I am lucky they are all sweet natured but Poppy is definitely the boss. She was the first to come and see what I was messing about at.
Poppy is closely followed everywhere by Daisy. These two spend nearly all of their time together and they they like to sleep huddled together.
Finally Rosie wonders where the other two have gone and comes to investigate. Rosie is like Winnie The Pooh, the bear with very little brain, she acts daft and is the bottom of the pecking order but I think she is actually the cleverest in her own way. She quite literally thinks outside of the box. She seems more interested in people than chickens. She doesn't seem to mind sleeping by herself and I have checked when it is very cold all three sleep together.
It all gets quite cosy at bedtime in the coop. There is no light in there the light is from the flash of my camera. I can tell the chickens apart easily by the coloured rings on their legs. You can see in this photograph Daisy's Nictitating Membrane, chickens have three eyelids on each eye, the Nictitating membrane is translucent and can be drawn across they eye for protection without the chicken losing vision. Chickens are very vocal, I don't mean noisy, I mean they chat a lot and use a wide range of vocalisations. They were very intrigued with my camera at their bedtime and had a little sing about it. I shut them in at night and there is usually a fair bit of shuffling going on before they settle for the night. I have seen a fox pass by my house a couple of times in the last month or two so I like to make sure they are safely tucked up and locked in for the night. I am always pleased to see them in the morning and they are always pleased to see me ( or breakfast). I open their door and they nearly fall over each other tumbling out in such a hurry. They get their breakfast before the rest of us. If it is cold they like a bit of warm porridge for brekkie, nice life if you can get it!