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Chicken Psychologist Needed!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cameroneil, May 22, 2011.

  1. cameroneil

    cameroneil Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    hello chicken peeps!

    okay, so i need some chicken psyche insight. we got our two first chickens--2 precious silkie hens, pearl and ninja!--exactly 1 week ago today. their original mistress, who had rescued pearl from a bad living situation when she was a very young pullet and raised ninja from the day she hatched, had to give them up because she is moving someplace where she can't take 'em. we just set up our supersweet coop and run, and were ready to take on our first birds, so it all made sense. she brought them over last sunday, and they seemed thrilled in their new digs and big run and everything. for the first few days we kept them cooped up for most of the day, then let them out a bit in the late afternoon, and put would put them back up in the coop at dusk.

    the middle third of the coop floor opens as a ramp that goes down in to the run, and then lifts up drawbridge style to close at night. both pearl and ninja have gone down the ramp, but they haven't really gotten up it so far, and we are thinking of a redesign that would make it easier for them to navigate. here are some pictures to illustrate the situation: (pics were taken pre-hay, there is plenty of hay in there now!)

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    anyway, problem is, the girls aren't coming down into the run anymore as of yesterday! earlier in the week, when we'd open the ramp, they would flutter on out. but it rained a couple of days ago and got super muddy in the coop, so we kept them cooped up for about a day and a half until things dried up. but now it's lovely weather for them, and they just aren't coming out!

    they were both laying before, but our chicken benefactor said that they might take a week at least to start laying again. and here is the psychology part: these ladies went from being in-door, chicken diaper, very spoiled condo pet chickens, to a little cage in the backyard of chicken benefactor's parents, to our outdoor coop and run. so there has definitely been a lot of transition for them. where they seemed really happy to check things out and explore earlier in the week, they both seem kind of...well, depressed? now. they are eating and pooping fine, but they seem to have lost all desire to go out in the run after having been cooped up most of thursday and friday. they are so adorable, and i want them to be happy!
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    anyone have any experience with chicken situational depression? is there anything i can do? could it be that what i'm perceiving of as depression is just them getting ready to be egg-layers again? *hopeful dance* anyway, any insight would be helpful. THANK YOU!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't know much about silkies, but I thought they're considered the "couch potatoes" of the chicken world. Maybe after the initial novelty of the new digs wore off, they're just happy hanging out indoors. I have a friend who has half a dozen Silkies, and they're content in a 6' x 4' pen with two-foot high sides and a tiny dog house inside the garage.

    But if you want to talk to a guy who knows the inside of a chicken head, write to Ky at [email protected] He'll be happy to discuss your problem and give you suggestions.
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Is there anything in the run for them to do? Is it just plain dirt? Is it possible they just don't have any motivation to go down there? Maybe dig up a clump of grass and put it in there for them and sprinkle a little seed around as a treat. They could have a lot of fun eating and scratching around while they forage. Maybe a leaf pile or something organic like a little fine mulch to scratch around in at one end.
     
  5. cameroneil

    cameroneil Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    hello again chicken peeps!

    and guess what. i should've just waited an hour, because when i went back out there, they both jumped down into the run....and under pearl was Our First Egg! i couldn't believe it!

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    thanks for the responses. oh, and woodland woman, they have lots of sticks and stumps and rocks to play on, the earlier pictures didn't show that. [​IMG] they are out there partying now. huzzah!
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Congratulations on your first egg! [​IMG]
     
  7. cameroneil

    cameroneil Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    thank you thank you. pretty fun, eggs! [​IMG]
     
  8. poseygrace

    poseygrace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awww that's a cute little egg! Silkies are homebodies from my experience, too. They'll get used to their new digs soon.
     

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