My hens seem bored, restless and/ or hungry, what's wrong?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mckendree, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. mckendree

    mckendree Hatching

    Nov 4, 2012
    Ever since the weather got a little chillier, my hens seem bored, restless, or possibly hungry. I'm feeding them layer feed, but they are only 5 months old and haven't started to lay yet. We also feed them kitchen scraps. Perhaps they are not getting the proper diet? They seem unsatisfied and are always trying to get out of the run and are waiting at the gate when I come to feed them- clucking. It hasn't been that cold yet in NYC so I don't think it's that they are cold.
    Any ideas would be appreciated.
  2. flockoffour

    flockoffour Chirping

    Jun 28, 2012
    West Coast
    Since its colder, if its rained their run might be too muddy/packed down for htem to scratch, which is how most chickens spend their day. You could try a few other food related things to occupy them, such as a flock block or hanging a head of lettuce for them.
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Welcome to BYC.
    If they are leaving some feed sit for a while in the feeder they aren't hungry. If they are getting layer and not to many scraps to unbalance their diet, then the food situation is good. How much space do they have, more space means they have more room and don't get bored as easily. Most animals will come to the gate at feeding time. They want their food soonest.
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Add a few flakes of straw and some perches to the run for them to scratch in and play on. They probably want to get out and eat grass, leaves and bugs - much more interesting and entertaining than chicken feed. I also about once a week put a cut on half pumpkin or a few squash for them to pick at.
  5. rikithemonk

    rikithemonk Songster

    Apr 19, 2012
    Mont Dora Florida
    You could try giving them something to do. I entertain my girls by dumping lawn scraps ( grass mowings, leaf piles, or hay all over the runs floor. Keeps them entertained and scratching for days.

    What exactly do you mean by kitchen scraps? If you mean oatmeal, greens, cooked rice, that's ok.

    If you mean left over pizza, half a big mac, or left over meatloaf. That could be a problem.


    This all implies that the basics are correct. Correct size run for the number of chickens. Correct number of nest boxes. Correct ratio of Roos to hens, ( assuming Roos are present) etc.
  6. ChickEngineer

    ChickEngineer Songster

    Jul 16, 2011
    I have a small hanging wire planter basket that holds a head of cabbage, give them one about once a week. Makes for happy campers.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: