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Hens pecking at back door all day?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I wish I could get pictures or video of this, but they always stop and run to me when I try.

 

My four girls, free-roaming in the back yard, have picked up the habit of standing at the back door and pecking.  And pecking.  And pecking!  It's an old door and it's quite loud all through the house.

 

At first I thought it was because it's cold here in Utah, and standing against the door allows them to absorb a little radiant heat.  Then I thought it might also help that they get to stand on the doormat which would protect their feet from the cold cement (you know, the same as standing on the entire rest of the yard).  They're pansies about the rain, and there's a tiny bit of roof that covers about 8" of the patio closest to the door that does get them mostly out of the rain/snow...  But none of that explains the pecking.

 

I just realized yesterday that a potential reason for the pecking...  Is because the door is red.

 

I can't figure anything else out.  I don't think they're doing it to get my attention -- and if so, I'm not encouraging it.  I just don't want them to damage their beaks!  They've been at it for four months now!

 

Has anyone heard of this before or know what might be happening, or why?  Ideas on how I can discourage it?  Right now my best idea is putting some cardboard or a sheet or something over the lower half of the door to change the color and see if that helps.

 

Thoughts?  Thanks, everyone!

post #2 of 6
Covering it would probably help you, at least it should cut the sound a bit! I don't think there's anyway to break this habit other than dealing with it head on. Every time you hear them knocking, chase them away. It'll be such a pain at first, you'll feel like you're constantly running to the door, but eventually you'll notice it less and less.
Unfortunately, I've sort of been here before. My chickens used to LOVE hanging out (and pooping) on my covered porch. And one of our turkeys would fight with his reflection in the glass of my bedroom door (not cool at 6 am). Actually running them off, convincing them that that space wasn't all that great to hang out in, was the only thing that worked. And it was totally worth it when I got to sleep in on my days off and wasn't cleaning doodie off the porch every day.

Good luck to you!
Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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post #3 of 6
Screen or wire over the lower part of the door might help discourage them.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  I'll try shooing them away from the door when they knock again.  Sounds like it would both save the knocking AND save me from having a poop-covered porch.

 

I wound up covering the bottom half of the door with a blanket, which has been both inconvenient and ugly...  But effective!  I think I'll try taking it off and doing the behavior modification approach next.

post #5 of 6

Mine come to the back door when they feel I have not fed them enough.  And in my house when I have my doors and windows open.

I get a bowl of feed and tell them to get off the porch and we 'march' back to the coop.  That usually gets them off the porch and back into the yard\coop.

 

I also discovered that my grandson was feeding them Fruit Loops on the back porch. So I am not real sure if they come up to the porch looking for him and his sweets or gawking at me because they want more feed.

post #6 of 6
I think your chickens are part wood pecker. hide.gif
My Flock: (2) Dark Brahmas, (1) Black Australorp, (2) Golden Sebrights, (1) Old English Game Bantam, (3) Old English Game/Golden Sebright Crosses, (3) Easter Eggers

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My Flock: (2) Dark Brahmas, (1) Black Australorp, (2) Golden Sebrights, (1) Old English Game Bantam, (3) Old English Game/Golden Sebright Crosses, (3) Easter Eggers

Affordable, Hand made Jewelry, Support CraftyParrotTG on etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyParrotTG?ref=shop_name_search_sugg

How to Insert Pictures on the BYC Forum: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/inserting-pics-in-on-the-new-byc

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