Why do my hens gather by the house

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JC05401, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. JC05401

    JC05401 Hatching

    Jan 14, 2013
    We have four lovely hens who are about 7 months old. They were raised from chicks in a brooder in the back room of our house. Since then, they have all been outside for many months in their coop. We only provide food, treats and water in the coop area. When they are foraging they range all around our fenced yard, but when they are hanging out, they always come up on our deck and stand by the back door. Sometimes they peck the door. They do this several times a day. At first I would check their food and water when they did this, but it doesn't seem to correlate.

    Anyone else have chickens who do this? Do they want to be with me? Are they remembering the warm brooder that used to be behind the door? It is annoying to us because they poop all over our deck, and there seem to be many more appealing places in the yard that are just as sheltered from wind. I realize that we could fence them in, but we really enjoy watching them scratch and graze in the yard, so for now we're willing to clean chicken poop from the deck every day. Just wondering why.

  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland

    I've had this happen with chickens I raised indoors. They like to come "visit" and if we leave the door open they are all over the house in no time! Maybe yours just want to see you?
  3. idachick

    idachick In the Brooder

    May 29, 2012
    Boise, ID
    Ours do the same thing. My office window looks out into the back yard and they will come roost at the tops of the lawn chairs next to the window and look in at me. Right now it is so snowy and cold they come and sit by the sliding glass door and peck occasionally. If I left the door open they would come right in. We assume they just like to see what we are up to and be closer to us. :)
  4. MarcoPollo

    MarcoPollo Songster

    Nov 24, 2012
    Hot Coffee, MS
    I was reading this post and I don't really have any advice to contribute. I just wanted to say ...... how sweet is that to have the chickens congregating around you!? I can imagine them being like a little group of visitors. "Hey, do you all wanna go see what the family of humans is up to? Sure, let's go"! LOL
    But then there's the chicken poop problem......... [​IMG]
    Which I understand completely.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I never brooded in the house and could never keep them off the porch. I think crediting them with remembering being warm and brooded and knowing it was on the other side of that door is too much for chicken reasoning. I eventually had to fence them in a large run cause I got tired of chicken poo on the porch. My birds had a acre of pasture with some trees and bushes, plus they could access the abandonded property next door--two acres of pasture and woods. Nope, they hung out on the porch. So now, they hang out in the run!
  6. mrsc1951

    mrsc1951 Songster

    May 15, 2011
    Largo, Florida
    We had the same problem - our deck became their "poop" deck. We just fenced the area immediately around the deck so that we have a place to sit without worrying about their mess. They still have the majority of the back yard but we maintained our space. Mine would also come peck on the sliding glass door but they were never inside in a brooder or otherwise. I think they just know that "treats" come from there and they are truly little feathered beggars. I typically take them a treat out around 4:30 or so and about 4:00 - 4:15 they gather at the gate and squawk for me to hurry. It's funny because if I am busy and not paying attention to the time they certainly let me know.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Location is a preferred loafing area. When not foraging they like to hang out in relatively protected area. Protected means out of wind and when cold the location is sunny in a addition to providing view enabling birds to survey surroundings for approaching predators. Loafing birds like to explore by pecking, dust bath and sun bath.

    My birds are partial to south facing double door they can also look into. My assumption they think they can run into house if threatened. Even when door is open to allow dog and child traffic, chickens do not typically come inside house even though they do peep in when we are watching television. Many of the birds are hen raised while others were brooder reared indoors. Rearing method does seem to enfluence behavior around door.

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