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Noisy BSL Hen-7 months old- help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrskenmore, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,

    My adorably curious BSL hen is 7 months old and has started to lay about a month ago. Ever since this point she has become quite noisy squawking when she enters the run in the morning until we let her out to free range. This isn't always possible as my husband and I both work Mon- Friday. We need any help, suggestions or ideas to keep her quiet- it is just so loud and I can't imagine much good for her as she paces the run and the coop while making noise. Any help would be greatly appreciated! There are three hens- the run is 36 sq ft with a 12' coop attached and the other two hens are quiet and seem slightly annoyed when the BSL paces.

    Thanks all!!! :)
     
  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Give her something in the run to keep her entertained when she can't go out. Hang some fruit or veggies up so she has to jump around a bit to get the treats. Chickens get bored just like people. If she's busy she won't have time to be so loud and demanding.
     
  3. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks,

    I hung a cabbage core up today and it worked for a little bit- once 10 am rolls around she is quiet usually. We watch them during the day with a camera with audio. She is more noisy when we are home. Probably because she feels like we are ignoring her! (Which we try to do so we dont encourage bad behavior) today i put a radio out there with classical music. I am desparate! Since she eventually calms down I figure it is something we can curtail. She is quieter on rainy days too.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Are you able to observe her without her being able to see you?

    I'm willing to bet that she is displaying this noisy, demanding behavior strictly for your benefit, and she's quiet the rest of the time.

    This is what I've been able to observe in my flock, especially with the broodies when they're being deprived of a nest while going through broody-breaking treatment. They will pace the cage frantically, screeching their fool heads off, trying to get me to let them free to race into the coop and plop into a nest box and zone out for the next three weeks.

    But, the minute I'm out of their sight, they settle down, and not a peep out of them.

    It's totally amazing how chickens are able to manipulate us. That requires intelligence. Never underestimate a chicken.
     
  5. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I am, she is much calmer when she knows we are gone. I am crafting up ways to hang veggies now as I can't have her be this loud even if it is just for an hour or two in the morning. I love her dearly- but yesterday I crawled off the sofa so she wouldnt see me get up and start again! I agree with you on how smart they are and I have never underestimated their intelligence- Now I just need to outsmart her!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    She may calm down after she's been laying a couple months.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    There is something you could try. It's aversion training. I'm discovering chickens can be persuaded to stop engaging in unacceptable behavior if I yell at them just as they're doing it, and yell again the second they start up again.

    I have a five-year old EE hen named Flo who has been a serial feather picker since the tender age of three months. Lately, since nothing else works, I've simply been hollering, "Flo!" the second I see her start for her victim's neck feathers. To my surprise it worked! And it's been working for the past five weeks or six weeks now. Her feather picking has almost stopped.

    You have nothing to lose by giving it a try.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    That's GREAT news!!
     
  9. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I hung a cabbage core on a bungee today and went to work. I have been listening to them all day while at work. They have been angels. Not a peep- the cabbage kept them entertained from 6 am to 12 noon. They then went on to their regular routine of dust baths and perching and preening. I couldn't be happier- but am I going to have to hang a head of cabbage every day?!?
    [​IMG]

    It is just nice to have quiet happy girls… I will try the name association with the behavior on the weekends when I am there… I figured I tired them up with jumping for their treats all day today! she must be too tired to pace and cry!
     
  10. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    UPDATE:

    10 months old and my BSL hen Jolene was pretty quiet over our harsh winter. Now that the scent of Spring is in the air she is back to her noisy ways. I sat down this weekend with my DH and discussed all the reasons that she could be making noise. We narrowed it down to the fact that when she sees or hears us she wants treats (we = treats) so she will be noisy because she has me trained to give her treats to quiet her down. After a loud afternoon yesterday and a few tylenol for the headache we decided it was time for some tough love. If we have trained her that noise = treats then we must be able to reverse it. She needs to know who the rooster is in this house! So with the support of my DH we have decided no more treats. We are going to ignore her and her bad behavior for 2 weeks straight and see if things get better. We are going to allow a little more free range time so she is not bored but basically break her of the habit that we = treats and noise = treats. Has anyone else tried this method with any success? Any advice or thoughts is greatly appreciated. I have a camera on her when we are at work- so I know she is FAR less noisy when we are not home.

    Thanks for any help and advice!!
     

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