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Hens won't come out of the coop. What's up?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bawkbawkbawk, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Lost the leader of my flock to a coyote a few weeks ago. The remaining three girls were spooked for a day or so but then went back to their normal (and carefully supervised) free-ranging behavior.

    Then they had to deal with the disruption of being boarded for two days as we had to be out of our house for a fumigation. My broody Silkie came back un-broody after the boarding, so it wasn't all bad.

    Their behavior was normal for a few days but yesterday morning and this morning, none of the three will come out of the coop even to go into their pen. Yesterday I thought maybe they had seen a predator and were afraid, but they don't seem afraid this morning, just sitting on their roosting bars in the coop and declining to come out.

    All seem healthy.

    Any ideas as to what's up with the little agoraphobics?
     
  2. What if it is rupophobia? [​IMG] Or cynophobia? [​IMG]
     
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    They've had a lot of disruption over the passed few weeks, so it could be a bit stressed and saw a predator that you are not aware of. If so, they should settle soon.

    But since you doubt another predator I would really, really watch that they are not sick as you said you just had them boarded elsewhere.

    Listlessness is often the first sign before others appear. Listen carefully for any sneezing, rales, wheezing, "nicking", "cooing" or other respiratory sounds, no matter how mild but different, that might be a tip off that they caught an infection where they were boarded.

    Look closely for any moisture around the beaks or eyes. Since all 3 seem affected, I suspicion viral if it is an infection, or something in the environment (mold, etc.)

    You might consider putting them on vitamins/electrolytes to help boost their immune systems whether it is stress or illness. Apple Cider Vinegar is also a good immune boost. And also consider de-worming. They might have picked up some worms.

    Good Luck.
    Lady of McCamley
     
  4. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Lady and thank you for your reply,

    They are, fortunately, not listless. I have seen listless in my hens before, and that never seems to end well [​IMG]

    I would say they seem more hesitant than anything. Yesterday they ventured out mid-morning when I went out to clean the coop and they poked around happily the rest of the day. But this morning, same thing, just sitting in the coop looking like they are waiting for an engraved invitation. Here they are:

    [​IMG]



    It may be as simple as that my EE does not realize she is supposed to be the new flock leader and is waiting for one of the little ones to tell her what to do while they wait for her to tell them what to do.

    Do you put the Apple Cider Vinegar in their water?

    I have never wormed my hens. Is that a must-do?
     
  5. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm so glad they are not listless or looking ill.

    Well, the little darlings ARE confused aren't they. [​IMG]

    I think you are right...no one is stepping up to leadership.

    They only thing I can think of is to put some yummy treats out in the pen for them...lead them there with treats if you have to.

    Hopefully that will help SOMEBODY take charge.

    Lady of McCamley
     
  6. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Ooops...missed those last 2 questions.

    Yes. I choose to keep ACV (raw, unfiltered, with the "mother") in water fairly consistently. I think it helps with overall immune system and health. Be sure to put in plastic container only as the metal waterers will corrode releasing toxic metals.

    Is worming my hens a "must do." Depends on your perspective. Some never do. Some regularly.

    If you care for my opinion, I wrote up my experiences and study here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...quality-of-these-eggs-shells/60#post_11559080

    Or google worming on BYC and you'll see the differences of opinion.

    Hope the little hens figure things out soon :D
    Lady of McCamley
     

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