My hen is acting strange…

DarlingChicken

Chirping
Sep 1, 2019
56
148
76
Northern California
Please help me try to figure this all out!

I have a 1 1/2 year old Whiting True Blue hen, who has been a little odd from the start.
First off, she climbs completely vertical fences with no problem, and I even caught her attempting to walk upside down on the chicken run wire top once! I kid you not.

She stopped doing this, and decided to then go broody.
I managed to break her of this habit, then she was back at it!
She stopped being broody about a month or so ago.

But tonight, as I was locking up the other chickens, I noticed she was missing!!
After searching in the dark for about half an hour I found her all the way across our huge yard, sitting by a fence post.
I noticed that she has been acting unusually skittish and unsociable with the other hens, yet they do not bully her at all, nor does she bully them.

I brought her back to the coop, and she seemed unsettled.

Also, coyotes were howling louder then normal tonight?
Is she spooked, and is that why she didn’t go to the coop tonight?
Or is something bigger going on? Could it be the result of her past broody behavior?
I’m stumped and worried!!
 

chrissynemetz

Psalm 91 ❤
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Dec 19, 2013
21,251
142,299
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Olathe Colorado
She could be spooked from the coyotes. Mine get really jumpy and weird if coyotes are close, and some don't want to go in the coop.
Are any of the others behaving differently, or is it just the one?
 

chrissynemetz

Psalm 91 ❤
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Dec 19, 2013
21,251
142,299
1,827
Olathe Colorado
I honestly don't know? Keep an eye on her, see if the odd behavior continues. Has she been eating and drinking ok? No mites or anything like that?
 

DarlingChicken

Chirping
Sep 1, 2019
56
148
76
Northern California
I honestly don't know? Keep an eye on her, see if the odd behavior continues. Has she been eating and drinking ok? No mites or anything like that?

She seems to have been eating and drinking okay, yet is still skinny. She has always been thinner then my other hens, I think it’s just body type.
Tomorrow I will check her over for mites.
All of my hens have been molting recently, as they normally do at this time of year, so she seems normal with that.
I will most definitely continue to observe her closely!!
Thank you so much for all the help!
 

chrissynemetz

Psalm 91 ❤
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Dec 19, 2013
21,251
142,299
1,827
Olathe Colorado
The skinny might be normal, Whitings are pretty small light weight chickens.
Sorry I couldn't help more, maybe somebody will pop on here who can offer more advice :confused:
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,198
138,698
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
She may be going broody again.....or molting, some take it pretty hard.
She may be low bird, or a loner, that and the broodiness may make her an outcast despite no blatant bullying.

How did you go about breaking her broodiness before?

When I have a bird that seems 'off'....
I isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two....so I can closely monitor their intake of food and water, crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed), and their poops. Feel their abdomen, from below vent to between legs, for squishy or hard swelling. Check for external parasites or any other abnormalities.

Best to put crate right in coop or run so bird is still 'with' the flock.
I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate.
 

DarlingChicken

Chirping
Sep 1, 2019
56
148
76
Northern California
She may be going broody again.....or molting, some take it pretty hard.
She may be low bird, or a loner, that and the broodiness may make her an outcast despite no blatant bullying.

How did you go about breaking her broodiness before?

When I have a bird that seems 'off'....
I isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two....so I can closely monitor their intake of food and water, crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed), and their poops. Feel their abdomen, from below vent to between legs, for squishy or hard swelling. Check for external parasites or any other abnormalities.

Best to put crate right in coop or run so bird is still 'with' the flock.
I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate.

Okay, wow, thanks for all the help!

I was also suspecting she might be going broody again.
Before we broke her by it by using a wire cage inside the coop to keep her away from her nesting box. It was tough work, she’s very persistent.

I will definitely separate her again, especially if she doesn’t return to her coop like normal again tonight.
I’ll also give her a check-up :)
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
28,412
25,334
881
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
:welcome :frow I would check her at night. some mites feed on the birds at night and you won't see them on her during the day. I use a headlamp so I have both of my hands free. Also what are you feeding the birds? Usually when my birds molt I give them higher protein feed because their feathers are made of protein. Good luck...
 

DarlingChicken

Chirping
Sep 1, 2019
56
148
76
Northern California
They get some meal worms as a little treat each day, as well as a generic layer feed, but mostly they jut free range all day, eating grass, bugs, worms, and whatever else they find!

For checking for mites I just lightly lift the feathers?
 

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