HEN ON ALERT...DON'T KNOW WHY...NEED SOME THOUGHTS ON THIS...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SillyBird, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. SillyBird

    SillyBird Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2015
    Nova Scotia
    Hi,
    I can't seen to download videos so I have to describe what is happening and hope some of you out there can shed some light. My year plus old meat king hen, Coconut, has done the following behaviour twice since yesterday, once out in her fenced yard and once in her coop: She stands there looking very alert/scared...and makes the loudest noises...like ba bak KAA over and over again. She does not run...just stands there very upright, very alert. I thought maybe a rat or other small animal had run through her yard and scared her or something. The other two laying hens, who have their own coop and yard, right next to and visible to her, were a bit on alert, but quiet, in the yard when it happened the first time. Today though, the second time it happened, everyone was in their sides of the coop and when Coconut started this, the laying hens were totally fine--no reaction. We have set up a live trap outside the coop in case and I'm wondering...is this behaviour due to a predator or is there another reason or reasons that my dear pet hen might be doing this noisy behavior? When I went in with her tonite when she did this she immediately stopped but was still looked a bit 'alarmed'...definately unusual, so I stayed about 15 minutes in there as she settled as I stroked her gently and sang to her. She got into her hay bed and was quiet, then I left. Not sure if she is has something physically wrong with her as she is not doing anything physically unusual at the time other than the loud squawking. I feel bad for her. I don't know what do. I don't mind the noise, I just feel very bad and concerned that she is being stressed for some reason that I don't understand. Thanks for your thoughts on this.


     
  2. featherfella

    featherfella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2016
    Hi here,

    This is very weird behaviour for a chicken to be doing this day after day. The only thing I can say is that she may be very unsure about a certain sound that my be on your property. For example if she hears a noise that sounds odd she will start the become very alert. That is all I can think of as this is a very weird case.


    Hope this helps.
     
  3. SillyBird

    SillyBird Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2015
    Nova Scotia
    She's only done this a couple of times thankfully. I'm thinking she saw a small critter around the outside of their coop. We've set a live trap just in case. Maybe she heard it underneath the coop when she was inside and got scared. She didn't even want to come up her ramp that day...so she was definately scared of something she saw I think. We caught a weasel before...so maybe another one is lurking around, and we have rats occasionally....despite our place being very neat and clean...they still show up. I've seen her reaction to an eagle flying overhead and it was very different...she certainly didn't make any noises then. Thank you for your thoughts.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Is Coconut alone in her enclosure?
    Maybe she's calling to the other hens and wants to be with them.
    Sometimes they just like to sound off...she may have seen something that startled her, she may be celebrating and egg being laid.
     
  5. SillyBird

    SillyBird Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2015
    Nova Scotia
    Hi,

    I appreciate your thoughts. : ) She is alone in her enclosure and coop, but in both places, they are fully visible to each other. Coconut hates the laying hens and vice versa, so I keep them separate and all appear very content. I never see one trying to get in with another for 'company' and there's no stress. There was no egg...although Coconut used to lay eggs. So as you mentioned also, something must have startled her. Poor girl...I don't know if her ol' meat king heart can stand much of that. Thanks again.

     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Meat birds don't live long lives, even if not slaughtered at the usual 8-16 weeks.
    Unless you've got her on a limited diet.....their legs and/or hearts usually give out.
     
  7. SillyBird

    SillyBird Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2015
    Nova Scotia
    Yes, I know, every day is a gift for her being a meat king and well past her 'expiry date'. She is on a limited diet and it seems to work. I couldn't let her go that day, (processing day), she was the runt of them all and won me over with her sweetness...roosting in my knee etc. She was indeed the special one of the group. Hee hee. I do see that some live 4 or 5 years but I think they are the very lucky ones in the perfect conditions. Coconut is one year three months old. Every morning I go into the coop and she is still around, I am so greatful. : )

     

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