Noisy hen needs a younger companion?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DaMoot, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. DaMoot

    DaMoot In the Brooder

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    Hi there. I've got two birds I've asked about here before, but a new issue. An old hen, barely lays anymore, not sure how old. And a young hen who started laying about 6 months ago. We started with a flock of three. The third and oldest hen passed this winter.

    The barred rock, the young one, has become increasingly vocal over the past month and I'm worried it's going to become a problem with the neighbors since all the neighbors in this area are super close. The only restriction to chickens is noise nuisance and sanitation. She can also get our other girl going sometimes and they start going off together for no good reason.

    My husband and I are thinking it's because the older bird, a black australorp, just isn't as active as she was even just 6 months ago. She's gotten heavier in her old age and just wants to stand and groom or lay in the sun or out of the rain. The young one wants to go explore and seems to want more companionship.

    They have a tether-cabbage to play with and a fair sized suburban back yard to free-range in. Plenty to eat and clean water to drink.

    The little one will crow for a while, walk around, peck, then crow for a while and then peck.

    If you go out there and just stand, kinda chat babble at her she usually gets quiet. Sometimes it takes actually picking her up. Treats more often than not will quiet them but sometimes it doesn't, and I don't want to reinforce that behavior and have been resisting giving them anything for a bit to quiet her.

    Would getting another young hen around the same age that we got our young one be beneficial to keeping them all quiet since it'd give the young one someone to pal around with, or would that just make things worse?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    Chickens are meant to live in groups, not alone. By all means get chicks and raise them, or if you have a very safe source, get a couple of hens. I would rather have four to six birds at least, so there's never one or two lonely individuals left.
    Mary
     
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  3. FeatherMtnFarms

    FeatherMtnFarms Songster

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    Yes I agree with Folly's place, I suggest no less than 4-5 birds in a flock, 6-7 being even better.
     
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  4. DaMoot

    DaMoot In the Brooder

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    Thank you both, but that doesn't answer my immediate question. I understand what the ideal situation is, but what do I do in the interim? I don't want to have to get rid of a pet...

    I definitely cannot support more than 4 birds in my current situation. My husband and I had talked about getting 1 or 2 more, but I don't want to come home to the angry stares of my neighbors or a noise ticket on the door if all four of them get going.

    Right now I work from home so it's less of a problem, but I am looking to change professions that will likely have me out of the house more.
     
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  5. FeatherMtnFarms

    FeatherMtnFarms Songster

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    Try putting out some new treats of some sort or something else that's new and fun to keep their minds busy so they don't just walk around talking all the time and they can focus on something else, it's worth a try.:)
     
  6. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Crowing

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    what do you mean when you say the younger hen crows? I thought at first you meant that stress call hens can make where one starts up and they all join in, usually when they want something (to be let out to free range or to get treats). But it's unusual for a hen to make that kind of alert when free ranging.
     
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  7. alexa009

    alexa009 Crossing the Road

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    When chickens are constantly noisy they are looking for something, someone, somwhere. I think you should definitely get a chicken for her the same age or younger. Chickens need to be in a flock. I would recommend letting her free-range giving her treats and probably you going out with her sometimes to give her company of you don't have enough chickens that can.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Adding another bird might make a difference, but I seriously doubt it, it could in fact make it worse. More birds, larger choir.
    Not to mention that integrating a single bird, is difficult and could really set off a raucous cacophony.
    Chickens can be noisy, it's just part of having them.
     
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  9. I believe that your hens are starting to, getting ready to, and beginning to start to get ready to favor you with eggs. You know there is a very, very, very, good reason that hens eggs are nicknamed "Cackle Fruits" More hens will mean more egg songs but it will also mean more eggs. Only you can answer this question.
     
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  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Cackle Berries!
     
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