Why is she pacing??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by countrygoddess, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 6 Dorking pullets, 3 Marans pullets, a Cochin cockerel and 4 Dorking cockerels. They're all 25 weeks old and have been in the same hoop coop together since they were 6 weeks old. They have a very large yard surrounded by an electric fence but they very often are let out to forage on the pasture where they live and in the woods around my house. They all get along very well with no bullying of each other (the boys reestablished their pecking order when the girls became fertile, but it only took them 3 days and things are peaceful now). Many of the girls are laying now, but not all.

    This morning I went out to feed them and to open their fence for a day of free ranging and they all came running to eat (I make my own feed and serve it soaked overnight in water and cultured milk) except one Dorking girl, who I found in the hoop coop pacing back and forth along one wall. I brought her out to eat and she turned and ran back to resume pacing. I tried putting her in a nesting box, wondering if she was feeling the need to lay and still not quite sure where to do it, but she jumped out and went back to her pacing. I then picked her up and carried her around while I did chores that could be done with one hand. We went all around my property, into the garage, in the basement for a while, and up to my front walk, where I finally put her down. I had hoped that the time and distraction would take away her anxiety and make her "forget" about her obsession. As soon as her feet touch the ground, she ran to the other side of house, made her way through the wild raspberries at the edge of our yard, and out into the pasture where their house is. There were a few other birds out there, but she didn't stick around to see what yummy things they were finding. She ran right back into the house and took up her pacing again. It has now been 3 hours and she's still pacing.

    The only thing that has changed is yesterday I put thick clear plastic over one open end of their hoop coop to keep cold wind out. What the heck is wrong with her?? I've already taken note of her band number and made the notation in my journal, "Neurotic behavior." I'm not sure if a neurotic propensity is genetic, but I'm not sure I want to breed her.
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Chickens hate any changes at all. That could be upsetting her. Or she could be getting ready to lay.. Mine pace in mornings and whine. Especially if their favourite box is occupied. They will not accept it if I put them in a box.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with your girl. It will likely stop when she gets used to the plastic or lays an egg.
     
  3. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    As usual, I got myself worked up over nothing. I went out to check on her and she was in a nesting box, building the mother of all nests. The others kind of kick a depression in the straw and drop their egg before casually hopping out. #34? Nope. She was surrounded up to her head with straw and shavings and was working on pulling it up even further. Maybe I shouldn't be so fast to cross her off the breeding roster--she'll probably be my best broody!! Won't need an incubator with her around!! LOL
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    :gig

    Glad that's what it was! I have a polish that does the same thing. Crazy girl. She loves to dig around before laying.
     
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