Postpartum in Chickens? Hen Noisy and a Loner After Raising Chicks

billygoat162

Songster
Apr 19, 2016
84
30
101
American Southwest
One of my quietest hens (a tiny Welsummer) hatched and raised 6 chicks that are now about 4-5 weeks old. She started laying eggs again and decided she was done being a mom, but has been clucking incessantly for about 4-5 days now. She is also often by herself in the yard, and is at/near the bottom of the pecking order. I have neighbors that I'm certain can hear it, which is becoming a concern for me.

Does this sound like a temporary thing? Is it normal for chickens to have major changes in behavior after they are done being parents? The hen will also let me walk up to her and pick her up 9/10 times. She's a sweet chicken and used to be very quiet, but if she doesn't quiet down soon I'll have to rehome her or risk rehoming all of them.
 

artsyrobin

Artful Wings
11 Years
Mar 1, 2009
9,942
577
416
Muskogee OK
try sectioning an area for her, and put of your docile hens with her so they can bond, after a few weeks reintegrated the two, that way she won't be an outsider to the flock
 

billygoat162

Songster
Apr 19, 2016
84
30
101
American Southwest
I don't. I have a few chicks that I'm pretty sure are cockerels, but unfortunately I can't have a rooster where I live.

Most of the hens are picking on the little Welsummer it seems.
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
19,698
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Colorado Rockies
How many days has she been laying eggs since she stopped brooding chicks? And what is the nature of the clucking vocal? Soft, fussy, and very fast, or loud and more varied? Does it resemble the other laying hens or does it sound like when this hen was going broody before she began sitting her last clutch?

If it's been over a month since she's been laying, she could be going broody again.
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
19,698
24,635
912
Colorado Rockies
I happen to have a broody who has just finished weaning her single chick. Today she is doing what I assume yours is doing. She's loud and very noisy. She's six years old so I'm very familiar with her behavior. She's domineering and assertive. She's saying, "I'm back, I'm bad, deal with it."

She hasn't started laying yet. The rooster isn't paying any attention to her other than not getting in her way. No one is getting in her way. They aren't fools. Even her chick is keeping a respectful distance.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
25,635
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Holts Summit, Missouri
Your hen differs from mine. Hens that just weaned have ceased clucking but still associate with offspring. Once condition restored to support laying hen interacts with male and discretely leaves group to deposit an egg in nest. I left out special day where rooster directs her to a nest site she more often than not uses. When clutch set is when she repels previous brood and goes broody. At that point interaction between her and previous brood essentially ceases. She loosely interacts with rooster when off the nest each day but she does not act aggressively with other hens. The aggressive stage is very short duration and occurs about time she is selecting new nest site.
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
19,698
24,635
912
Colorado Rockies
Linda, a Speckled Sussex, is a unique individual. She's simply reclaiming her personality. Her normal "body language" has always left no doubt she considers herself above everyone else. While she's extremely affectionate with me, and this continued all through her broody period as well as post hatch, she always claims a wide personal space with other flock members.

She is still permitting her chick to associate with her. They free range together and roost together. But the closeness of broody and chick is over. Linda no longer is mindful of the location of her chick and now the chick often finds herself stranded with no clue as to Linda's location.

Linda's a hoot.
 

billygoat162

Songster
Apr 19, 2016
84
30
101
American Southwest
How many days has she been laying eggs since she stopped brooding chicks? And what is the nature of the clucking vocal? Soft, fussy, and very fast, or loud and more varied? Does it resemble the other laying hens or does it sound like when this hen was going broody before she began sitting her last clutch?

If it's been over a month since she's been laying, she could be going broody again.
She has been laying for about 2 weeks now, and she has no interest in her chicks anymore (she chases them off). Her clucking is very fast and anxious sounding. It starts at a moderate volume and increases until I can hear it echoing off the houses. I usually go out there to quiet her down and find her alone in a corner or hiding in a bush up against the only chainlink fence we have.

None of the other hens make this noise. It's closer to the noises she made before going broody than to an egg song, but still isn't quite the same. She also isn't pacing in circles or puffing up like she did before going broody last time.
 

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