Old hen doesn't like new house

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jemagsy, May 23, 2008.

  1. jemagsy

    jemagsy Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    We have a chicken (she looks like a brown leghorn, only she has a muff and beard as well) who is about 3 or 4 years old. She crows, acts like a rooster, and lays eggs. Anyway she had been missing since Saturday, a few days after several of my six week old pullets were killed.

    She showed back up today and I locked her in the run/coop enclosure so that I would know where she was and would not have to worry so much about predators anymore (we have gone back over our coop with hardware cloth and new walls & doors). She has been free-ranging pretty much her entire life and is not taking well to being locked up.

    The run is 272 sq. feet and she is currently the only one outside. She is throwing herself against the flight netting trying to get out to go roost in a tree and I am really afraid she is going to injure herself. When it has been dark a little longer my husband and I are going to go out and move her into the coop and lock it up tight. However how do we keep her from hurting herself tomorrow? I really don't want to free-range her right now... something has taken up in her usual roosting spot and she has been hiding in the woods for six days. We have possums, cats, bobcats, raccoons and several rabid animals have been spotted in the neighboring county. What do we do? I've tried feeding her a treat earlier but she was too upset to eat it and pecked at it and tossed aside. [​IMG] I really don't want her to hurt herself, but being a free-ranger right now doesn't seem plausible either.
  2. roosters97

    roosters97 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    so,she soon will be all rooster. She might have a nest back there
  3. Missouri chick

    Missouri chick Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Homer, GA
    oh poor girl. Are you near hall county? 20+ rabid animals this year. I'm in banks.
  4. jemagsy

    jemagsy Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    We are in Banks too.

    As far ast the nests, most of the nests we have been finding in the past two months have already been raided by the wild animals in the woods. The last one my husband found all the eggs were smashed and the insides eaten out of them, most of the others have been just plain empty. The nearest roo she would have access to is almost three miles down the road through lots of woods and many many dogs, so I know none of her eggs are fertile... I doubt she knows that though. We were willing to go without the eggs to give her the freedom, but when she didn't show up for six days I was sick thinking that she had been killed by something and I had been too weak on the subject of moving her into the coop/run.

    We do have an 8 week old cockerel & pullet and we were planning on putting them in the run & coop tomorrow; how wise is this now with a really ticked off hen? My dad and husband seem to think that they will be okay and we should just watch her with them for a hour or so.

    Also how are we supposed to get her calmed down. She sounded like we were trying to kill her when we grabbed her earlier and put her in the coop. (She had been roosting on top of it and started running around into stuff when we went to get her). This is all besides the earlier flightiness.
  5. Wow, I'm so sorry to hear about all this. [​IMG] Times like this call for chicken valium. Sorry, I have no clue, just wanted to [​IMG]
  6. sweetshoplady

    sweetshoplady Songster

    Feb 4, 2008
    Venice, Florida
    When I lost all but one pullet to predators, I locked the one I had left in a dog crate. No she wasn't happy about it. But like my grandma used to say, they get glad again in the same skin they get mad in. I would let her out in the morning for a while and in the evening for a while, til Ithought it was safe. Now she free ranges. You may need to put something for a nest egg for a new spot for her to lay her eggs in a safe spot.

    I would wait until the others are her size before putting them together. Unless you plan to have a fence that they can see each other through down the middle. Mine were 12 weeks when I let them out with Millie, RIR. They give her wide clearance, except for the roos, and that's only when they sneak up on her to be romantic with her. If she catches them or they don't do a good job, she chases them. [​IMG]

    The good part of her seeing these newbies (to her) is that it would take her mind off of her confinement.

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your hens and that your predators are so bad. It's the hardest thing about chickens, I think, is how many predators like them and their eggs.
  7. FLchook

    FLchook Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    Orlando, Florida
    Part of the problem may be that she is lonely. Chickens are flock animals (which im sure you know [​IMG]) and are not happy when they are by themself. Try spending as much time as you can with her until you can introduce the new ones

    You will want to keep them separated some how, but still let them see eachother. A large dog pen would work, or maybe just a makeshift wall or chicken wire you can throw together. That will give them all the chance to get to know eachother in a safe environment.

    Sorry to hear about your loss....I suffered a similar event not long ago [​IMG] Good luck with your intro.

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