behavior change in hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cgtara3, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. cgtara3

    cgtara3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2009
    Traverse City, MI
    We have three hens, with one from our original flock, and three that we purchased as companions for her so she would not be lonely. Our original flock was raised by us, and very friendly. After three animal attacks, only one bird was left from that flock, and she acted differently as a result--we think. She used to be more friendly and would come and hang out with us, happily pecking away. The other three birds were raised by someone else. One seemed friendlier than the others, and would come up to you. Now, progressively over the last several months, they are less responsive. In the past, we would call them, and they would fly to us. Now, they ignore us, and keep doing their own thing, with indifference. No real response from them. One bird was always suspicious and we didn't expect much from her. She acts like someone is going to attack her any minute. She turned broody, and is even more hostile now. But the others, I don't know what to think. They act like they care only for their own company, and not ours anymore. We give them treats occasionally, but it does not seem to matter.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    A couple things could be at play and most are related to the immediate need for food. If they are in molt they tend to be less social and if not laying they are not going to be so directly interested in you as a food source since needs will be less. If forage is ample, then again you are going to be less interesting. My free-ranging birds are also more worried at this time of year about migratory hawks and the abundance of young mammalian predators.
     
  3. cgtara3

    cgtara3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2009
    Traverse City, MI
    So if there is less need for food, then expect less response--correct? Anything we can do?
     
  4. MsL

    MsL Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2010
    I'm having some similar issues, I think because of some changes to my mini-flock. I am actively courting the favor of my alpha hen, feeding her special treats by hand, in hopes that the others will follow her lead. I am doing this when I need nothing from her either (like for her to get back in the coop), so that she only has a positive connection with me. I'm hoping that her response to me will bring the others in line, and eventually help build flock cohesion, too, because that's a little slow going. Good luck!
     
  5. cgtara3

    cgtara3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2009
    Traverse City, MI
    That's what we will do then. Hand feed the alpha hen, which I believe is the first one we had. We will see what happens.
     

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