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depression in hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bigg redd, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. bigg redd

    bigg redd Hatching

    Oct 16, 2011
    I noticed the other day that one of my girls (Alice) was not socializing with the rest of the gang ,she just hung back and was wandering about looking lost,do hens suffer from depression?I've picked her up and give her cuddles and we chat as one does with an animal in hopes that she'll come around and hang with the rest of the gang.The others don't show any signs of hostility towards her. I'm just a soft hearted chicken owner.[​IMG] Is there anything I can do about this?

  2. top of the hill

    top of the hill Chirping

    Jun 20, 2011
    how old is Alice? One of my girls acted this way around 17 weeks but then was fine 2 days later. Not sure what it was, no lice or mites. I attributed it to eating something bad. perhaps a little apple cidar vinegar (organic with "mother" - search for it, facinating stuff) in the water or a little olive oil on the beak to help loosen up the crop?

    The other girl (a 25 week old RIR) has occationally been laying 2 yolks at a time and acts this way when the paper thin eggs are about to pass. (She's a new layer... I am hoping this will pass)

    I'd like to say chickens get depressed, but that just might be me projecting emotions onto my girls, I mean who doesn't get depressed every now and then?? [​IMG]
  3. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Songster

    Jun 13, 2011
    I had a GLW hen that was acting the same way. She stayed off all by herself for days. She seemed healthy and fine, just like she preferred to be alone. I noticed she was a little less developed in the comb and wattle than the others although they were the same age. She finally caught up and is now right in the mix.
    Maybe your girl is just a late bloomer and doesn't want to possibly be bullied? I don't know, but like I said, mine is in the middle of things now. Hope yours comes around too...[​IMG]
  4. LT

    LT Songster

    Aug 21, 2011
    West Fork
    I have two girls who have behaved this way, and it was right before they started to lay. I wonder if their hormones are just going crazy and they don't know what to do yet?
  5. Chickens get depressed when they are sick. Check out her vent to make sure she is not impacted in some way. I treated one gal who seem depressed. She had a egg broken inside her and she lived. I ignored another when I thought she was "depressed" and she died. Check your girl out thoroughly! You may be able to help her. Good luck! [​IMG]
  6. 4theluvofpeeps

    4theluvofpeeps In the Brooder

    May 26, 2013
    Chickens definitely get depressed! It's even a clinically recognized symptom, as it's usually associated with an illness. But I've seen depression in healthy birds when there's been a change in flock mates or moving from one location to another. They are very social creatures that like consistency. The depression can last for weeks!
  7. CherishHolland

    CherishHolland Songster

    Apr 16, 2013
    Canyon Texas
    My rooster got depressed when his number one hen passed away,it was the saddest thing I have ever seen. He would walk around the run looking for her and would let out this low crying sound but now he has moved on to being in love with a leghorn even though she doesn't love him back haha! But check your gal thoroughly.

  8. jmcclint

    jmcclint Hatching

    Apr 27, 2013
    We've lost 3 chickens this summer from a flock of seven. One from an older group of three, and two from a younger batch I raised under a heat lamp.

    This week I moved the younger girls to a new coop and did not remember install under ground wire to prevent predators from digging. Two nights ago the fox I presume got one of the three young ones by digging underneath the coop. Helen is depressed and would not move all day yesterday or eat or drink. This morning she would not come out of the hen house into the enclosed run. This is depression!

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