Hen constantly going in and out of coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chambles, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Chambles

    Chambles New Egg

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    Jun 4, 2017
    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 likes this.
  2. biophiliac

    biophiliac Chillin' with the Peeps Premium Member

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    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?
     
  3. Chambles

    Chambles New Egg

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    Jun 4, 2017
    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
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  4. orrpeople

    orrpeople Overrun With Chickens

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    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. :)
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    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.
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  6. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could be she was on the verge of going broody but it never quite kicked in fully.
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  7. orrpeople

    orrpeople Overrun With Chickens

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    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.
     
  8. MPio13

    MPio13 Out Of The Brooder

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    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.
     
    biophiliac likes this.

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