Change of style

May 16, 2020
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So, in the last few weeks I noticed that the dreaded Hawk that used to fly over our house has disappeared. I no longer find them staring down my hens from afar and I no longer feel unsafe letting my chickens out in the yard.
So, we had a slight change of pace to how we care for the hens.
With the weather clearing up and the rains settling down, we decided to try letting the hens out, mostly unsupervised, for a full day.
You know that was a big step for us, because we're first-time and anxious chicken farmers- who haven't lost a hen yet and don't plan to.
...
They were good girls.
Even with plenty of things to jump on, they didn't do anything naughty. Didn't poop on the grill, didn't try to hop the fence, didn't try to climb atop their coop
They just hung out.
So we decided to keep doing that, and it's gone very well.

There's just one teeensy Tiny little issue...
Our chicken....named Tiny.
Our little escape artist.

She wants to get into the house.

EVERY time I let the dog out to go potty, Tiny comes running through the door to the garage.
EVERY time I open the door to check on them, Tiny comes running between my legs
EVERY time I walk through the door to check for eggs, she bolts into the garage

Today, my dad went to let the dog out and say hello to the chickens- Tiny snuck behind him, walked through the garage, and hid under the kitchen table hoping that my dad didn't find her.

The other hens don't do this
The other hens aren't so dedicated to try and get in the house.
Is this normal? Is she just trying to get inside because it's warmer? Is she just being a pain in the fluffy butt?

Does anyone else have issues with a social hen trying to get inside to say hello to all her humans?

As much as I'd LOVE to just let her come inside and waddle around inside for a while, it makes my dog extremely jealous when she sees us giving the chickens attention. She whimpers and whines when I so much as pet the wings of my hens in front of her. I'd rather not bring the hens into what she knows as 'her' territory. She's learned that the yard is shared territory, and that the hens have free range out there, but the chickens don't come inside. Inside is HER territory and I don't want to make my dog so uncomfortable that she might get jealous enough to hurt one of the hens while defending her territory.

So I can't just let her come in.
Is there something I can do to make her comfier outside?
She's not even one of the mean hens. She doesn't bully or get bullied that I've ever seen, she's comfortably in the middle of the pecking order- is she just a little social bird that wants attention? or is she just chilly?
 

LizzzyJo

Crowing
Dec 14, 2018
1,286
3,208
287
Northwest Ohio
I want to start out by saying something that will sound mean, but I am saying out of deep support for you. If you free range daily without a LGD - you WILL lose a hen. It will happen. You need to prepare yourself for this. That being said, I - and many others on here - deem free ranging to be important enough to accept the rare loss. This is not a judgment, it is a warning to prepare yourself emotionally.

Now, onto your question. If she doesn't get reinforced for being in the house (food), she will eventually stop. She may be being bullied by the others and be attempting to flee, so watch out for that.
 

Mvan42

Crowing
Mar 15, 2019
2,070
4,443
346
Garrett County, Maryland
I want to start out by saying something that will sound mean, but I am saying out of deep support for you. If you free range daily without a LGD - you WILL lose a hen. It will happen. You need to prepare yourself for this. That being said, I - and many others on here - deem free ranging to be important enough to accept the rare loss. This is not a judgment, it is a warning to prepare yourself emotionally.

Now, onto your question. If she doesn't get reinforced for being in the house (food), she will eventually stop. She may be being bullied by the others and be attempting to flee, so watch out for that.
I agree there will be a losses. Even though you don't see the hawk(s) they are around.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,715
10,539
636
western South Dakota
I too have experienced losses, AND the more you let them out, well the farther they will roam. How they act now, is not a great indicator for later on.

As for the one that keeps sneaking in, give her a bit of a chase OUT, a couple of times, tie a plastic bag to the end of a broom, and use that to chase her a bit.

Mrs K
 
May 16, 2020
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Update:
....
So, the 3 other novogens have started mimicking her behavior.
They still leave Valentina- our black australorp- out of the party.
So, now we have 4 brown novogen hens who try to get into the house.
Not ONLY have they started to copy her
.......
When my dad's in the garage, where he often is because he's got his little man-cave in there, and he's on the phone- which he often is- and the hens can hear him....
They all come sit by the back door.
And bawk.
They bawk at the top of their little bird lungs because they KNOW my dad is there and they want him to let them inside. "Your chickens are at the back door againnn, why do they think they want to be house chickens" is something I'm hearing about once every hour now. And I have to go shoo them back into the yard.


...I'm just worried that all 5 of these little shits are gonna start sitting outside on the patio screaming for human attention. Should I not even shoo them back to the yard? Should I just let them bawk it out?
Does anyone else have super weird hens who cry for human attention?
 

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