Added 2 hens, one is depressed? How long w/o eating can she go?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by newchickenfan, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. newchickenfan

    newchickenfan Hatching

    Jan 4, 2009
    For those of you who helped me decide that I needed to rehome my two roos from my flock of three chickens, thank you. It was so great to get all of the good advice from experienced chicken people. I found a woman who would take both of my buff orpington roos to use for breeding.

    Now I have added two new hens from different flocks to keep my little hen company. One is a buff orpington (as is my original) and one I believe is a cochin, with feathers covering her feet. I got them home Sunday night. The buff has adjusted great! Sadly, the cochin has not left the coop. I have a ramp for them to come and go from the coop out into a small pen area where the food and water is. The cochin as far as I know has not come out of the coop at all for food or water. She just sits in her nesting box. We open the door and talk to her and she seems very calm, too much so. She seems darn right depressed. I thought at first the buffs might be bullying her, but they seem like they are just ignoring her.

    Firstly, how long can a chicken go without food and water? And, Any ideas on how I can get this little girl to adapt?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. birdlover

    birdlover Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Aww, poor girl. Have you taken her outside to the water and food? If not, try that. If she continues to go in the nest box, I'd question whether or not she's broody. Cochins are notorious for being broody. And to rest easier, I'd put food and water right next to her and, then, keep checking on her.


    Jan 20, 2009
    Vancouver Island BC Canada
    My guess would be that she's gone broody. I agree with birdlover. Put a small amount of food (so you can tell she's eating) next to her along with water. I have found with any of my hens, who have had issues other than broodiness, tend to hide in corners other than the nesting boxes.
  4. newchickenfan

    newchickenfan Hatching

    Jan 4, 2009
    Excuse my ignorance, for broodiness does there have to be eggs? It is dead winter here with 18 degrees and not many hens are laying eggs. But when a hen does go broody, do they usually eat or drink during that period?
  5. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    A hen will go broody on a rock if she so chooses too! LOL I would definately put her in the yard near the food and water and watch her. If she runs back to the nest, I would say she is broody. Put some food and water near her ASAP. Water is the MOST important...but food is important as well. Maybe hard boil an egg..and see if she will eat that too.
  6. DDRanch

    DDRanch Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    I would put water and food near her in the coop to make sure she is not being bullied and kept away from food. I had a similiar situation and bought 2 small bird feeder cups, from the pet store filled one iwth water and one with food and hung them near the hen or where she is roosting during the day. Also, you might try giving her favorite treats away from the others to coax her. Good luck.

    If she is broody, she will leave the nest for brief periods during the day to poop, eat and drink but unless you are watching 24/7 you may not see her.

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    My PDR is at my office. I'll look up the right Prozac dose for a chicken tomorrow.

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