Those little.....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gordonburrito, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. gordonburrito

    gordonburrito Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2010
    Mid-Missouri
    So, I'm at home sick on the couch when I hear a racket outside. Not an egg song or a pre egg song, but more the other chickens upset and calling out to their escaped comrades. Over the last few days we've been having a problem with a few of our more delinquent chickens jumping into our front yard. Some of our flock just can't jump to save their lives so I always thought it was a showing off thing. Hey I'm eating the grass on this side of the fence and IT IS SOOO DELICIOUS. They always jump back, but there is a busy road and I'm more afraid of a drive by chicken napping more than them getting run over. There are also wandering dogs. Needless to say I came running in a weakened stupor to investigate. Who do I find but....

    Scrappy
    [​IMG]

    AND

    Shana
    [​IMG]

    Our course it would be these two. They've recently started squatting and doing egg songs. Now that their hormones are going they've become more adventurous. So, I grabbed them and put them back into the backyard. Well scrappy starts carrying on and running back to the fence. So, I tell her NO! and herd her back with the others. Well then I left her alone only to see her jump the fence AGAIN. This is very odd behavior for my flock. They never leave the yard so much. There are lots of bugs and grass and shelter and water. So, it looks like Scrappy isn't just escaping. She's motivated by something. My first thought was we live next door to a farm that has a rooster and chickens. I'm thinking there's a stray chicken in the front yard or his rooster has come over for a date. So, I let her go and followed her and found this....

    [​IMG]

    I grabbed for her and she squatted for me and this is what I found under her

    [​IMG]

    It looks like they have BOTH been laying in the front flowerbed for a couple of days now. They've just come into lay so I'm not sure exactly how regular they are. This surprises me because our Australorp loves lay in our coop and I always thought they would just follow suit. The other thing is nobody actually uses our nest boxes. They like to lay beside the boxes in the bedding. So, maybe there is a problem with my set up. We use hay as bedding and I have golfballs in each of the nests. Should I add a "privacy screen" perhaps? I thought they would be naturally attracted to them.

    I threw Scrappy into the coop and locked it and she laid an egg. I figured with the determination she was showing she wasn't leaving to sit on her clutch...she was trying to lay. Any suggestions on how to stop this annoying habit and maybe some tips on how to "Pimp my Nestboxes" a bit to make them more appealing.
     
  2. SmartyChick

    SmartyChick An Official Milkmaid

    Oct 19, 2009
    Sullivan County NY
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  3. gordonburrito

    gordonburrito Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1
    119
    Apr 4, 2010
    Mid-Missouri
    Thanks for your advice. Not only are they laying in the right place now, they are not leaving the yard for any reason. Prisoners of gravity [​IMG]. I did both our black sex links and our barred rock. They were surprisingly calm about the whole ordeal and to tell you the truth it was kind of fun. *snip* I doubt we will ever have to do the Australorp because she is such a fatty she can barely roost herself time times. The Easter Eggers are next on the chopping block but I'm going to wait until they can stand up to the big girls a little better before I limit their escape options. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  4. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Hooray for a happy ending... and for fresh eggs!
     
  5. MaureenL128

    MaureenL128 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    I will suggest taking the golf balls out so they have nothing to lay on. They might find it more comfy on their own. How big are your boxes?
     

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