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Anti-Social and/or Crazy Chicken?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CritterHill, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. CritterHill

    CritterHill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an odd problem. Out of my 14 hens, I have one that does not seem to want to be part of the flock.

    She is a WCB polish hen and when I let them free range, she wanders off on her own with no buddies. If I keep them in the run, she will be as far from the rest of the flock as possible. This behavior has gotten worse lately to the point where she won't go back into the coop. I have to go out every night now searching the bushes to find her new roost and put her back in the coop.

    I sat and watched her today. She gets as far from the flock as possible and if they start moving toward her, she starts clucking agitatedly. The flock doesn't seem to bother her. I haven't seen any pecking or harassment.

    Also, I have trimmed back her crest feathers in case this was a case of her not being able to see clearly and that hasn't helped at all.

    Any idea what could be causing this behavior? My husband found her perched on a stick out in the run right next to the coop well after dark today.

    This chicken has always been a little flaky, for years she is the one that periodically fails to get back to the coop at night and has always tended to wander away from the flock on her own from time to time, but it seems to be getting much worse now! It's every single night she doesn't come in and during the day she is deliberately avoiding the flock.

    Any ideas? Has she just gone mad? Is the flock waiting until my back it turned to beat her up?
     
  2. caspernc

    caspernc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicken demintia? How old is she, you said years she has been different?
     
  3. CritterHill

    CritterHill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, this has been going on for at least the past year maybe 2. About a year ago we changed her name to Lost because of this behavior. She's about 4 years old now.
     
  4. BloominOrchid

    BloominOrchid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    did she have a friend that got taken by a hawk?
     
  5. caspernc

    caspernc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens mostly don't live all that long. You have probably lengthined her life by keeping up with the poor dear. Also some are not the brightest light bulb in the pack and it may get worse with age.
     
  6. CritterHill

    CritterHill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the last year we've had two or three girls taken by a hawk. All polish hens from her original flock. So yeah, she's lost some good buddies. The last one to be taken was a month or two ago.

    This is why I've stopped getting the polish hens. They can't seem to see the hawks overhead due to their crests and get picked off easily [​IMG]

    You think she's depressed? If that is the case, she appears to be getting a little suicidal.

    Anyone know a good chicken grief counsellor for her?
     
  7. BloominOrchid

    BloominOrchid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] yeah thats what it sounds like shes got PTSD from the stinkin hawk attacks.
    maybe she should stay in the coop you know in patient her... [​IMG]
     
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I've had two rather anti-social birds (not at the same time). Both spent most of their time away from the rest of the flock (which gave me scares at times when they couldn't be located). I think there are oddballs throughout the animal kingdom, including humans. Other than being a pain in that you have to stick her hiney inside at night, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    My 7 month old Polish girls act like yours most of the time if they come out of the coop to free range. The other chickens peck at them when they come too close, and they act like pinballs in a machine. They tend to get stuck out in the pasture, and can't get back to the coop. I found one roosting in a bush after dark when I didn't see her in the coup that night. Since then I always locate the 2 dizzy girls at bedtime to lock everyone up in the coop. They are pretty funny chicks and sweet, but I probably wouldn't get them again, at least in a mixed flock. One got blinded by another chick when she was 5 mo. old, but recovered well. Mine come running to me when they hear my voice because they know I will pick them up and "rescue" them from whatever predicament they are in.
     
  10. CritterHill

    CritterHill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My original flock was all polish hens. When I asked my husband if he would build me a coop he said, "Sure, if we can get those chickens with the funny poofs on their heads!" It seemed like a reasonable deal, so I jumped at it.

    But as they get picked off, I've been replacing them with birds that can actually see predators...

    The polish hens don't seem to get beat up in my flock even though I have 8 non-polish hens now. Possibly since they were the original flock and as the other breeds were introduced as pullets, the older polish girls always kept them in their place. Also, I try to keep their poofs either clipped back or up in pony tails so they aren't at too much of a disadvantage.

    Oddball, PTSD, suicidally depressed, dumb and getting dumber. I could pretty much believe any of those possibilities! She was certainly never the sharpest bird in the coop...
     

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