Birds HATE being alone

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bird_brain_scientist, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. bird_brain_scientist

    bird_brain_scientist Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2011
    Often when I let the birds out of their run in the evenings on their way to the coop, three of them leave and flutter away and one of them is then drawn to the part of the run closest to the retreating chickens but OPPOSITE from the door. It is some pretty difficult spatial problem solving [​IMG]

    This distresses the one left behind to no end! She will start crying louder and louder, and tonight the left-behind bird worked herself up enough to flap and fly into the screen mesh of the run. What a silly bird.

    Anyway, I'm wondering whether this level of fanaticism about staying with the flock is normal, and whether my 3-month olds will ever get used to hanging out alone. I am hoping to convert two of them into part-time house chickens eventually, so it would be great if they could be trained to settle down on their own!
  2. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2011
    They get better at finding the door. We used to make fun of our chubby BR because she'd always pace back and forth frantically when the others left. As she's gotten a little older she's figured out how to get out and follow the others. It's all just a learning thing.
  3. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Its a matter of survival, based on instinct. A lone bird is a far easier for a predator to take. Birds in a flock take coordinated evasive maneuvers when danger threatens, moves designed to minimize the odds that anyone gets eaten. That's why it upsets them so much to get separated from the group.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Quote:X 2
  5. bird_brain_scientist

    bird_brain_scientist Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2011
    Makes total sense. Thanks for the insight. And haha, hopefully my welsummer has the same learning ability as your chubby BR.

    How do people with house chickens ever get past this? Do they just bring them inside in pairs? [​IMG]
  6. WilsonAcres

    WilsonAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    I have a house chicken [​IMG] didnt really plan on it went to farmers market it was the last chic..all by herself...[​IMG] ..we'd only had ducks till that point and well they're water proof no coop for them soo brought her home and just never got around to building that coop like I promised the hubby! I did manage to buy her hot pink diapers tho [​IMG] now she was only a day old so she accustomed very well but an older chicken Im not really sure [​IMG]
  7. Juliana of San Marcos CA

    Juliana of San Marcos CA New Egg

    Jul 16, 2011
    Quote:X 2

    That reminds me of the monkey studies, were the man thought the loner and depressed monkey were a problem for the other monkeys. The loners were always picked on, and never joined the group. The scientists removed the loner monkeys and when they came back all the "normal" monkeys were dead. What they learned is that outsiders have a role. They warn the others of pending danger. It takes all kinds to make the group function.
  8. poseygrace

    poseygrace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    I have a Minorca we call "Chicken Little" because if she gets separated, she runs around like the sky is falling. She does the same thing yours does, she can't figure out how to get though the door, she runs to the end where her "sisters" are and cries like a baby. She is 6 months and still hasn't learned, I think she is a little "special" LOL!
  9. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    Our seven pullets have no trouble going out the door of the run to free range. The door is on the opposite end of the run from the coop. However, for the first couple weeks, when it was time for them to go back inside, there would be two or three that would run frantically around the other end - looking through the fence to where the other chickens were inside the run and going up the ladder into the coop. Finally, they all learned where the door is, but it took a couple weeks for it to click with all of them. It puzzled me, though, because they would go in and out of the door while they free-ranged, but then the anxiety of seeing the others going up to roost made them too anxious to think of where the door was.

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