Can hens be happy on their own?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pupsicle, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. pupsicle

    pupsicle Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 11, 2008
    I raised two hens from two days old. They grew up together and, though they squabbled over food sometimes, were pretty much inseparable. My poor little RIR died this weekend from natural causes. [​IMG]

    I'm wondering now if I need to get a companion for my Buff Orpington. She's 5 now and is no, uh, spring chicken herself. She seems normal enough after the other one's passing. She's doing all the normal things in all the normal places, and she's eating just fine. (Actually, she's eating very well -- the RIR was the dominant hen and always got to the treats first!)

    I don't really *want* more chickens, but I know that chickens are flock animals and don't normally live alone.

    Does anyone have any experience with keeping a single hen? Is it cruel to keep her alone like that, with no one to talk to? Is introducing another hen even an option at this point -- I mean, I guess it's possible that she'd get upset having someone else on her turf. (Though she's really mellow, so I don't think it would be a problem.)

    Anecdotes and advice are appreciated.
  2. Their Other Mother

    Their Other Mother Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2008
    Last month the coyotes killed all but one of my chickens. What a mess, there are still feathers everywhere. My last chickie was in a daze, she followed us around everywhere we went and sat by the back door when we went inside. My daughter even brought her in the living room (in a cage) because she was lonely. The chicken actually seemed to like being inside with us - even in a cage! Alas, I gave her to a friend down the street who has about 15 chickens. She adapted right away and none of the others even picked on her. Maybe because you only had 2 and the dominant one died, she is relieved and just doesn't realize what she's missing. As long as she seem healthy and acts normal, I'd keep her.

    BTW: Welcome to BYC !
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  3. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps


    Why don't you want to get more? Because of the season or do you want "out" from the chicken world? If you want "out" you may want to try rehoming her....

    You may want to set her up with a mirror. If she is acting fine, I think a mirror could be sufficient....then in the spring maybe get more chicks, if you are so inclined.
  4. pupsicle

    pupsicle Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 11, 2008
    Yeah, I thought about finding her another home so she could have some friends, but that seems like it'd just be a rude awakening for her. She's lived here all her life! I think it'd be too awful for her to lose her friend AND her home all at the same time.

    BTW: Welcome to BYC !


    I was around a lot when I first got the chooks, but I forgot my old username!

    Why don't you want to get more?

    I made the mistake of letting these two spoiled little girls free range in my backyard, and they completely took it over. I want my yard back! I suppose I could avoid that problem by keeping new ones in their enclosure more often, but that means re-educating my 5yo Buff Orp, which I'm not sure will ever happen.​
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  5. lovemychix

    lovemychix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    Chickens love each others company! I wouldn't keep just one. I don't think I could anyway. I have an addiction. [​IMG]

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