Can I help my depressed hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AnonPaperclip, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. AnonPaperclip

    AnonPaperclip Songster

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    So, Friday night, we lost one of our hens to a wild animal (we're still not sure what it was, but I bet $5 on bobcat) She was a salmon faverolle and the sweetest girl in our flock. Luckily, the other five hens are alright, but I'll still miss her dearly.

    After the attack, our second faverolle seemed like she just wanted to isolate herself from the flock.

    Yesterday morning, she was the last one to come out of the coop. Everyone else was still cautious about hopping out, but they eventually did come out into their run. This faverolle is normally the first one up and the first one out. Whenever I'd go out and check their water in the early early morning, I'd see her peeking her head out of the coop door to see what I was doing. That morning, she wouldn't move from her spot on the top most roosting bar.

    We have three roosting bars set up at different heights. Usually, they all want to sleep on the top one, including her. But last night, I saw her sleeping on the bottom most bar, turned away from the other four chickens. She didn't move much except to turn her head to look up at me.

    Now, this morning, she won't eat or drink. She was looking out at the water dish like she was thinking about it, but she never did drink. She just stands around the run, huddled up and will sometimes slowly walk around.

    With this drastic change in behavior, I'm pretty sure she's grieving over the loss of her friend. Is there anything I can do to help her?
     
  2. sorce

    sorce Songster

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    I would have a good look for injuries, not disregarding possible internal injuries.

    Sorce
     
  3. noregerts

    noregerts Songster

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    If you haven’t, you should check her over for injuries. Maybe the predator had a go at her also. The cautiousness and fear will eventually go away but her not eating/drinking will become a big problem very fast. If possible, bring her inside and baby her for a few days. Offer mealworms or something else that’s hard to resist. If she continues not to drink give her some water via dropper, and maybe Nutri-Drench too. If she’s not injured, she may just be terrified or sad but still the lack of food and water will kill her if it doesn’t go away soon. Good luck.
     
  4. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

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    I’d suspect possible injury too. Even if “sad” (a human emotion), she would still eat drink something. Check her over well.

    second the idea to offer yummy treats. Scrambled egg is always a fav here. Remove her for an afternoon to observe and to get liquid and food into her. Keep with flock if possible otherwise so she doesn’t become a new chicken to them.
     
  5. Jandsloch

    Jandsloch Songster

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    I also say check for injuries....when we lost 4 chickens in a day to who knows what I checked all remaining chickens and found more than half had injuries or feathers missing. They were minimal injuries except one roo bleeding and limping.
     
  6. AnonPaperclip

    AnonPaperclip Songster

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    Thank you for all of the responses. When checking for injuries is there anything in particular I should look out for? Like, injuries that aren't so obvious. She isn't limping, but I'll check other areas to see if she's bleeding.

    Also, a bit of an update, I managed to convince her to drink a bit of water. Other than that, she kept lowering her head like she wanted to drink but always ended up turning her head away. We ran out of mealworms, so would birdseed be good enough? They seemed to always go after it when we let them out if our run. They'd always run to the bird feeder because theres a squirrel that knocks the food out onto the ground. I tried regular food and it looked like she did want to go after it, but before she could do anything the other hens would barge in front of her and take everything from my hand.
     
  7. Jandsloch

    Jandsloch Songster

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    Check all over....lift feathers etc. my injured didn’t appear injured until I started lifting feathers looking for wounds
     
  8. AnonPaperclip

    AnonPaperclip Songster

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    I
    looked over her and it doesn't look like there's any injuries. Nothing under the wings, saddle feathers (apart from a few feathers growing in) chest, underside etc. She didn't complain at all when I checked. Is there anything else I should check?
     
  9. noregerts

    noregerts Songster

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    Try separating her when you are trying to get her to eat. She doesn’t feel well enough to fight the others right now.
     
  10. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

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    No. It sounds like you need to observe her for a few days. I agree with idea to separate when feeding and giving water. You need to make sure she is eating/drinking/ pooping ok for a few days. But, I would not separate 24/7 bc that would be stressful along with the re-introduction. If you have a dog crate or big box, use that for morning/evening feed. About 1/2 hour each time, she should eat/drink/ poop during that time. Then put her back in with the flock.

    glad she doesn’t have any outward injuries! Hopefully she’s just recovering from the shock and changes to her routine.
     

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