Chicken stays in coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dougo357, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. dougo357

    dougo357 Hatching

    Sep 20, 2007
    I have 5 hens. One of them is physically healthy but has recently begun staying in the coop all day. She comes out in the morning, preens herself, eats drinks, etc, and then goes back in. She comes out again around noon to do the same thing.
    I believe she is brooding but there are no eggs. We do not own a rooster so we never get fertilized eggs. My other hens have stopped laying but I believe they are starting their molt therefore I do not believe that these situations are related.
    How can I get my hen to leave the coop and start acting normally?
    I've owned chickens for about 10 years and this is the first time I've witnessed this type of behavior.
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    If you go near her in her next, does she growl and peck?

    To me, it sounds like she's broody. I've had hens go broody without even sitting on eggs. The presence of an actual egg to sit on, or rooster, has no effect on a hen going broody. It's something engrained in their particular genese.

    If she turns out to be broody, you can 'break' her by putting her in a cage with food, water and very little nesting material. After 7 or 15 days (I think) she will come out of it. But, you said they were going into molt, it's probably no issue just to leave her sitting in the coop since you're not trying to rush her back into production.
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    If she is broody I think you would have been collecting eggs with her still on the nest. While it still is possible, if the rest are in molt, then she isn't going to be far behind.
    Since all birds are inividuals, some really like to just stay at home and be safe, although not many.

  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I wouldn't worry too much at this point, as long as she looks healthy and is good about coming out to eat and drink a couple of times a day. I'd give her a little more time.
  5. My californian loves to sit in the nests all day long she will hop out to eat and drink then back in she goes she is one of the sweetest hens I have she is 5 years old when I go in to collect eggs she will be there looking at me waiting to be petted she always sits in an empty nest have never found an egg under her if another hen goes into a nest she is in to laye she will wait till they leave then get up and walk to a differant nest she is bit of an oddball but she seems happy and content. Looks like you have an oddball too I wouldnt worry about it unless she isnt drinking or eating or not alert.
  6. dougo357

    dougo357 Hatching

    Sep 20, 2007
    I love this forum! I asked a question yesterday and fellow chicken lovers have reponded with thoughts, ideas, and experiences. Thanks to all! I feel better knowing that this hen is most likely healthy and just going through something.
    When she is in the nesting cubby she is extremely flat, I suppose that's normal.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: