Can we re-train bad habits?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Songbird7, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Songbird7

    Songbird7 New Egg

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    Nov 17, 2012
    Clearly we are first-timers to the chicken arena and have learned much on this site but we have new, down-right obnoxious behavior coming from our americauna, Willow. (her first six months she was the quiet one) She now becomes growly and squawks for a half hour at a time, if she is in the coop. We have never allowed the girls to be out in the yard all day unsupervised as we have feral cats and neighbors near by. We have been opening the interior door to the roost area early and then, trying to keep them in the coop for a few hours so that they stay used to being in there. I can't be home all of the time! On Sunday's they stay in the coop until 1-2pm. The biggest issue is that they, especially Willow are down-right unpleasant and I know she does it to try and force my hand to let her out just to shut her up. If we weren't in a neighborhood setting I wouldn't be so concerned but we don't want complaints and, we don't know what is going on while we are gone... Now, i realize this might not be acceptable so please be kind.
    Can we use a mild vinegar/water solution or even plain H20 to spray at the behavior like we do the cats? We have not done anything yet and are simply attempting to keep peace and let the girls know they don't decide "house rules." We only have three girls, two Buff Orpington's and Willow, our Americauna. We had another like Willow but she, we learned was not Lucy, but rather Lou-had to return him to the feed store. I appreciate any wisdom.

    Oh, maybe I should state that all three are laying, although they yell at one another when one is in a nesting box and someone else wants to be there. We have three boxes-they only use one and carry on-driving me batty-never know if it is a cat, dog, hawk or just girls being girls....
     
  2. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello and welcome to BYC. No, I don't think spraying your birds with water will deter their loquacious behavior LOL! My EEs are very talkative little girls and they will let me know if they are hungry or, like yours, want out of their pen NOW! I don't consider being vocal a bad habit, it kind of comes with chickens (some breeds are quieter than others I've read). It's kind of a personality thing, that's who they are, chatty and I don't think they would put together spraying=no more squawking. I don't think your neighbors will mind, it's not like they are roosters constantly crowing, but I don't know, good luck to you. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  3. Cluky

    Cluky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure if you can "train" a chicken to be quiet. As poster above said...that's who they are. i didn't catch from above, however if you do not have chicken run I would suggest having one with automatic door if the noise bothers you. That way chickens get what they want, which is being outside (can't blame them) and you get what you want....for them not to complain. [​IMG]
     
  4. Songbird7

    Songbird7 New Egg

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    Nov 17, 2012
    Thank you. They have a small, enclosed roost/nesting area for night-time and an 8-ft wire-only enclosed coop area. Sorry, Not sure of terminology. I am thinking we need to figure a way to enlarge that area so that they have more room and are still safe when we are not home for several hours. I can't even do Christmas returns for fear of them creating havoc while I am gone! Feel like I am the one caged! All in good humor, but good-grief. May have to get a dog to keep the cats at bay ...there is a song in there...
     
  5. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love Cluky's idea of an automatic door. Enlarging their pen sounds like a good idea too. I'm a never say never kind of person, but I wouldn't be too concerned about feral cats, getting a dog however---I would pass. Family dog is considered to be one of the top predators for chicken killing (it's even happened to me). I have however, 15 barn cats, and of course several strays with no problem. It does sound like your chickens have you wrapped around their little fingers, LOL!!!
     
  6. Songbird7

    Songbird7 New Egg

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    Nov 17, 2012
    Thank you, I am disappointed to learn of the dog issue. So sorry you had to experience that ugliness. Good to know for our discussions and decisions though. I think we will have to figure a way to enlarge their pen/run area. What a pain.

    Before we got them we read all sorts of comments about people having them in their pens much of the day and allowing them out for an hour or so and all was happy...We should have known...

    Thanks Peaches and Cluky
     

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