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Depressed Chicken

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello, all. 


I'm pretty sure one of my chickens is depressed and I'm not sure what to do about it. I've read some other posts similar to this, but none that fit closely enough to my chicken's situation for me to be able to use its advice. 


I had two adult female chickens and three baby female chickens, but this Monday past (6 days ago) an animal got into the coop at night and killed one of my adult chickens, Sumia. Now my other chicken, Lúthien, just isn't acting like she used to. In the mornings I'll go out and find her huddled in the back of the coop with her face facing the wall. And when she finally does come out (like mid morning) she never goes too far from the coop. For the first two days or so she kept looking around the yard for Sumia, but now she just sits by the coop or in the yard. Sometimes she'll also sit on the porch near the door and make noises until someone comes outside. I think she's lonely and wants attention, but nothing we do seems to help any. 


As for our three baby chicks, they're kept in a pen near the adult's coop during the afternoons but are otherwise still kept inside. When Sumia was alive, she and Lúthien basically ignored the babies. Occasionally they would go over together and look at the babies and make angry noises at them. But now that Sumia's dead, Lúthien stalks around the pen and looks at them. Even in the morning before the chicks are put out, she's out there right by the pen pacing around it. 



The babies are too small to be outside all the time and I'm still afraid how Lúthien will act around them. I want to let them get a little closer because I know she's lonely, but at the same time I'm worried she might hurt the chicks. Would it be bad for Lúthien or the other chicks if we got another adult chicken? The chicks aren't staying going to be outside of their pen until the end of May, and Lúthien just seems so lonely. 

post #2 of 4

First, I always feel sad to hear stories about chickens got killed/ attacked by predators.  I'm sorry it happened to your flock.  Please make sure you do whatever it takes to ensure this doesn't happen again as you're also caring/ raising chicks.

I am sure Luthien is still at shock for what had happened to her friend, no doubt.  This had happened to my flock and it took my hen at least three weeks to feel comfortable walking around the yard with confident.  So please, give Luthien some times to adjust.  Most of all, I believe that if you can spend some "quality" time with her by providing small treats, supervise her, pet her, etc. it would help.  I didn't get another adult hen for mine when my hen lost her best friend.  I did get two more chicks and they quickly grew so my adult hen didn't have a problem with being by herself for the few months while the other two chicks were still at younger age.  The main thing, I believe, is for you to continue to observe her, give her good care, especially to make sure that you secure the coop/ yard to avoid the predator to enter again, because once the predator knows you have chickens, it/ they will come back very soon.

I hope what I said makes sense and to help you a little.  

post #3 of 4

when my flock suffered an attack my remaining four were traumatized for weeks.  they slowly returned to normal. 

I now have a hen given to me that my roo refuses to accept & tries to hurt her.  she was alone when she came to me (her flock mates were killed by coyotes).  I thought she could join my flock - but the roo refuses to let it happen.  she spends her days alone.  it's pitiful. 


I've got 12 babies i'm hoping she can join with & then the whole gang will join the original bunch.


whichever way you decide there's risk.  I just hope it works out well for you & your girl.

post #4 of 4
I am new to thus site so not sure how it works properly. One of my hens had a stroke the other day and died and now another hen looks so sad and won't mingle with the other hens and hides away. Any tips on how I could help her. Its awful.
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