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Author Topic: Chickens gone Wild!  (Read 1445 times)
HomeBru
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« on: December 22, 2008, 08:56:54 AM »

No, it's not a new video, but my goofy girls appear to have gone feral. We've had temps around -2 F (-20 C) since Saturday evening including severe wind and these silly birds insist on roosting in the big spruce tree in the middle of their chicken yard rather than huddling up in one of the two coops we lovingly built for them! It's not a space issue and they grew up in the newer of the two so they know it exists and have been there before.

I think they've just gone feral.

The big problem is that they've also stopped laying since they're not staying in where the light is.

There's always something new...

J-
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reinbeau
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2008, 12:05:06 PM »

I've heard of chickens getting afraid of something in the coop so they won't go into it.  Could you have a predator coming in there?  What I would do is lock them in the coop for a week or so to get them used to it again.  You'll definitely start losing birds if you leave them out there open to predation.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2008, 01:07:49 PM »

Nah, they are spooked by the metaphysical presence in the coop.  Everytime they lay an egg in there, poof, it disappears!  Can't say that I blame them!
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Rick
Keith13
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2008, 02:16:28 PM »

Nah, they are spooked by the metaphysical presence in the coop.  Everytime they lay an egg in there, poof, it disappears!  Can't say that I blame them!

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poka-bee
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2008, 02:18:48 PM »

AAAhhhh yes, the dissapearing eggs!  Sometimes mine catch me & the leghorns especially "growl" & give "the look" as I steal. I keep golf balls in them though so at first glance they don't see an empty nest.  I have alternate nests in the other part of the barn, some hanging baskets that I tossed hay into. If they decide to "hide" eggs they choose those & it satisfies their urge for secrecy!  If they lay em in the bushes or anywhere I really don't want them to I make a big show of finding & taking the eggs, stomping & changing the plants around, let he dog sniff & all that.  Don't know if it is just coincidence but they don't go anywhere but the barn or coop anymore!  J
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doak
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2008, 12:27:47 AM »

At -02 to -20 I can't think snake.
Big spruce tree I think warmth and/or predator.
Skunk, raccoon, opossum, weasel, owl, hawk or eagle.
doak Smiley
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HomeBru
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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2008, 07:58:52 PM »

It's just the black sex-link hens, the rest (buff orphington, barred rock, arucana, and a variety of "mutts") have no problem with the coops. The others in the coops are fine and haven't had any predator problems since we got "the dog". These were goofy birds from the start, so I'm not too surprised. they'd go into the coop to lay their eggs this summer, but they'd live in the trees at night. The only major concern is the drop in egg production!

J-
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Natalie
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2008, 10:17:42 PM »

I have black sex links too and they are more independant and bossy than the other breeds I have so I can kind of see what you are talking about with them.
They are also not as social with the other hens as my other breeds so they do their own thing within the flock.
I agree that you will have to break them in though and make them sleep in the coop.
I think if all of their needs are met you can lock them up for a few days and see how they do.
If you only lock them up for a day and feel bad you are going to make them more skittish and probably not get them to go anywhere the coop again.
I don't know how you normally feed them but you could try only having their food offered to them in the coop and their main meal at night to make going into the coop more appealing.
If you normally keep the feeder in the coop anyway maybe you can take it out during the day so they just forage or throw a few handfuls on the ground but then bring the feeder back in at dusk to see if they will go in to eat.
Another thought is maybe they don't like the light in the coop, just throwing stuff out here, don't know but some hens really hate change and maybe the light is throwing them off?
It could be anything that they don't like, the roosts, a draft etc. are they being picked on by the others?
How many hens are doing this by the way?
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