Using A Squirt Bottle

auntie hattie

8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Apparently I have really bad luck picking chickens. So far I have already had to place a chicken in a new home because she turned out to be a rooster. In order to replace the rooster I purchased a beautiful Buff Orphington. We decided to name her Honey and we were told she is about 1 yr old. (FYI Honey came from a home that had a rooster) For the first 2 weeks Honey laid eggs and then started to molt. 1 month later she still hasn't laid and has started crowing around 6:30 each morning. We have gone out each morning and picked her up in order to make her stop but have found catching her is difficult. So now we have started using a squirt bottle. We only had one crow and 2 that were stopped in mid stream when the water hit her. She then ceased crowing. We already love her but I can't have a rooster because I live in a neighborhood but I don't want to have to place her in another home. She is not the dominant hen and we have checked for lice and mites and there are none and she is starting to get feathers back. Today I found her in the nesting box on another one of my hens eggs but I scared her accidentally and she jumped off and didn't go back. My question is, If I continue spraying her each morning (not sure how long I can last) will she eventually stop and start laying again? or does she need to be placed with a rooster?
How sure of her age are you? Sometimes when they have ended their egg laying days, these things happen. And sometimes they both crow and lay. Or at least these are things I've read here.

I had a crowing hen once, when I did not have a mature rooster. I never knew whether she was laying during that time or not. She stopped when the rooster matured.
I agree with Flockwatcher's post. And, I have a big Buff Orpington hen whose behavior is a lot like your hen's. My old roo croaked early last spring, and Buffy took over his duties. She was laying a bit, but hasn't for a couple of weeks now. The other day, I observed her grab a bantam hen by the neck and proceed to "tread" on her. I have five cockerels approaching maturity, so I suspect my Buffy's days of roostering glory are numbered.

I wouldn't say that your hen needs a rooster, but rather, she might benefit from a living arrangement where her dominant behavior isn't an issue.

Personally, the prospect of spraying a hen with a squirt bottle to try and modify her behavior seems, well...? If she's not working out for you, might I suggest you re-home her. There's an appropriate home out there for her where she won't have to be sprayed; there's a good egg laying hen out there to replace her spot in your flock. Keeping chickens should be enjoyable!

Good luck & best wishes!
I'm to new to chickens to be able to tell how old she is. The lady I bought her from said her records showed she was just over a year. Only problem about squirting her is she won't come by me anymore. I don't blame her. I was just wondering if she will change her ways or if I'm going to have to give her to someone with a rooster.
I only have 3 chickens and love them all. So when I have to give one up it is hard. I have one RIR about two years old and the other is a Easter Egger she is about 20 weeks and no eggs yet. Thank for your help. Still hoping there is someone who has had a hen go back to laying and no crowing.
The first couple of years of keeping chickens are your initial investment years - all of these weird chicken situations become less trying with time - trust me!

I could add this: in my action packed, though limited, experience, hen "dramas," whatever form they take, rarely last too long. You hen has been through a lot. She moved in with a new flock; she molted. She appears to be a big, healthy girl. She's strutting her stuff. That bold behavior is apt to stay with her. She will likely start doing some other annoying thing. Or, she might start laying eggs like a good hen. And she might stop crowing - without the spray bottle. The problem with the spray bottle is that there's something Pavlovian about it that bothers me. In my household, it's the evil chat noir who gets the spray bottle. But really, it's just negative attention. He's learned to sit out of range and yowl (sounds like your hen?), and I get out of bed and chase after him with the squirt bottle. He wins every time. And I NEVER get to sleep beyond 5:30 am. Chickens or cat...

The crowing thing in the morning re-visited. Chickens wake up very early. I'm up at 4 am, and I always hear the birds stirring when I go out. If I open pop doors so the birds can saunter out when they are ready, there's no "hen crowing." If I try and sleep in, I wake up at 5:30 am to a Buff Orpington hen crowing. Maybe your hen was accustomed to being able to get out of the coop earlier than what she can now.

Well, in any event, good luck. I hope that peace & quiet settles over your home. Let me know what it's like, ok?

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