Bored Hen?


10 Years
Mar 11, 2009
Would be grateful for advice - am I a bad mother?

We have had our two hens for two weeks, a black star and a goldine. They were kept in their run for the first week and I now have them free range in the garden for 2 hours when I get home at night and also all weekend where possible.

The black star has started to pace furiously up and down the run as soon as they come out of the eglu and this goes on for some time, and possibly often during the day. She looks like a possessed crazy woman, and to see her do this is breaking my heart.

I put treats in the run every morning and there are perches, pecker blocks etc in there, so I don't think it has anything to do with boredom, I think she just wants to be out in the garden.

What should be my next move? Should I carry on with my routine in the hope that she settles, or should I try and re-home her with someone who freeranges? The goldine seems fine but this evening I noticed that she has started to adopt the same behaviour.

Please help, I'm very saddened by this behaviour.


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
14 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
I don't really have any advise for you. I'm mainly answering so maybe somebody with an answer may see this when it goes by the board again.

How old is she? Is she laying? Has she possibly staked out a nest in the garden? That doesn't make a lot of sense if she starts pacing first think in the morning. Does she come back to the coop on her own at bedtime? How big are the run and coop? For two chickens, they don't have to be very large. And sounds like you have it set up nicely for them.

I'd just keep to the routine for a while and see if anything changes.

Sorry, but I am at a loss.


10 Years
Mar 5, 2009
Humboldt County
Sounds like she either started a nest spot in the garden or really wants to. I bring in (to the coop) my two broody bantam cross hens at night because they won't leave the nests they establlished in the pole barn. In the morning they cluck and run back and forth until I open the coop, then off they gallop to their special spots. This seems to go on a few weeks (about 21 days?) until maybe their internal clocks tell them to start foraging again. I think I'll actually try to keep track of how many days this goes on. Would be interesting if there's a direct correlation between number of days to hatch an imaginary nest and frantic behavior!

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