My hen has a strange behavior.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sekeyslaks, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. sekeyslaks

    sekeyslaks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2014
    Hello BYC!

    I have a 3-4 year old Easter Egger named Jenna that has a weird habit of roosting in the roosts all day long while the other chickens happily free-range!She only comes down when she sees me and when she wants food and water,she does occasionally forage with the others!This hen has Never started a fight with any of my chickens,she is super peaceful! I used to think she does this from the cold,but when I really think about it she does this in summer too!This hen has never been abused in any way,in fact she was the very first in my flock to follow me around everywhere!Does anyone have an explanation for my hen's odd habit?
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    I have a hen with the same behavior, an other EE. She's so perch bound, that she's even been laying her eggs from the perch, where they either break, or freeze. she lays the most beautiful egg, too. I think she has a persecution complex. She never really gets picked on, but if any of the other girls even look at her, she runs away. Other times, she will even peck other girls away from the feed dish.
  3. sekeyslaks

    sekeyslaks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2014
    It sure is strange isn't it?That's why I want an answer!!BYC!! I know there are people out there!Please come out of hiding![​IMG]
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Has she always acted like this?
    Has she ever laid...molted?
  5. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2014
    I have two RIR who are at the bottom of the pecking order. they were doing that for weeks. I think they felt safe there. then they realised they have enough space to run away. so now they are happy foraging
  6. sekeyslaks

    sekeyslaks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2014
    When she was a chick she was the quietest and very friendly toward people(Still is) I used to let her perch on things that were near me so she could watch what I was doing,she never did move!But apart from that I remember no noticeable obsession for perching!She lays normally like the others,molts normally too!And also this hen is not a lower member,probably somewhere in the middle since all the chickens get along with her.Lately she has been foraging more often with the others which is good!but I would love to understand her habit better.
  7. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I'd like to take a stab at this, and that's all it is since I'm only guessing.

    I'm assuming you don't suspect your EE has any illness or injury you're worried about, just this odd behavior. Then we can probably assume she feels in her comfort zone roosting for long periods. It's who she is and what she chooses to do at this point.

    Why? Well, you gave us a clue. When she was a chick, she spent long periods roosting on a perch near you, watching you, being with you, bonding, imprinting. It made her feel secure and comfortable doing it, and perhaps it still does.

    Chickens have temperaments just like people do. Some are sensitive and fearful, others bold and nothing seems to bother them. I have chickens that meet both those descriptions.

    Even as chickens have their own personalities and habits, they are capable of change, and some can go from timid to bold over a span of time. So, whatever has your hen seeking the security and comfort of her perch, after time, she may no longer need it. I would just leave her to her habit, maybe put some kind of cushioning under the perch to soften the landing of her eggs, and be patient. Someday, she may happily join the world again, and you'll never know why. But it will be because it's who she is and what she chooses to do.
    1 person likes this.
  8. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    What @azygous says makes a lot of sense to me. Perhaps the roost is your hen's 'happy place,' gleaned from her time with you when she was younger.

    I wonder if you put up some roosting bars around the area that the flock free-ranges in, maybe she might be inclined to join them more often?

    That way, she could get down and socialise with the others when she observes it to be 'safe', and escape back up onto the perch if she wants to withdraw for a while. And when she does want to 'go up' she won't be sitting alone all day - the others would be right there below her.

    She sure sounds like a sweet girl though. Could we see a picture of her by any chance?

    - Krista
    1 person likes this.
  9. sekeyslaks

    sekeyslaks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2014
    Your right I only wanted to check out her behavior,for curiosities sake!What you say makes perfect sense! I had suspected that might be the case but I wanted a second opinion.What an adorable habit![​IMG]thank you for the insight.Now I just wait for my odd little Jenna to join the world!
  10. sekeyslaks

    sekeyslaks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2014
    Krista I would show you a picture if I could!I'm lacking a cord for my phone so I can get the pictures on my computer.She looks like a common black headed,dark partridge EE!I'll try and get that cord soon so I can show you all.Krista I love your roost idea,Jenna would probably love that!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by