Trying to identify stress

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MrBoZiffer, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. MrBoZiffer

    MrBoZiffer Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2012
    Birmingham, Ala.
    These are our first hens, so I'm obviously new at this. Our three hens are a little over a year old. It seems they have mostly adapted well to their new home. They came from a more free-ranging environment with a large flock to our house with more limited space (although our backyard is about 90x90, so lots of free space available). We have a coop with a 4x8 run and 4x4 hen house. I let them free-range in our backyard as often as I can--over an hour the past few days--and I throw yard and kitchen scraps into their run for them to scratch through. Egg production has been good.

    However, our Barred Rock (the other two are a Buff and an Ameraucana) sometimes seems stressed out. She appears to be the most dominant of the three as well as the friendliest. But I often see her pacing around the door of the run kind of squawking to herself. Occasionally she gets into these loud squawks that would rival a dog barking. Once she's free-ranging around the yard, she's as happy as can be. It's like she just doesn't like the confinement of the coop.

    I feel like she may still be adjusting to her new home, but her behavior is so much different than the other two that I wonder if this is some kind of excessive stress. Any thoughts? Should I try give her more to do in the run? Free-range more? Is she just conditioning me for mealworms and free-range time? [​IMG]

    Here's a picture of the coop. I feel like it's adequate space for three hens, along with free-range opportunities as well.

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  2. Hazelrah

    Hazelrah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2012
  3. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    Hello! Welcome to BYC!!!

    The more I have chickens, the more I feel like more space is better for them. How often do you let them out of their "free range" area? Even though it's only 3 chickens, that's still a very small space. Once they know a larger area - they never want to stay confined. If they weren't raised in that box and know anything else - they're going to want to be out of there to explore and stretch their wings.

    My barred rocks are the loudest, most bossy birds I have, and I love both of them terribly.
  4. MrBoZiffer

    MrBoZiffer Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2012
    Birmingham, Ala.
    Thanks! I'm trying the hanging cabbage today.

    itsy, the barred rock is definitely our favorite. She may be vocal but she's certainly the most outgoing.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012

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