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MamaCoop

Highly strung hen!

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I have one hen who shall we say is highly strung and very skittish. Never been able to hold her or even go near her. The others we have are all friendly souls. 

She increasingly spends time pacing up and down the side of the run squawking and running up and down the ladders into the coop to aappear back out again a few moments later. 

Initially I thought it was just the morning I was noticing it, and assumed she was going to lay. But its throughout the day.  I also wondered if she could be broody but its gone on nnonsense the summer. 

 

My question is I have a spare Go and 3m run that I was thinking of putting her in just to see if this helps to calm her down for a bit. I'm worried that if I do that and she is already of a nervous disposition this may make her even more highly strung. And then when I pop her back into the main run would she get picked on? 

I know there are lots of experienced people on here and wondered what you thought. 

When she is pacing and squawking the other hens are just pottering around her quite happy eating, scratching around and just doing what chickens do! 

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I have had two of those hens so far and both rehomed them. (Both also partridge colour hens btw)

They got so much on my nerves that it took away all the fun and relaxation of keeping chickens. 

I have to say that both hens did the squawking and pacing before laying, but could easily keep it up for 2 hours. It did help a lot when I would lock them in the Go for laying. It would finally settle them down to lay. After they laid their egg, I would let them out in the run again and they would mostly fine for the day. 
I’m pretty sure both hens were more “wild” and wanted to lay somewhere in a shrub or something. Maybe add another laying box in the run to give your hen some options?

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Sounds like she has seen or knows of a better place to lay outside the run. Perhaps the nest box in the coop doesn't feel secure?

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Thanks so much for your replies. I think she is a Vorwerk. 

 

You make a good point Cattails in that this hen is taking all my love  of having them away. I hear her when I wake up and throughout the day. I'm worried she will give herself a heart attack all the ferocious pacing she does. 

 

I have a cube so plenty of space for more than one hen to lay buy none of them will do in if occupied. 

Its interesting about that maybe she has seen another place better to lay. I posted a few weeks ago about confused hens! Short story I lifted two of the hens out the back of the cube whilst I was cleaning (this hen is one of those two) and now when every they free range these two hens try to get back in via the back of the cube jumping up at it rather than the open door. 

 

Maybe her complete hen GPS needs a reboot.? She is always the last to go back in and I dread letting them all out as she is just trouble. Either jumping up the back of the cube to get in or just running around squawking until we finally get hold of her. Which recently isn't easily done. I have no doubt she will one night refuse to go in and meet a fox related end. 

 

I may look for another nesting box inside the run. Thats a good idea. 

 

They have 3x2 lo rise run as well as 4m of cube run so plenty of space. She is just never happy 🙄

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One of my hens settled down better with a bunch of hay in the nestbox. I never ever use things like hay, but was ready try anything to shut her beak! 🤐

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Oooh we have hay! I shall try, and another nest box and then last resort give her some time out!

 

Thanks so much

 

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Just thought would give an update. We tried a little hay which they seemed to like but I have found it just gets so damp with their droppings so have gone back to Arboise. Have bought another nest box, which not one of them seems interested in! I've popped a few rubber eggs in so they get the hint...but they are not the least bit interested 🙄🤣.

 

Have just made my Go and run secure again so think may try her in that for a little while. Maybe she is struggling as I think she is bottom of the pecking. Though isn't showing any signs of injury. 

She just constantly seems stressed. (Have popped some of the Vitamin stuff in the water) 

If i take her out for a few days and then pop her back in is it likely to make being bottom of the packing order worse for her do you think? 

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On 11/30/2020 at 12:58 PM, MamaCoop said:

If i take her out for a few days and then pop her back in is it likely to make being bottom of the packing order worse for her do you think? 

I would leave her with the others and make sure she is not constantly being picked on.

Taking her out, although giving her a relaxing break, will make it more stressful on her once you put her back in.

Do you have lots of places she can get to so that she can get away from the others ?

I have had a couple of very noisy girls myself so I know how you feel when you say it takes the fun away.

We did used to squirt water near the offending girl and that did seem to do the trick, although this was in the summer not now.

They do usually quieten down once it starts to get darker.

How noisy is she now ?

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Hi Luvachicken thanks for your reply. 

She has been a lot quieter the last 2 weeks, no eggs and is going through a heavy moult now.  She looks so bare. She is definitely bottom of the pecking order. Maybe all of that is contributing to her new found silence! 

Our run has a cube and then 3 m and then a 3x2 low rise attached at the end, inhave 4 hens. There are a few perches, a few logs, a table they jump on and off and I've put an extra nest box in. Ive popped in some extra food and water as she always seems to hang back when the others are feeding.

Thanks for the advice about not taking her out I did work it would distance her and then make it worse when she went back in. 

I do wonder if its a combination of her personality and bottom of the pecking? I  have 4 hens and may get a couple more on the spring. Maybe that will take the focus of her? I mean my others are not out and out bullies but maybe she is just extra sensitive? 

 

They are funny things aren't they? I've had hens for a couple of years now and she's the first that hasn't settled. 

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Over the 10 years that I've had chickens I have had a few that have put me off them altogether.

A bit like people, chickens are all different, some are calm, some highly strung and some very noisy.

Hopefully by the time spring comes, she might have forgotten all about being noisy.

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35 minutes ago, Luvachicken said:

Over the 10 years that I've had chickens I have had a few that have put me off them altogether.

A bit like people, chickens are all different, some are calm, some highly strung and some very noisy.

Hopefully by the time spring comes, she might have forgotten all about being noisy.

My fingers are firmly crossed! She certainly has made me a grumpy chicken owner. Maybe the spring will brighten the both of us!! 

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58 minutes ago, Cat tails said:

You are a better woman than me! I traded in both Pickwicks... 

😂

 

I'm not sure where I would send her! Or even whether any of my chicken friends would want her...how can I sing her praises 🤷‍♀️🤣

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Well I traded in Pickwick for Pickwick2 at the petting farm I got her. And than returned Pickwick2 this year as she would attack the other hens in the middle of the night in the coop... They both were bonkers...

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