Antisocial polish pullet- unusual?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    My polish pullet, Lightning, is an anomaly in my flock. The other newer chickens have integrated well into my older flock and now get along fine but Lightning, instead of getting more at ease in the flock seems to be getting less comfortable with other chickens. The two flocks have been mixed for a month and the process went rather smoothly. Aside from my bossy GLW pair (who give a sharp peck to ANY chicken in their way) there were few pecking order disputes after the first 2 days. The first 2 weeks the chickens didn't hang out together (they have 1/3 acre to themselves) and my babies seemed to want to go back 'home' to the little coop they had occupied. But now they all go to sleep in the big coop with the big chickens (some of whom are smaller than them by now!) and mix with them freely.
    But then there's Lighting. She went to bed in a lower nest box the first few weeks but was frequently seen off on her own during the day. Once I thought she was gone because I had seen all the others over the span of an hour and not her, but I found her under a tree just lying there. So we trimmed her frill, thinking it would help her get along with the others if she could see better. Still she spent her days alone, only now it seemed purposeful. Some nights she spent out of the coop and once we found her, mysteriously in the back bedroom of the house.
    Then one night she vanished! We looked everywhere but no lightning. We hoped she was just hiding and would return, but a week went by. Still no Lightning. Then, a rather bewildered neighbor knocked on the door and asked "Is this Yours?" holding the calm and completely unharmed lightning. They found her in their yard.
    We were happy to have her back, but was she happy to be back? She runs in terror from the other chickens. Not just the bossy hens, or the older rooster, but from the calm hens and her fellow pullets. She hid behind me in a panic when the EE pullet walked by. She won't seep in the coop- I found her roosting on some scrap lumber after squeezing through a hole in the fence the separates the chicken yard from the dogs. She likes us people and will happily tolerate being held and petted. But if we aren't around, she hides. I have never seen the others pick on her, but she is calmer about contact with the dogs and children than her flockmates. We have some empty rabbit hutches in the chicken yard and have in the past used them as the chicken hospital or to break broodies who failed to hatch anything. I am thinking of making her an apartment in one of them with her own little nest box and food and water dishes.
    She is quickly becoming the most spoiled chicken we have.
    Anyone else have a polish who doesn't want to be a chicken?
     
  2. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
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    That is weird that she isn't even socializing with her own group. I don't have any polish but I did have a very antisocial silkie that I introduced to my flock this spring. She wanted nothing to do with them, even though I didn't see anyone pecking on her. She wouldn't go into the coop at night, I usually pulled her out of the bushes every evening and put her in the coop. She had a bad attitude as well. I cut the fluff around her eyes as well in hopes she could see better, thinking that was the problem. When she finally started laying eggs, she really mellowed out. I figured it was a hormone thing.

    Your little girl may benefit from being in her own coop where she won't be so nervous around the others. It's too bad that she hasn't befriended at least one other hen so that you could put that hen in with her so she isn't alone.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Have you trimmed her crest so that she can better see her surroundings and her flock mates? That might help make her more comfortable. Polish frequently have problems integrating into a flock with non crested birds.
     
  4. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just a few days after I trimmed her crest she vanished for a week! She seems WORSE now that she can see better.
    But she may get better... now that I found her secret roost, she actually went into the coop on her own. I think I may still set up an apartment for her just in case. Even if she doesn't really need it, having a furnished broody pen/hospital room isn't a bad idea.
     

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