Hen acting CRAZY

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mygirls20, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Mygirls20

    Mygirls20 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 20, 2013
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    I have a small flock of laying hens no rooster. I have noticed over the last two days that one of my hens Rocky (daughters named her) has been waiting to lay her egg till there are at least three eggs in the nesting box. Then she stays put for hours lets out this weird high pitch almost scream when the other hens try to get near her. She also wont let me close and tries to peck me whenever I reach my hand in to grab the eggs. I have to put down dry mealworms for everyone just to get her out. She is one of my most calm chickens even likes to sit on my shoulder. I have never has any problems with her. Why is she being so odd and aggressive now?
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    She may be feeling broody. A test is to see if she'd sleep on the nest. If so, she's broody. If not, she may just be having a hormonal surge. I'd say let her be and see how she does.
     
  3. Mygirls20

    Mygirls20 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok I will check on her tonight then see if she is still acting odd. Will she snap out of it?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with Donrae. It sounds hormonal and maybe broody behavior. I've had hens that acted somewhat broody but never really kicked over into full broody mode. I've had them behave that way for a couple of weeks before they decided one way or the other. If it is broody behavior, she will either go full blast broody or return to normal.

    Some possible broody behaviors are that she may puff up and growl at you if you approach her nest. She may get pretty defensive and peck you if you reach in. When on the nest, she may sort of flatten herself and look like she has zoned out. She will often give a regular pucking sound when she is off the nest and walk around fluffed up. Not all do all this but these are pretty typical behaviors.

    My test for a broody hen to see if she deserves eggs to hatch is that she has to spend two consecutive nights on the nest instead of roosting in her normal spot. If she is still laying eggs, she is not there yet. A hen stops laying eggs when she flips to full broody mode. She stays on the nest practically 24/7, maybe leaving the nest once or twice a day to eat, drink, and go poop. Since she has been holding it all day, when she goes poop it is normally a pretty big stinky event.

    If she does go broody, you should either break her from being broody or find her fertile eggs to hatch. If she goes full mode broody she can stay that way for months.
     
  5. Mygirls20

    Mygirls20 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well she snapped out of it I gave her some live crickets today and she didnt go back in the nesting box at all. Guessing she is just being crabby :)
     

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