Hen constantly going in and out of coop

Chambles

Hatching
Jun 4, 2017
2
2
4
Hi all,
Long term reader of BYC and new question asker.

I've been keeping chickens for around 5 years now and haven't seen this behaviour before.

Recently one of our hens has started spending all day going up the ramp into their coop and then coming out and going down the ramp.

Do chickens get early onset senility? It's almost as if she gets to the bottom and thinks "What was I doing? Oh yes, going up the ramp".

When I throw scratch in she races with the others and seems to eat and drink normally.

She also wont allow any hay/straw to stay in the nesting box - it all gets scratched out every day.

Egg production is a little down - instead of the usual 19-21 per week (3 hens) we're getting 15-18 per week.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for your wonderful insights!
 

biophiliac

Traveler in BYCLand
5 Years
Apr 22, 2016
7,338
27,994
1,042
DeForest, WI
I really don't know and never saw this in my few birds but one thought... Is she feeling like she wants to lay but not succeeding and returning to try again?
 

Chambles

Hatching
Jun 4, 2017
2
2
4
Could be the answer. Of course after having behaved like that for around 2 weeks, today she is behaving normally! Come to think of it we had 3 eggs this morning so you might be right. Thank you
 

orrpeople

Grading essays - be back soon!
5 Years
Jun 15, 2016
5,439
20,772
812
State of Jefferson
I sometimes think it's a bit like the urge to poo. And all that scratching around could really be some frustration attached with the inability to follow through, or being uncomfortable but not being able to do anything about it. Glad she was able to lay an egg for you... reproductive cycles...go figure. :)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,482
130,003
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I have one doing this now....she used to be my mellowest layer and after being separated for a couple days is back in the main coop and constantly scratching up the nests like mad.
I hope she knocks if off soon.
 

orrpeople

Grading essays - be back soon!
5 Years
Jun 15, 2016
5,439
20,772
812
State of Jefferson
Could be she was on the verge of going broody but it never quite kicked in fully.
Speaking of which, I have an Austrolorpe who walks around fluffy and angry like a broody, but lays an egg every day and as soon as I take it from her, gets off the nest and doesn't return until the next laying time. She is a mystery. Partially broody? A Jr. High girl has taken over her body?? Hmmmm.
 

MPio13

Chirping
May 18, 2017
48
40
54
Funny; just today we watched our largest hen do almost the same thing. She went up into the nesting area, then came back down the ramp only to turn around and head back up. I think this is our most inconsistent bird in terms of laying, but she definatley gave us one today a little later on from when we saw her going up and down. Maybe she felt it coming and since she isn't a regular layer she was feeling anxious.
 

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