Sudden flightiness in flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BlazeJester, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 8 13-week old pullets that I have raised from day 1 and have handled almost daily: 2 partridge rocks, 2 black australorps, 2 columbian wyandottes, 1 ancona and 1 ee.

    The ancona has been flighty from the beginning. Either her behavior is taking a toll on the others or something is seriously the matter. The EE was pretty friendly but in the past week has taken a significant turn for the worse and I cannot catch her without terrorizing her by grabbing her feet, because she won't come in arm's reach (this started before I had to take measures to catch her - which isn't helping AT ALL).

    The wyandottes are fine, the rocks are friendly and the australorps are cautious. Those 6 have maintained pretty consistent behavior. It was 2 years ago, but I can't remember my flock of 7 BRs ever running from people as though in fright (with the exception of one bird). I see 3 possibilities:

    1) teenager phase
    2) ancona's distrust and flightiness affecting other birds
    3) environmental disruption such as terrorization by neighborhood children (haven't witnessed this, but have heard the neighbor teenage boys mocking me when I talk to them and their father encourages it).

    Any input from experience or other ideas? I've had an open loaf of bread hanging around right next to the coop for several weeks and it's untouched, so I'm pretty sure I don't have a (non-human) predator issue as I live on a busy intersection.
     
  2. Azriel

    Azriel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you were in an area where there were predators I would say that was the problem, but I think you neighbor boys may be doing somthing to scare them. Can they get close enough to rattle the fence or chase them, or maybe throw sticks at them? Can you set up some type of a game cam aimed their way to catch them doing something?
     
  3. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Three suggestions...

    SSS the neighbor kids and their father...
    Ring a bell right before you feed the flighty one treats (quietly at first so you don't give her a heart attack)
    Definitely teenager phase.
     
  4. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome. I'm hoping it's just a phase... for the neighbors, too. If I get new chickens next weekend the neighbors get eggs [​IMG]

    They think I'm off my rocker because I spend half my time talking to the chickens and the other half yelling at the cats to get back inside (chickens haven't figured out "kick cat ass" yet).

    Quote:[​IMG] I'm in rural SC, I *might could* get away with that...

    Edited because I can't type.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  5. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well SOMEBODY has to clean up the gene pool...
     
  6. TroutsChicks

    TroutsChicks Fluffy Stuffins

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    If you think someone or something is messing with your birds, get a wildlife camera and set it up. My birds awhile back would NOT come out of the coop in the summer! So i set up the camera and 3 coons where trying to get into the run. So 3 coons disappeared! If its people I would get a "scarecrow" sprinkler and set it up.
     
  7. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:With a little bag of skunk scent just to drive the point home a little better... Dang people who encourage their kids like that just burn me up... And we wonder why kids don't respect their elders... Grrrrrrr
     
  8. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is PLENTY of skunk around here. It's so common I've almost become immune to it... but I'm sure a little rancid juice in the face would have the desired effect (for any animal!!!).
     

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