Anything we can do to help hen get over loss of partner, fear of fox?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ookedama, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. ookedama

    ookedama New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2008
    BCS, Mex
    We lost one of our two pet hens to a fox two days ago. Remaining hen (banty mix, maybe 4 years old), got a little roughed up and is still calling for the other. Fox got them in the open coop. They are daytime free rangers. Now our girl won't go in at dusk as she has every dusk for years. Anything we can do to help her get over her fear of the coop? We wait until dark, locate her and carry her into the nesting box in the coop. Open it again in the morning. She is eating and scratching and no more afraid of me than before. But she is adamant about not going in in the evening.
    Maybe just time will help?
     
  2. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Chillin' With My Peeps

    She associates the coop with her terror at encountering the fox. It will take her a while to get over it. Last night mine hadn't gone in well past the time when they usually do. All were clustered at the door, talking anxiously. I actually thought there might be something in there and I was a little afraid to open the big door, not knowing what might leap out! There was nothing there--I checked all the nest boxes and there's no place else anything could hide. I still don't know what it was all about, but I shooed them in, and of course by then it was too dark for them to find the roost. I ended up lifting everyone up, LOL!

    Maybe getting a couple of friends for your hen would do the trick. They would go in, and she would follow.
     
  3. ookedama

    ookedama New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2008
    BCS, Mex
    Your story made us laugh. Thanks.
    Yup, think we will get a couple of new young hens. At the least, that may give our old girl some pecking order to teach and enforce- getting her mind off her problems.
    Take care.
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
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    Time, kindness, and a few friends will eventually calm her back down. I always tell folks to try for at least three hens. You have only two and lose one and you end up with a very lonely bird.

    Some new birds that didn't experience the attack, so are okay with the coop, will help her see that it's okay.

    Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     
  5. ookedama

    ookedama New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2008
    BCS, Mex
    OK, this is where we are now...we did get a new hen to accompany the survivor. They got along fabulously from the git go so that was a relief. We had the traumatized hen and the newbie shut up in the coop (includes henhouse) for most of a week. The new hen, Pearl, seemed thrilled with the arrangement as it was probably a lot nicer accommodations than when she had been previously. Old girl, Ethel, was furious with us for locking her in the pen all day. Only thing that bothered us is they wanted to roost on top of the henhouse. But they are completely enclosed in coop so we were not worried about their safety so much as their comfort. A few days ago we let them out to enjoy the yard. When sundown came, little Pearl went down and into the coop and roosted on the hen house. Old Ethel, however, refused to go in the coop and even stood outside the door and tried to get Pearl to get out. Pearl DID get out and followed Ethel around the yard, looking upward for a roost. I tried to herd them into the pen but no way. Understand these are not hand raised birdies. They like to hang out with us, but we have rarely had the opportunity to touch them and that has only been while brooding or sleeping. Eventually Ethel launched into a shrub. Pearly could not figure out how to do that and so went back to the coop for the evening. Next night, same thing, except Ethel over launched the shrub and spend the night in our neighbor's yard. I relaunched her back into our yard in the morning. So this is our scenario for the time being.
    We were thinking doing this tonight, please give your advise, after dark, we would like to get Pearl off of the henhouse and place her inside where it is warmer and their are nesting boxes and perches. Do you think we will be scaring the heck out of her because Ethel has told her if she goes in the house she will be eaten by a fox?
    Second, do you think another week long confinement to the pen might reboot Ethel into coming back to it at night or are we stuck with a chicken we will be worrying about outside all night?
    Long story....thanks for reading.
     

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