I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle my Buckeye Hen when she freaks out when she gets stressed and wants to escape. She is the only hen out of 4 + 1 rooster that literally freaks out. One day I pretended to be a bear to scare off a hawk and was outside their fenced area - she saw me and lost it - ramming herself into the fence over and over and finally hiding face first into a patch of grass until the girls coaxed her out in about 15 min. Now my rooster has been trying to mate for a good month and today he stepped on her and almost had her and she totally freaked and charging herself over and over into various parts of the fence, hitting a concrete bench, bashing her face -- it's awful to watch. I had to catch her and hold her to calm her down. Then the hens get upset and try to peck at her - almost like hey u freaky girl - CALM DOWN or get OUT. She does have a litter box top w an open end that she crawls into so no one can get to her and where she can just calm herself. After awhile - she comes out and all is fine for a month until something else gets her going. This is episode #5. She is 6 months old. Has not started laying but 2 of her fellow hens are laying already. another one which refuses the rooster also has not started laying. Any advice on what to do - how to make things better -- they have a fenced in area that is nice and large - divided into 3 sections so they can have some separation if they want. She is really freaking over the rooster trying to mate w/her - I'm afraid she will break her neck acting nutso.
Buckeye Hen freaks out and rams self into fence trying to get away when anything different happens
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She's the wall flower. The bottom of the pecking order from how it sounds. Mine was like this for a long time. She was a Buff Orp with 6 RIRs. She'd run around and run into stuff, they'd chase her, peck at her if she wasnt sitting in the coop. Id let her out into the yard so she could forage by herself without being picked on. Thought shed still get it when I put her back in anytime.
I put her in charge of my 6 young pullets, and she wasnt sure what to do at first and was a chicken (no pun intended) about it. After a bit, she put on her big girl pants and assumed top of the pecking order since theyre younger. She's more confident now.
Though, I think everyone here who has a flock, has that one at the bottom of the pecking order which will usually run into stuff, or get picked on, or just act crazy. Every flock I've had no has had the wall flower, and they all act rather crazy or similar.
Yes - I had one in my last flock. But this is the first time I've seen one ram herself over and over and over - I know she is trying to escape and hide. She stands right up to the rooster - they look like 2 cocks getting ready to strike. It's just when he actually get her she freaks. She has always been the baby of the flock (supposed to be same age but always the runt). Thank u for letting me know she is not alone!
One question before I give you my advice on a program for this very skittish hen. Is she just as skittish when you try to handle her? Or is there some degree of trust?
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