do chickens get depressed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickencrazy21, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. chickencrazy21

    chickencrazy21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2012
    west covina california
    so today was a sad day for me. i had to turn in our two roosters to a feed store for the guy to find them new homes in places there allowed since roosters aren't allowed here and they were getting noisy. so i know the other day my girls were sad when i took away one of there roosters for a bit to let him run around while we were cleaning there pens. all he did was walk up and down the fence to try to get in to them and they followed it was depressing for me. needless to say when i took the boys away from my girls today they weren't happy on either accounts. i felt bad dropping them off at the feed store but he assured me they would find good homes and wouldn't be eaten or fought and he said he already had a lady who was looking for my cruella devil rooster. i just feel guilty giving them up since i had grown really attached. but anyways are my girls going to be depressed or anything? what should i expect to happen? slower egg production or what? i haven't been up there to check on them yet ill be going up there in a bit once there snack of scrambled egg, corn and left over rice cools off. so what should i expect of my girlie's now that i took away there men lol.
  2. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    I do believe chickens do miss other chickens and sometimes this makes them sad. They can go off laying and go off their feed. But they will get over it in time. Honestly!!!!!!!

    When My Bertha hatched two roosters ( the most beautiful boys) I had to find them new homes because we simply are not allowed Roo boys here either. I had to seperate them out a few weeks before they left as they were getting a bit well rough with the hens. Also I had to "hide them from the neighbour!" lol . When I put them back in to the girls every morning ( Once the neighbour went to work!) The girls were so happy to see them. Bertha would wait at the fence for me to bring them - after I found the boys a new home Bertha still waited by that fence every morning for weeks. I felt really bad - but she got over it in the end and is quite happy to spend time with her daughters! Yes it is hard but in the end "right!" - honestly it hurts us more than them - they are not human and don;t have human emotion as we do. But I do beleive that they do form strong bonds with each other and that is what we think of as depressed or sad once the bond is broken. You did what you had to do. It will turn out ok in the end and in a week or so the flock will re-establish its pecking order and all will be fine!

    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  3. chickencrazy21

    chickencrazy21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2012
    west covina california
    OK thanks. i was worried about my girls. i felt like i was abandoning my kids or something but i know they'll go to a good home. just hard to give em up. i actually hugged one of them before handing it over lol.
  4. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    We had our precious bantam cockerels for six months...then had to re-home due to noise (within the city limits). I missed them more than anyone. The hens were just fine. My two bantam hens paced a bit at roosting time (since the roos roosted with them). This lasted one or two days. -roos went to loving homes. -hens adjusted quickly. -worked out well.

    -hope that your flock adjusts very quickly, your roos find wonderful homes, and all goes well!
  5. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2012
    We had two gold-laced Polish pullets named Tina Eggturner and Buck Buck Bjork who were absolutely inseparable. If they were out and about, odds were they were together, until one night when an opossum got into the run and killed Tina. After that, Bjork stopped interacting with the rest of the flock, wouldn't forage, and rarely wandered from the roost she and Tina used to share. Another Polish pullet named Bubbles noticed Bjork wasn't her normal self and started spending all her time with Bjork, roosting with her, feeding with her, and sleeping on the roost with her until Bjork recovered from her grief and started functioning normally again.

    So to answer your question, yes chickens can be depressed. They can also demonstrate compassion and empathy. They are very social animals and it shows.
  6. kstavert

    kstavert Out Of The Brooder

    Is there any way to help chickens get
    past a loss?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  7. kstavert

    kstavert Out Of The Brooder

    Sorry that you had to give up your roos.... it's
    really hard, eh?

    They all have very different personalities and it
    sucks to have to part with them.

    I have to find homes for at lest 6 roos.... I've
    posted ads on CraigsList with no takers....

    My only other option is to take them to an
    auction house... and I'm afraid they will end
    up as someone's dinner.... I can't make myself
    do it... but, too many roos is also really hard
    on my hens... either way, it's not a happy
    prospect, eh?
  8. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2010
    LOL "Tina Eggturner" and "Buck Buck Bjork".... love it.
  9. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2010
    Yes, I second that, that they do form bonds. I have two from my original flock who still stick together and have done so since they were pullets. Also, my Rhode Island Reds, before they died, both would not be far from the other. They even slept side by side on the roost every night. When the one got ill, I would take it outside for a bit to feel the sunshine and maybe eat some grass if it wished. The other RIR saw how weak the other was and stared at it for a really long time- I think she knew her buddy was dying as it was fairly obvious. Not long after that, the one that was ill died, and about a month after the other one died too. I don't think it was viral or bacterial either.

    My vet also told me that she had a flock of geese for a few years, but once a few started to die, the whole flock just sort of naturally succumbed to various things rather quickly. She said that the bond can be really strong because they all rely on each other as a group.
  10. soggycrunchy

    soggycrunchy Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 1, 2013
    I'm wondering if this is what we are experiencing here. Monday night, something took one of our hens before we had gotten them locked up for the night. I heard them all screaming and crying, ran out, and one was missing. No blood, only feathers.

    Now, one of the hens (same breed as the missing one) has taken straw from the nest boxes and formed her own nest on the floor of the house. She won't move, won't eat. Yesterday when the kids took them out to range and play, she wouldn't budge. She doesn't strike when they pet her.

    They will be a year old late March.

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