My young hen is acting funny

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MamiPollo, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2011
    My Coop
    My wonderful hen, Hilda, is acting funny today. I have been thinking she is going to start laying eggs any day. My brood is supposed to start laying sometime in Sept. or Oct. but this one has had a bright red comb and waddle for a few weeks, and I think she may be a bit older than the others.

    Hilda is a Columbia Rock. My first chicks were hatched Easter weekend, then a couple of weeks later I went back and got two more. Hilda was one of them, and she was more fully feathered than the others. She was the dominant hen for quite a while, then earlier this summer the others caught up to her and she was overshadowed by Goldie, my Araucana, who was the biggest one of the original group.

    So today I came home and only 4 hens ran up to great me (I have 5). Hilda was missing. I found her in the garden, dust bathing in dirt under an eggplant stalk. She did not get up when I went over to her, she just kind of said, "Errrrrrrrrp." I looked her over and she seemed okay. I picked her up and she complained because I was bothering her. I looked her over good, and did not see anything strange. She fussed at me when I set her down and she went back to her dirt bath and laid down there again, just making those little throaty hen sounds.

    Otherwise, she has been running up to me immediately whenever she sees me. Even if she sees me through my kitchen window, she comes running over. She just stands there and talks to me. They have feed in their dish and I also put out scraps for them, and they have leftovers. I don't think it is due to hunger.

    So tonight I go to close them in their hen house and when I entered, she climbed down from her perch and came over and started talking to me again. Unfortunately, I don't speak fluent hen and am having a really hard time understanding, but it seems like she is trying to communicate something to me.

    She let me pick her up (she is usually friendly, but not eager to be handled). She did not try to escape or complain very much. I sat down with her and looked her over. She looks fine and I don't see anything amiss.

    I am wondering if there is like a hen PMS. LIke maybe it feels weird to lay your first egg and she doesn't know what to do. Or she is just getting flooded with hormones.

    What could it be? All the others are acting pretty normal. Any thoughts?
     
  2. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2011
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    Wow! I was wrong about the ages. I went back and looked at my first posts to verify when I got these chicks. I got them on April 10 and they already had some wing feathers. I have had the original 3 18 weeks today! So they are at least 18 weeks old.

    Do you think maybe Hilda wants me to be her boyfriend or something?
     
  3. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2011
    My Coop
    No one ever responded, but just in case someone finds this post later and is experiencing the same thing....it turned out that Hilda was behaving this way due to getting ready to lay. A couple of days after I posted this, Hilda started squatting. And then a few days later she laid her first egg.
     
  4. stubbornhill

    stubbornhill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2011
    Shapleigh, Maine
    yay! Congrats on your first eggs. That is very exciting. I don't ever think the excitement wears out when you have a new chicken laying their first eggs. [​IMG]
     
  5. LT

    LT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2011
    West Fork
    We only have 1 hen laying out of 9. They are all 20 weeks. Annabelle is a Golden Comet, and I just thought she was extra noisy and friendly, because I didn't know what to look for other than an egg. Now I know that her noises, squatting and other behavior were signs of her maturity. I am trying to be patient for the other girls who aren't quite there yet.
     
  6. babigyrl22

    babigyrl22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    Caledonia
    Quote:Heh heh....she was at the spa and she was asking you to be left alone. You were interrupting her ME-TIME. [​IMG] If I come to the run and someone is dust bathing, even if I give out scratch, they will remain dust bathing until they are good and finished. I think it's normal.
     
  7. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It must feel mighty good. I admit that I was tempted later to go out and join her. [​IMG]
     

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