Can a solo hen be ok?

Mountain_artist

Chirping
Apr 6, 2018
51
60
96
Western North Carolina
Hi, I have 7 hens--3 are 3 y.o. Barred Rocks and 4 are black sex links that were new in March.
Short story: Can a bullied-to-near-death hen live a happy life alone, separated from the rest of the flock?

Long story: One of my Barred Rocks was attacked by a predator last year and injured badly--I've posted about it a lot before. She managed to survive with a lot of intervention and care, but is a bit weird now. She used to be Top Hen. We reintroduced her to the flock and it was hard but she reclaimed that status as Top Hen once all her feathers grew back because she is huge while feathered. But she has molted 3 times since the attack last year, each of which long and rough. Each time, the other hens bully the daylights out of her to the point where she hides in the coop all day and then wants to sleep outside in the run just to get away from the others. (The other hens have molted once and nobody is that mean to anybody else. Just her. While they do act goofy and fearful this is 10x worse than the others.) This last molt, they never stopped beating up on her even after her feathers came back, and I caught them taking turns jumping on her and pecking her head until it was bloody. So we separated her. We let her free range all day and put her to bed at night back in the coop. After a few weeks of that, she started coming out of the coop bloody and trembling in the morning, so they were attacking her at night too! My husband is at the moment building her a mini coop with our chick brooder heater in it to keep her warm at night. Can she live her life like this, away from the others? She trembles with fear when she thinks she's going to be put with them. Even our lowest nicest hen tries to kill her now. I thought it was just pecking order stuff until they kept going for blood every time they see her. Can she just be a loner forever?
 

BTS

Songster
Jul 3, 2020
437
854
171
Canada
I'm 100% not the expert here, but my suggestion would be to maybe get a docile breed like a silkie to live in the small coop with her? Just a suggestion, but I wouldn't recommend keeping her by herself because chickens are quite social. All chickens are different, but I recommend silkies because the ones I have are by far my most docile chickens.
 

vixie-daisy

Chirping
Sep 10, 2018
51
142
91
Could you possibly try to add a couple new pullets, perhaps of a smaller breed, in with just her? It may have become a "habit" for the other hens to go after her and some new players could allow for different dynamics to form in that separate group.

I also just noticed a couple other posters suggested the same thing while I was typing this out. I really think that would be the ideal route to go here.
 

Mountain_artist

Chirping
Apr 6, 2018
51
60
96
Western North Carolina
Those are great suggestions, and maybe this is a bit of karma for her because when we got the 4 sexlinks, she tried to kill them! All the other hens accepted them into the flock after lots of careful introduction using advice from these fora, but the hen in question, Chickpea, totally evil to them! I fear she would be equally evil to any other newbies.
 

BTS

Songster
Jul 3, 2020
437
854
171
Canada
Those are great suggestions, and maybe this is a bit of karma for her because when we got the 4 sexlinks, she tried to kill them! All the other hens accepted them into the flock after lots of careful introduction using advice from these fora, but the hen in question, Chickpea, totally evil to them! I fear she would be equally evil to any other newbies.
That's good that you're considering that angle of it. My suggestion is that if you do get a couple docile companions, use the "see-but-don't-touch" method for a couple days to see how she likes the new hens, and then fully introduce the companions to the new coop with her (monitoring for the first couple days). Good luck!
 

Mountain_artist

Chirping
Apr 6, 2018
51
60
96
Western North Carolina
What if she were in a "look but don't touch" setup with the rest of the flock? She could sleep in her own spot and during the day, she'd have her own spot in the run with a fence separating it from the others. Would this meet her social requirement? I really see her being rotten to any new potential friends, and I'm not sure where I'd get new friends this time of year.
 

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