dead chicken/lonely chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by blythefike, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. blythefike

    blythefike New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 8, 2010
    We have been raising two backyard chickens for the past few months... since they were both under a week old.
    They were the best of friends. This morning, a neighbor dog who was being walked off a leash got to one of them and killed her.

    0ur lone survivor has been siting on one of their favorite roosts all morning, calling for her friend. It is very sad and distressing. Immediately, I think.... we need to get some new chicks right away! But I know about pecking order and am not sure how best to introduce some new chicks to our surviving chicken.

    Our chickens were about 3 1/2 months old...

    Should I get new chickens and raise them indoors until they are ready to be moved to the coop and leave our survivor alone out back until then? Should I get some older chickens and try to get them out in the coop as soon as possible? I am thinking of getting 2 or 3. All suggestions are so, so appreciated!!

    We are one sad chicken loving family...
     
  2. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    959
    4
    131
    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    [​IMG] and I'm so sorry about the loss of your hen!!

    I would recommend getting a couple hens around the same age as your girl, ideally point of lay, but without any prior association. Getting two buddy hens and introducing them to your lonely girl will be very tough. By the time you get chicks and raise them to an appropriate age to integrate with your remaining hen will leave her lonely for quite awhile.

    Could you give us an idea of where you are located? Somebody on here might be able to help you out.
     
  3. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    12,151
    25
    311
    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    Your bird is young and lonely. I would get 3 new birds, younger than her, and put them in a cage next to your lonely hen. After a couple of days, add them to her. She will more than likely act as a 'big sister' to them.
    Partially fledged chicks about 2-3 weeks old would be good.

    If she 'raises' the younger chicks there will be elss of a dominance issue. Also, putting them near her but not with her lets them all get used to each other in a less threatening way.
     
  4. theRazorBlade

    theRazorBlade Out Of The Brooder

    10
    2
    24
    Jan 1, 2010
    Los Gatos, CA
    Try to find birds that match the age of your lonely hen. Chickens are social and need company. Last year I had one wounded chick and it was a hard decision between isolation (and less chance of being hurt by others) or keeping it with some company. I ended up putting it with 2 other chicks for company which helped calm it a lot. It should not be too hard to find chickens of a similar age. Because you are adding 2-3 to a single hen, there should not be much trouble integrating them.
     
  5. blythefike

    blythefike New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 8, 2010
    Thank you all so, so much for your help.

    We are in Ventura County, in Southern, CA, if that helps anyone.

    Now, do you think breed matters? Our chicken that got killed was an Araucana (which I would like to get another of) and the one left is a Black of some kind... I am not the sure the exact breed. She is streaked with brown and is growing in some lovely iridescent green/blue feathers on her tail.

    Also, do you recommend keeping the new chicks in the coop at night, but in the cage?

    Thanks!!

    You are giving me hope:)
     
  6. blythefike

    blythefike New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 8, 2010
    Also, being new to this... what does "fledged" mean?

    Thanks!
     
  7. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    12,151
    25
    311
    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    Sorry, fledged means mostly feathered and not covered in fluff. So they'd be better able to catch up to your survivor, but young enough to think of her as the boss.

    For mising, I'd play it by ear. If they're in the cage, inside the coop, and the lone hen acts like she wants to cuddle with them I would let them out to be with her. If she stays away from them, like she's unsure of them, then I'd leave them in the cage until she's feeling more social towards them. Does that make sense?

    Watch her body language and behavior and let that help guide you. But be prepared for just a bit of pecking action towards them. If she's not chasing them down, you're okay. A little pecking is normal, as she makes sure they know who is boss. Agression is more violent.

    I don't think breed matters as much. But I've had best luck putting slightly younger birds in with a lone older bird.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by