nocturnal hen question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cixuru, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. cixuru

    cixuru Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Jul 1, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I live in Los Angeles and when I left for work a week ago, there was a fully grown hen on my front porch - clipped wings, clipped beak, fairly freaked out. I've never kept chickens before...but I'm besotted with her. Our grassed yard is fully fenced @ 6-7' so she's free range during the day and in the coop from dusk to dawn.

    She was really stressed the first day but for a week now she's been calm, very sociable, relaxed and mellow but quite active. During the day, she's definitely happy - eating bugs, grooming, eating scratch, drinking water, lots and lots of energy and follows me around...when I go inside she runs after me and clucks till I come outside again. All weekend she poked around in the dirt companionably while we gardened.

    At dusk every night I put her in the coop. She seems fairly agitated at first and if I walk away she pecks unhappily at the wires. I stay there and talk to her until she scratches out a little nest in the hay, closes her eyes and goes to sleep peacefully.

    MY QUESTION: Sometimes I hear a little cluck from the coop late at night, and when I check on her she's awake - cosy in her nest, but she looks like she's trying to crow...about every 30 seconds she cranes her neck out with her beak open, and strains forward. She did this the first day, but now it's only nocturnal. Each morning she's up and ready to go, eating, pecking, drinking, exploring.

    I've been horribly worried. I don't know if she spends the whole night like this, or whether she only does it when I come out to check on her...

    It's about 65 at night, and about 80 during the day. Her tractor coop is 3'x3' and the back nest is raised up about 6 inches from the floor and walled on three sides. She has scratch and water. The nest is made of alfalfa, timothy grass, and hay.
     
  2. lewisfarmgurl

    lewisfarmgurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    145
    0
    119
    May 6, 2008
    south carolina
    I'm a newbie in here but from all that I've read it sounds like she is just lonely. She may just want a friend to be with her.

    Good luck and I'm sure others will give you some real good advice.[​IMG]
     
  3. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * Hard to say. She may be thirsty at night, mine often is. She may also have a parasite problem or a crop problem. You haven't noticed her eating the nest materials at all, have you??
     
  4. cixuru

    cixuru Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Jul 1, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I haven't seen her eating her nest materials, and she's definitely eating and drinking fine. I washed off the driveway yesterday and she splashed around with great excitement and slurped up all the water and drowned ants from the cracks. [​IMG]

    Because she's active and eating and it only happens when I surprise her in the middle of the night, I don't think it's gapeworm - she's perky and mischievous during the day and has no weird throat things going on.

    From other posts, I wonder if it's yawning?

    I LOVE your idea about some friends. I think she's definitely lonely (although we're converting the detached garage into an art studio and the workmen love her - they bring her into the garage to hang out with them and feed her scratch..I hope they teach her some skills so she can replace the broken window in our bedroom). [​IMG]
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Not sure about the neck thing, but if you can, see if you can't get layer pellets to feed as feeding just scratch isn't very healthy for them. It's like junk food.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by