Lazy Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by farmgirl02, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Hi,
    Just recently the last 3 or four months my hens have become ridiculously lazy. I am not sure if they are getting older or what, but they sit under my glass door on my porch preening for hours, and they only scratch for I'd say about 1 hour a day. They hardly ever take dust baths and a few have stopped laying completely. Sometimes they don't even preen, but just sit and stare glumly in the window at me for hours on end. Only 1 hen is laying 1 egg per day, and, my once frisky young pullets are starting to copy their bad example. Not to mention they make a total mess of my porch. They are even staring at me through the glass as I am writing. The older hens are about 4 years old, and my 2 pullets are about 22/23 weeks old. I feed them all Purina Flock Raiser, put Apple Cider Vinegar in their water, and give them fresh feed and water when needed.... I can't think of what could be wrong. Their coop and nest boxes/sleeping areas stay pretty clean on a daily basis. They are free range almost the whole day.

    Somebody tell me what is wrong, please!

    Thank you!! [​IMG]

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    They're probably waiting for you to bring them treats.
    You can try to close the curtains so they can't see you.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I agree with ChickenCanoe....I would bet they have you trained and they are waiting for any goodies you might be bringing them! They don't sound like they are burning many calories sitting on the porch all day, so it doesn't take many treats to fill them up for the day. If a hen goes more than a day or so and doesn't eat her layer feed or get high protein, that can shut the eggs off. The winter cold and lack of light is bad enough to slow egg production down, but a few extra treats and they don't eat their layer feed, and the eggs can get clamped off. Don't give them any goodies for a few days and see if that doesn't get them off their porch butts, eating some layer feed and get back to laying! LOL :)
  4. Jajika

    Jajika Songster

    Dec 24, 2007
    Northern California
    My girls always slow way down in winter. It's cold and if the ground is cold and wet, no wonder they don't dirt bath. Mine bath more when it's warmer and there is more light.

    I agree too many treats can be a problem. Follow the advice above regarding holding off on the treats and see what happens.
  5. Thanks! They have been trained before to come up to the porch for treats or if they want something, as well as run like mad up to me if they hear the door slam......... no wonder they keep sitting on the porch all day... they are not going to be too happy, but no treats for a long while! :)

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