Time and again I've read that chickens don't like change; apparently it upsets them. Well nobody told my lot that! In fact they're the ones that make the changes, especially at bedtime.
We have two perches and two nest boxes in the coop. Our birds ring the changes regularly as to who sleeps next to whom and where. It's the one time that seniority doesn't seem to make a great deal of difference to them. Having said that, since Maggie has risen to the rank of CEO (Chicken Everyone Obeys), she has taken to sleeping on her own in one of the nest boxes. However, even she swaps from one to the other fairly often. From time to time in the past, Tu-Tu has slept in the nest boxes, but of late she regularly occupies whichever one has been left vacant by Maggie.
The rest of them use the perches, but they tend to crowd onto the same one - usually in an orderly line from one side to the other. The Araucanas are the exceptions. They stand on the floor behind Irene and Titian, then stuff themselves deep into the big girls' feathers. They bury themselves so deep that sometimes all you can see of them are their legs and tails. I've never quite worked out why they don't end up covered in poo, but they don't.
Last night, things had changed somewhat. Titian and Irene had decided to take up residence very close together and jammed up against the wall, right at the very end of the perch. One faced forward, the other faced back. That didn't deter Punk and Rebecca. Punk squeezed in between the perch and the back wall, then snuggled into Titian. Rebecca took her usual position under Irene.
Fizz had decided to sleep on the roof of the coop. From there he can not only guard his girls who have gone to bed inside, but can also watch over Pom-Pom, who still insists on roosting on the cage gate. As usual, I lifted Fizz down and put him inside. He had a huge expanse of perch to choose from - remember four of the girls were scrunched up in a corner and the other two were in nest boxes. So what did he do? He rushed over into the far corner and made a very determined effort to squeeze onto the perch between the wall and Titian! He pushed and shoved and wriggled, but could make no headway against the combined weight of Titian and Irene. They are big girls and either one of them is more than twice the size of Fizz. In any case, it's difficult to move when you have another chicken nestled in among your feathers.
In the end he gave up and perched at the other end, where there was plenty of room. When I'd finished laughing, I fetched Pom-Pom and put her inside, placing her on the empty perch nearest the door. She, very sensibly, quickly settled down exactly where I'd put her. She'll still be there in the morning.