Chicken run away from home?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by twilightgecko, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. twilightgecko

    twilightgecko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have a flock of 9 birds.. a year old now.. 3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Barred Rocks and 3 Black Australorps..

    one of the buffs has always been odd.. she matured terribly late, grew HUGE.. i don't think she ever has layed eggs.. she followed me around so much she got nicknamed Puppy.. she grew aggressive towards me for a short while, even drew blood pecking me.. she was never aggressive with any of the flock.. she out grew her aggressiveness towards me when she tried to peck me and one of the flock flew at her and held her head down.. but since then, she has never felt like part of the flock.. always either following me or wandering off on her own.. sad to say, she has always come across kind of simple. not quite there..

    i live on 6 acres of woods, neighbours not really close by..

    the other night she wasn't in the coop roosting.. so walked thru the woods, calling her name.. [all my girls come when called] .. nothing.
    the next day i went out looking for her or remains.. when i got back from the woods, there she was.. eating with the flock like nothing happened. that night again, not roosting.. next day, there she was again. not roosting that night.. and no sight of her yesterday or today.. so.. i know she is going 'somewhere' during the day.. where she roosts at night, no idea..

    so.. do chickens run away from home?? sounds funny, but i don't understand this behaviour..

    a friend said she could be sitting on eggs somewhere, but she has never layed an egg. i have never seen her in a nest box or have any interest in sitting.. no roosters, so no chance of chicks.. anyway.. just odd. and i have only been a chicken mama for a year.

    here she is just a couple weeks ago.. even her comb has never filled in.. anyway, any thoughts on this? has anyone ever had a hen run away from home?

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  2. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Professional in training Premium Member

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    I would guess she that she was sitting on eggs somewhere too but if she has never laid an egg then there is something wrong with her.

    Are you sure she hasn't been laying eggs some where else all along?
     
  3. Mace Gill

    Mace Gill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just a guess ... hens like a certain nesting box and tend to share it. She sounds like she is on the bottom of the pecking order and probably being chased away from the communal nesting box. I'll bet she's laying somewhere private (though not broody) and returning to that spot for peace and quiet. I have a hen that after three years recently came to the bottom of the pecking order and wouldn't voluntarily go in at night. I made sure she was not ill (they'll chase away an ill hen) made sure she had safe alone time when everyone was foraging, and her own space and healthy feed/treats. After some tlc, she's looking better and back carousing with the flock (most of the time).

    Check your orp for parasites, illness, or anything like that ... if she's A-Okay that way, then she's a loner (poor thing) and she'll need some tlc. If she's laying away from the nesting boxes, coop her up for a day or two when the others are out (with plenty of feed!) and then keep her in the run for another couple of days while they are out. Leave and egg or two in the nesting box to encourage her.
     
  4. Farmgal101

    Farmgal101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thats funny maybe you could set up a camera. is she in a fenced in area or just in there own pasture.
     
  5. twilightgecko

    twilightgecko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    she is free range.. she is just like a Puppy, was always on my heels.. at night when i would go out to close up their coop, didn't matter how dark or late it was, she would come running out to meet me and i would give her some tlc and wait patiently for her to go in and roost..

    no, i can't be sure she isn't laying somewhere else.. just going on my observations of her that i have never gotten 9 eggs out of 9 hens. never seen any parasites on any of them.. hmmm.. i do have a game cam that i use to watch their comings and goings.. but where she gets to now is a mystery.. the cam just shows her wandering off..
     
  6. Mace Gill

    Mace Gill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're not going to get nine eggs out of nine hens. Under perfect condition a hen lays every 26 hours at best. Ymmv.
     
  7. trueblue8364

    trueblue8364 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a silky who is EXACTLY like that. Something just isn't quite right up top. She's a loaner. Never laid an egg. Usually I have to pick her up at night and put her on the roost. If I call her name she comes running because she knows it's time for me to put her in her house. She has spent many of nights nested somewhere else and we could never find her and she would always show up in the morning. They are special :) they just need extra lovin :thumbsup
     
    twilightgecko and Mace Gill like this.
  8. trueblue8364

    trueblue8364 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As a follow-up I have an ostrich chick who is very similar. She spent a little bit too much time in the egg hatching so part of me wonders if those birds ended up with a little bit of oxygen deprivation causing some minor brain damage during their hatch. Only explanation I can think of.
     
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  9. Farmgal101

    Farmgal101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You probably need to set up more cameras if you can.I recommend if you want to find out why she's leaving.You could also just fence the chickens up they still get lots of space but don't go wondering
     
  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I my opinion genetic divination (not diversity) is the reason that maw nature created the pecking order. Under this theory the pecking order is useful to the flock in order to expel genetic mistakes from the flock.
     

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