Behavior question: my girls are developing a BAD habit...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ksukristin, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. ksukristin

    ksukristin Songster

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    Mesa, Arizona
    Dear BYCers- I need your help!

    Long story short, two of my girls can be very vocal in the mornings- calling for me to let them roam around in the yard. I used to only give them free range of the yard on the weekends when I can be there to monitor the dogs around the chickens and make sure everyone gets along-an no one gets eaten! During the week they were limited to their coop and run...

    but a few times over the last month, I woke up early during the week and decided now that it's getting light out earlier, that I could let the girls range for the hour or so while the dogs are still inside the house and I'm getting ready for work...a sweet gesture, but a BAD mistake...because now every stinkin' morning they are so loud starting as early as 530 am- loud enough that you could probably hear them 3 houses away. [​IMG]

    I didn't get home from work last night until midnight...and I'd like to continue to sleep past 5:30 AM as my neighbors and I are city-folk [​IMG] and they've already commented on the noise...I've got a very limited budget, and a very limited sleep schedule, and I'm running out of patience-so what do I do? I can't trust the dogs and chickens together in my urban yard, and my yard is quite fenced off already- and adding an additional run for them might not keep them quiet in the mornings- the girls already have a run that is apparently not enough. I spoiled the girls a little and now they expect to be let out every morning or they'll make a fuss until I get up to let them out. I'm guessing there is no magic way to get them to forget, or to reason with them to wait for the weekend? [​IMG]

    I don't want them to wake the neighbors, and what am I supposed to do about the nights when I'm not home? (travel for business) I can't very well ask my roommate to wake up at dawn just to let the chickens out, and I don't want to further promote the loud calls early in the morning because I need to keep my chickens OFF my neighbors mind...so how do I keep them quiet in the mornings? do I do something to the coop, or put treats into the coop at night so they get a happy surprise that distracts them in the mornings when they wake up? I'm willing to try almost anything at this point!

    I would greatly appreciate any and all advice! I'm at your mercy, BYCers! [​IMG]
    sincerely- trying to get my sleep

    *edited to fix some spelling
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

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    My Coop
    Is there any way you can install an automatic door that opens at first light? That way they could let themselves out without you needing to wake up. I think I am lucky here that it doesn't get light until 6:30am when we are getting up anyway to get ready for school and work. The other thing is, my coop has no windows so they only get little cracks of light coming in until I open the door. If your coop has windows, perhaps you could block them so the girls don't know its morning?
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Glen St Mary, Florida
    They expect you to let them out ALL the time now. I've made similar mistakes like that too. Get a head of cabbage,cut it in half and run clothesline thru the middle of it and tie it off somehow once you get it thru (a big knot will do). Hang the clothesline up in your pen with the cabbage dangling just above their head level so they'll have to jump abit to eat the cabbage. That should distract them enough temporarily til you come up with a long term solution.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  4. ksukristin

    ksukristin Songster

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    Jul 28, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Quote:My coop is very open- in AZ if you have a closed up coop you get cooked chickens in the summertime [​IMG] so it's pretty impossible to block the light, and it's getting light really early here these days.

    I've looked at a few automatic doors, but the mechanisms I've found online all cost over 100 dollars, and there are times that I don't want them letting themselves out i.e. when I'm not home to put them back- and I have a pool and I don't want them to drown...I pretty much have to monitor them when they are out because of the pool, the dogs, and the roommate... [​IMG]

    thanks for the suggestions though!
     
  5. ksukristin

    ksukristin Songster

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    Jul 28, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Quote:[​IMG] I was afraid of that!

    an interesting idea about the cabbage! I might have to make it a frozen cabbage, cause if I"m putting it in the run at night, it can be 100 degrees overnight here...it might spoil by morning if it's not frozen...but a very cool and creative idea!
     

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