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I am worried about my chickens' health! Please help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by erinboberin, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. erinboberin

    erinboberin Hatching

    Mar 12, 2012
    I live in New Zealand and have been keeping three chooks in my backyard for about 2 months. Each chook has her own personality, but lately we are a bit worried about two of them. for the first month or so, all three would be desperate to be let out of the coop and into their pen at the first hint of sunrise. If we didn't let them out and feed them early enough, they would let us know about it by squawking! However lately Lucy and Beyonce have no interest in coming out of the coop in the morning, they just sit there in their nesting box. Kyle is the only one waiting to come out. Lucy and Beyonce don't even come out to eat! We are having to pick them up and take them out and then shut the coop so that they do eat. Once they are outside they are fine, they peck away and have dust baths in the sun and gobble up the pellets and veges and fruit we give them. But after a couple of hours Lucy and Beyonce get grumpy and want to go back in. When they go back in, they just sit there. Kyle also won't go in when they are in there. We are getting zero - one egg a day (we used to get three - one each), and Kyle is definitely not laying because she never goes into the coop (during the day) when the others are in there - although at night time she goes in for bedtime.
    They seem healthy and they still have all their feathers. They enjoy themselves when they are outside. The days are getting shorter as we approach autumn but there are still about 14 hours of daylight a day here.
    I'm just worried that there is something wrong with them. I'm not sure if something has happened socially between them (although it doesn't seem to have, Kyle still looks to be at the top of the pecking order as she has been from day one).
    If anyone can help please let me know!

  2. oddbirdranch

    oddbirdranch Chirping

    Mar 2, 2012
    Southern CA
    It really sounds to me like they are broody. Even though they don't have eggs to sit on, they still may have the urge. I have a silkie hen that will sit and sit, whether I take the eggs or not.
    Are they continuously going back to the same spots in the coop? If so, I would maybe mess up their nest/take it away, or whatever I could to disturb it, or keep them in a cage away from the nest for a couple days... that is if you want to discourage them. If you want them to hatch eggs, then put some fertile ones in the nest and let them do their thing.
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Agreed. It sounds like they are broody. Their hormones are telling them to hatch something but they'll sit there even with no eggs.

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