Do earthquakes affect chicken behavior?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jpfenimore, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. jpfenimore

    jpfenimore Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2014
    La Honda, California
    Hi -

    Ever since the big earthquake in Napa on Sunday our 4 hens have been acting really strangely. (We are 60 miles South but we felt it pretty good here in Menlo Park). Anyway, at almost 7 months old, they have all been laying on a consistent schedule for nearly two months. Now, they are hardly laying at all. Had they been on their regular schedule, we should have received 11-12 eggs over the past 3 days. We've received only 7, and one is all speckled like it's had peppered sprinkled on it. The girls have also been much more active, jumping up and down a lot more than usual from the high and low places in the coop, and they have been more dispersed in the run (they usually all hang out together, practically on top of one another). One has been acting like she is getting broody (screeching and ruffling her feathers whenever I come near her), except that she's not in the nesting box when she's doing it.

    Any insights? I've read this behavior has been claimed to predict earthquakes. I hope this isn't a sign of a bigger one to come!

    Thanks!
    Jamie
     
  2. Stiggy

    Stiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    I live in NZ and we had those big earthquakes 3&4 years ago with thousands of after shocks since then so I might be of some help as I know how the earthquakes feel. Chances are that it ruffled your girls feathers and gave them a fright, as the ground doesn't usually move from underneath them. Like with humans, the ground moving underneath us shook up our opinions on what we had as stable in our lives. Once things settle down a bit then they should be ok, I think its just the first stress reaction, ours also stopped laying for a while. Watch out for funny things that they would never do before as they can be a sign of on coming earthquakes and after shocks. Ours would go up into the trees when an earthquake was coming, many of them never went into the trees before and a few would just squeal and screech about nothing, and one would play dead ( tho that one was always ott with dramatic actions)
     
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  3. jpfenimore

    jpfenimore Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2014
    La Honda, California
    Thanks Stiggy. That is very helpful! Do you remember how long it was before your girls got back to their regular schedule? All of ours are now behaving as they did before, but 2 are still not laying.
     
  4. Stiggy

    Stiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    Um well we had over 600 chickens as the time but everyone was back to normal after a month or so, some did an early moult tho which we assumed was stress related. My 30 chooks were back laying by week 3
     
  5. jpfenimore

    jpfenimore Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2014
    La Honda, California
    Oh wow! That's a lot of chickens! :) Good to know though. I will give them a little more time. It's only been a week. :) Thanks again!
     
  6. Stiggy

    Stiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    Yeah my mother went a bit overboard with a new incubator, last year there was over 1000 plus mine. Yeah time seems to be good, tho any more earthquakes or big after shocks may upset them again and may cause unwanted stress behaviors such as feather plucking. So be warey of that. Good luck and best wishes for you and your flock
     

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