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White Rock hen acting a bit different, what is going on?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Noymira, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    I have a White Rock hen, who is about a year old, and starting to act a bit different, but I'm not sure why.

    I noticed a few weeks ago that she was hanging out in the coop part of the tractor more, not coming out while I was outside like she usually does. I went to check on her and she was sitting in the corner on the nest where they lay eggs, so I thought maybe she was laying and left her alone. She gave me the stink eye and kind of "groweled/purred" at me. I came our later and she was still on the nest, so I brought her favorite treat, meal worms, and she ran right over to get them. While she was distracted I collected the eggs and she seemed fine after. She's done this a few more times and seems to be hanging on the nest a lot, the eggs have been VERY warm when I collect them, so I know she's spending some time on them.

    This week I noticed that when I come home from work they are both (2 hens in that tractor) out in the pen, but the White Rock had the feathers on her neck all puffed up and her tail feathers straight out. She's done that several nights in a row now, walking around with her feathers all fluffed up and shaking them occasionally. She still spends a lot of time on the nest, and it seems my egg count is down a little bit, but not much, I still have almost 3 every two days from that pair (we were getting 2 a day for a few weeks).

    About the same time she started this I started bringing our 7 chicks out to play in a "playpen" I built next to the hen's tractor, is she miffed about the new additions? The other hen, Partridge Rock, was very excited when the chicks came out and paced back and talking up a storm to them (she seemed very motherly). The White Rock seemed pretty indifferent after a few interested glances and clucks.

    I'm about to integrate my flock in the new big coop (2 hens, 5 pullets & 7 chicks), so I'm trying to be very aware of any health/behavior issues before I do this.

    Is she going broody? Is there some illness I should be watching for?
  2. colster10000

    colster10000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2010
    ham lake
    she sounds like shes in mother mode or in other words broody so if you want to have some baby chicks just let her have her eggs and leave her alone
  3. MrsChickendad

    MrsChickendad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2008
    Lennon, Michigan
    She's just broody. Typically, they puff up and swear at you and won't stay off the nest. If you're going to let her set, write down the date she starts!
  4. Carolyn

    Carolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2008
    It sounds like she might be broody to me. You said you are going to intergrate your chicks with your hens and pullets. How old are your chicks and how many chicks and how many pullets? You can run into problems mixing ages and loose some babies. I know it works out fine sometimes, I have done it in the past. However, you can also loose your little ones that way because they are automatically the lowest in the pecking order.

    Someone on here with more experience will be able to help you out. Good luck.
  5. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Thanks, must be the babies got her feeling broody!

    I really don't want any babies right now, we've got 7 six week old chicks and 5 seventeen week old pullets in addition to these two hens, so we have more than enough on our plates right now, and hopefully moving everyone to the big coop this weekend.

    Maybe the move will help break her of the broodiness?
  6. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Quote:We are going to integrate them, but with limits. I am going to put the hens and the seventeen week old pullets together in the coop. The chicks will go in as well, but I am going to build in a separate area for them with access to their own run until they are bigger.

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