The egg song from our rooster? Huh?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AmyRey, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2009
    Okay, first I must fill you in on the happenings thusfar.

    Our four girls are in a tractor. Over the summer, I've had them under a shade tree in the front yard to keep cool. Our roo roosts in the tree, above the girls. Don't know why he doesn't like the coop, but I've not really been worried about it.

    Last weekend, however, I moved the tractor to the backyard, probably 75 feet or so from the tree. The girls knew where it was. They'd return to it when it was time to lay, but all that week when it was time to go to bed, they'd all roost atop a large wire dog crate that remained under the tree. The family and I would go pick them up and put them in the coop each night.

    So, figuring that I moved the tractor too far from its original location, I moved it back toward the tree about halfway. Still to no avail.

    Yesterday, my hubby said "It's the dog crate. You need to move that closer to the coop." so he did.

    Last night, our rooster went to bed on his usual tree branch and we hear the most raucus racket ever. An egg song? Okay... Hmmm... they've all laid today.

    Go outside and it's Cocky, in the tree squawking away. One hen is under the tree. The others are standing around looking confused. (They can't fly to get into the tree with him.) So the youngest son and I "herd" the girls to the coop. Once they figure out that "Hey, it's getting dark and ... lookie here... here's that thing we used to sleep in!" it seems like they realized what it was there for.

    Obviously, he was calling them to bed but why? He'd never had to do that before.

    Any solutions to my problem? I figure that just leaving them in it for a few days (never free ranging) would work but they enjoy foraging so much, I hate to do that to them.

    And I really don't want the tractor in my front yard unless it has to be.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  2. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    The egg song is also the land predator call, and the Something's Wrong Song. I'll bet that the hens were upset about not being able to get up into the tree and that upset your rooster.

    You can try adding some lighting to your tractor, sometimes that attracts them when they're looking for a place to sleep. Although they seem pretty set on sleeping under the tree. So the best way would be to lock them up for a few days until they get the hang of it.

    If you can block off the area under the tree or make it look different/scary it would help break them of sleeping there.

    Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  3. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    Quote:Our chooks also seem to do it when they can't find the others. When one of the hens sings it, Mr. Incredible (our roo) will do it back and try to find her.

    Also, sometimes the girls will sing the egg song (I think – really meaning to do the egg song) and he'll sing it back like it's the HELP! song.
     
  4. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2009
    *** sigh ***

    I'm afraid I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and keep them cooped up for a couple of days. Will probably wait for the weekend and prettier weather though. If they have to be miserable, they may as well be miserable on warm sunny days.
     
  5. Lil_timmy

    Lil_timmy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2009
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    I feel I should comment on your post since I'm in a similar situation. I have a tractor/coop that I moved 200' from the old spot while they were out foraging. This was last Sunday. I had a dog training class that ran late so I wasn't home until after 10. I found them huddled up on the ground near their old coop spot. They let me pick them up and carry them home. That night the Roo was crowing his head off. He started around 2:30 and kept it up all night. Next day I kept them cooped up and it was a little better. He started around 4 and kept it up steady. Tuesday they were out all day and failed to find the coop again. I once again had to carry them from their old coop spot to the coop. He started crowing at 2:45 a few times then shut up. After that it started pouring rain and I didn't hear him again until 7. He is 20-22 weeks old and just recently started getting at the ladies. Maybe it is just hormones. Could be a combo of the hormones and stress from not knowing how to get his ladies to the coop. I'll keep them in there for a few days and let you know if it helps them figure out where home is.
     
  6. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2009
    I would really appreciate that.

    Like I said, I hate to keep them cooped up if there's another way.
     
  7. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2009
    An update:

    Last night, I had to go to church and didn't get home until well after the girls' bedtime.

    They'd put themselves to bed in the coop! Yay!
     
  8. Renee'

    Renee' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    I've had a similiar problem getting my chickens (girls and Duke the Roo) to go to bed. I FINALLLY figured out that if I put Duke into the coop, the girls will follow. The girls want to be with the roo at night time so where ever you want the girls, put the Roo there first and they will follow. [​IMG]
     
  9. Lil_timmy

    Lil_timmy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2009
    Arlington
    Hi,

    Sorry for the late reply here. I'm glad your chickens are making it home now. Mine have figured it out for the most part. If the rooster can find the coop at night they make it home. He only seems to remember where it is about half the time lately. Such a worthless Roo! All the ladies know where the coop is (they lay eggs there all during the day). Last night I had to coax the ladies out of a blackberry bramble that the Roo thought was a good place to roost. They all came out willingly. One of them even came over to the car when I got home to let me know something was wrong. Stubborn worthless Roo wouldn't come out so I let him brave the rain outside on his own. Bah.

    The lesson here for me was that I shouldn't move the coop/tractor more than 20 feet from the old spot.
     

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