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cowering, and now trying to sleep on the top of the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by playmeasong, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. playmeasong

    playmeasong In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2008
    South Jersey
    Hi all,
    I'm a proud mom to 2 EE's and 2 RIW's, all ladies about 30 wks, who have been giving me 1-2 eggs/day. They're starting to slow down now and I have questions about 2 behaviors. One RIW will taunt me when I'm walking around, squawk to let out of the pen (they're out a few hours most afternoons), and beg for food, and then when I come near, she squats on the ground as if she's been bullied before and is cowering. I don't see evidence that the crew is picking on her. Is this a normal occurrence?

    Also my girls had been good about putting themselves back into the coop at dusk. Now at least two are hanging outside when it gets dark and I find them at 10pm still on the roof of the coop. I have been taking them off and putting them back in the coop. I just don't want to have them freeze (it's a cold snap in NJ and our first winter with hens). It seems like since the time change in early Nov we've had their bodies confused with shorter days. Will it really kill them to sleep in 35 degree temps outside or am I right to put them back in the coop?

    Thanks so much!
    Oh, and still no code enforcement come a knockin...[​IMG]

  2. aiwetir

    aiwetir Songster

    Oct 28, 2008
    portland, or
    maybe she is squatting like she might for a roo ?
  3. playmeasong

    playmeasong In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2008
    South Jersey
    I'm going to boost this up again and ask for more help if I may. The cowering I'm not so worried about, but again today, at 5:15 EST they were in the dusk, sitting on top of the coop (6ft in the air) cooing and talking to me, as if settling in for the night. It was 39 degrees, with a forecast to go to 25 degrees. So I grabbed each one and put them in the coop so they could settle inside. Have your hens spend the night outdoors in cold temps and are they ok, or should I keep picking them up and putting them indoors? They are 30wks at least...and not very smart from what I'm learning. I find if they go out and freerange for a few hours in the afternoon, they will lay more eggs for me than if they're penned up the whole day.
  4. birdnutz

    birdnutz Songster

    Mar 6, 2007
    The temps wouldn't bother me. I'd sure be worried about predators though. I would keep putting them in until they finally get the idea.
  5. CK Chickadilly

    CK Chickadilly Songster

    Sep 11, 2008
    West Michigan
    I have a few that haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet. I keep putting them in their coop at night. I had 5 to start with now I am down to 2 that need help. They will get it sooner or later! [​IMG]

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