Help! Hens eating window sills!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Adriennebrae, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Adriennebrae

    Adriennebrae New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2016
    We have three chickens and lately they have been pecking at the window molding around the windows outside (some of our windows are ground level since our house is built into a hill). It's really becoming an issue and it's caused some pretty major damage in a few windows. What can I do to prevent this? My husband won't let them "free range" if this continues (understandably) and I don't want them "cooped" up. Help!
     
  2. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    What exactly are they pecking at? the caulking? it may need to be replaced with some type that cannot be pecked.
    My first hens pecked at the Styrofoam on the outside of the basement walls, DH would complain. I didn't like it either because I thought it would make them sick.
    Besides the styro was supposed to be covered with cement and rock and I would remind him, he finally covered it with cement but I don't think he'll ever get around to the rock.
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!!

    Temporarily fence off the windows so they can't get at them.
    Put an old semi-rotted log or two near their coop.....I have several such logs in my run, they love to peck at them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
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  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You need to examine the paint chips to make sure it isn't lead paint or you could have a real serious problem on your hands.

    Do as aart suggests before it gets to be any worse of a habit. Some chickens have a more pathological drive to pick at stuff, including each others feathers. If your chickens are cooped up all the time, they are going to resort to this sort of behavior even more, and it won't get better.

    You need to convince your mate that it's inviting all sorts of problems keeping the chickens confined in a small space. If he doesn't like the idea of sacrificing the landscaping, then it would be a good investment to build a nice roomy run with lots of stumps and perches and other "furniture" to keep the chickens amused and occupied.

    I have taken empty feed sacks and stuffed them with straw, and then stapled them closed. The chickens not only love to lounge on them, but a few of them have taken to using them as surrogate feather picking objects. So far, those chickens that have been picking at the cushions haven't gone back to picking each other or other stuff that isn't good for them.
     
  5. Mini Meat

    Mini Meat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is the wood rotting?

    If so they are probably craving the mycelium and or insects living in the wood. In addition to excluding them form the sills you might try giving them a punky, rotting log to peck at.
     

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