Angry Angry Chicken!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Margy1, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. Margy1

    Margy1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a free range chicken who sleeps on the porch on a basket (she roosts on the handle of the basket) and her nesting box is near where she sleeps. She only goes into her nesting box when she is going to lay an egg then sits there for a little while and jumps out and goes on about her day.

    But yesterday she started acting weird....She will not roost on the handle of the basket she will only sleep inside of the basket on some pine chip bedding. She is being aggressive. My boyfriend is the one that puts her up on her basket never having any problems, but she now pecks him when he touches her to put her up there. Yesterday and today she destroyed the porch, she was climbing on top of the tool cabinet knocking everything off of it, was kicking bedding everywhere, destroyed a magazine that was sitting on the bench out there etc... My boyfriend spent about an hour cleaning up after her today and mother in law about an hour or so the day before, She jumped up behind my mother in law and started bawking at her trying to get her to move.

    She seems to be going through a very soft molt, she is only growing in a few new tail feathers and that is it. She just started laying again, she had stopped for a few weeks, she is laying an egg almost everyday. She is not acting broody,like wanting to stay on her eggs.

    Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing this odd behavior??
     
  2. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    You mention only this one chicken, do you have others? Chickens need to be with other chickens, they don't like being alone.

    I'm a bit confused what your set up is for her. Does she have a coop with roosts to go inside at night?
     
  3. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all chickens are flock animals, so if you have only one you are probably going to have severely abnormal behavoir.
    Second, chickens need a safe place to lay eggs, and sleep.


    I would guess that your birds behavior is a direct result of her environment.
     
  4. Margy1

    Margy1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have other chickens, I didn't mention them because they are all happy and fine lol. She interacts with them during the day she will not sleep in a coop at night, we have tried. We found here earlier this year, she just came strolling up to the house, after a few weeks we finally coaxed her to sleeping in the yard in the oak tree, we tried a coop before we got our other chickens and she would start going crazy after a few hours in there. The safest place we could find for her is the porch. This has been the setup around here for months now and never had a problem until yesterday with her acting completely out of character. :(
     
  5. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could she be broody?

    I only ask because some of the behaviours she is exhibiting sound like one of my girls at the moment. She too has stopped laying, wants nothing to do with the other hens, is fluffed up to the max, screams the house down when she sees me coming and won't leave her nest. I've had her in the broody buster cage for 5 days now - hopefully soon she will return to normal.

    She is also being very aggressive. Pecking when we come near. Even George (the rooster) is giving her a wide berth, after one misguided attempt at mating her. She put him right back in his box! She holds her wings out from her sides and fans her tail feathers out to look bigger and scarier too. To be honest, I do have a giggle when I see her - the littlest hen bossing all the others around! [​IMG]

    Even when we bring her out of the buster cage to stretch her legs and dust bathe, she is very aggressive about it. When she scratches the ground, it is really violently. Kicking dust and dirt all over the other hens! This is a normally well behaved, quiet little girl. Hormones can do weird things to little chicken brains. Anyway, something to consider.

    - Krista
     
  6. Margy1

    Margy1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She doesn't seem as though she wants to stay in the nesting box or stay on her eggs but perhaps she is. She usually lays an egg between 10a-12p and we haven't gotten one today and so far she has not destroyed the porch, so maybe she is mad that we are so close to her eggs and she is broody. Can she be broody without having fertile eggs? We have no rooster and there are none around us that could have gotten to her.

    She hasn't been puffed out or anything, besides destroying the porch she is still in character, although she has little holes all around the yard that she has scratched up. lol
     
  7. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She can go one better than that. She can be broody with no eggs at all! I had on hen who sat for days on a completely empty nest! And somewhere on this site there is a picture of a hen brooding on a pile of nut and bolts. Imaginary babies are just as important to Momma as real babies - her hormones make her think that way.

    Still, I'm not 100% convinced your girl is broody. Normally they would fan out their feathers and puff out as you approach them. They will also pluck out their breast feathers so they are completely naked underneath, and screech whenever you come near them.

    Keep an eye on her though. A change in behaviour like that must have a cause behind it, so you should know for sure in a few days time.

    - Krista
     
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  8. Margy1

    Margy1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only thing that has changed around here is we have a new dog. Well we are fostering her for a local rescue, she is about twice the size as our dogs. Could that be the cause behind it?? She seems happier today, we threw some scratch down for her and she was cooing. it was so cute!! She doesn't seem mad at us unless we are touching her, she came running right up to me when I walked over to her even before she knew I had the scratch..
     
  9. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe. Or it could just be that she is uncomfortable growing in her new feathers after her moult. They don't like to be handled in that period.

    It IS sweet when the coo. Mine will occasionally purr like cats too. They used to do it when they had chicks nearby.

    The whole lot of them are obsessed with chicks at the moment!

    - Krista
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well, there ya go! My chooks HATE new dogs, freaks them out....except the Chihuahua I'm fostering, they didn't bat at eye at him.
     

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