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Naughty Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SoulfulMinx, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. SoulfulMinx

    SoulfulMinx In the Brooder

    Nov 10, 2012
    Hi all

    My hens are still behaving odd. They are insistent on scratching all their bedding out of their nesting box. Then they go into their perched area and scratch all the wood chippings out of the poop tray and once they've kicked as good as all the chippings out of this area continue to scratch, so much so are starting the scratch into the metal which is causing damage to the tray due to their persistence.

    They are also erratic and jump in and out of the coop. One of the hens is worse than the others. But seemingly is leading the bad example to the other two.

    Egg laying is also sporadic. We have 1,2 or 3 a day. And we are now finding eggs laid on their poop tray.

    Two of the hens are also having a mini moult. Could this be a reason for their behaviour?

    They are eating and drinking normally and apart from their change in behaviour they don't appear stressed when they are in their run, pecking and scratching as normal.

    They are also treated for mites and have had a recent dosage of Verm-X.

    Thank you for any help you can give.

  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    You say they're behaving oddly, but everything you describe is normal chicken behavior. Chickens scratch, that's what they do. They jump and flap and dust bathe and chase each other around. Seriously, it's not like they're able to work on their novels..........they just do chicken things.
  3. SoulfulMinx

    SoulfulMinx In the Brooder

    Nov 10, 2012
    We've had our hens for 2 years and this heightened behaviour has only been the case for the last couple of weeks. Their behaviour is so erratic they knock their perches off and are now scratching so hard on the newly revealed bare metal on their poop tray they are cutting grooves in it with their claws. I fully appreciate hens scratch, but kicking their bedding out so they destroy their nest and thus only have a bare wood left to lay on, as well as pacing and jumping in and out of the the coop is something they have never done. And when they do lay, they lay in the most random places. They have a run in which to scratch in and dust bathe and continue to do so.
  4. his4ever

    his4ever In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2011
    I had a problem with my girls kicking the bedding out. I just kept filling it back up. I also started putting an herbal mixture in there and then they stopped. I think my pet chicken sells an herbal mixture for nesting boxes, I just made my own. Here's the blog post that inspired me. I just bought the dried version of herbs in bulk. Love the smell!

  5. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Songster

    Jul 22, 2013
    How about locking them out of the coop during the day? If you don't want to do that then how about spraying them with a squirt bottle when you see them doing it, I'm sure they won't like that! Duh chickens scratch [​IMG] but what you're experiencing seems a bit more than that, especially since it's been getting worse.
  6. SoulfulMinx

    SoulfulMinx In the Brooder

    Nov 10, 2012
    Sorry for the late reply. I appreciate the responses. We have been locking them
    out during the day, but have found that their egg laying is so erratic and they are laying on their poop tray, locking them out is probably not helping the situation.

    I'm going to try the herbal bedding as suggested as they are still behaving the same.

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