Do chickens miss their old flock when they're rehomed?


9 Years
Jul 17, 2010
I have 2 White Leghorns in my little backyard flock, and I'm thinking about trading one for a RIR, to add some diversity. The two Leghorns came as a pair from a farm, and I'm assuming they've 'known' each other for a while now. Will she miss her friend if she goes? Will she fit in with the RIR's on the new farm? They don't have any Leghorns... The farm she came from had various other breeds, and I also have a Polish in the coop.
I want to trade her for a more 'cuddly' hen, because the WL is kind of a .... it rhymes with 'witch' lol
BUT I don't want her to be depressed or scared if she's moved. What do you think? I'll be emailing the RIR guy later tonight!
Hello there....

Just want to share my own observations......I do believe that chickens bond with eachother and have their specific friends they hang out with. I have 18 chickens, and I didn't get them all at one time. I raised small batches of chicks, and had to integrate them. When I watch them, I do notice they hang out with their original nest mates.

So, yes, she will be upset. And she will probably be low on the totem pole and singled out as the newbie for a while. Chickens aren't pleasant that way.

Wish I could say it will be all peaches and cream for her......But she will probably be fine after a period of adjustment. And the new hen you trade for will also be the newbie, so you'll some adjustment to go through as well.

Good luck to you! Lots of people get new chickens, and it's a little bit tramatic, so don't feel bad about wanting to trade.
Leghorns are pretty flighty and standoffish, in my experience. What I'd worry about is the fact that the color differences are so dramatic- chickens are very visual and will attack one who's "different".

Birds of a feather flock together.......

You'd need to do a really slow introduction period, after the quarantine and meanwhile your remaining Leghorn would be alone? Do you have more chickens? Might be really tough on her. I'm not saying it can't be done, you'll just have to be very patient!

I don't know a farm raised RIR is going to be any cuddlier either. I have 2, and while they will hang around me, they're not lap sitters.

I wish you were closer, I have some snuggly Ameraucanas I'd give you!
Agree. They definitely have their "buds" that they hang out with. We have a RIR and a Golden that are inseparable when free ranging, neither go far from the coop whereas the others can disappear. And we have one that especially watches out for another that we think might not see that well. Anyone mess with that gal, she runs and jumps all over them to protect her.
Absolutely they do! I have a few instances that happened here.

1st I bought 2 pearl white bantam leghorns. Put em in quarentine for a month (standard practice here for bringing in new birds) Introduced them to the flock and all was well. One of the leghorns was super fleighty and mean and the other one would just melt in your hand she was sooo sweet. Both got along great together and never really hung around with the other birds, just went off on their own together... I got rid of the mean fleighty girl and kept the other. She never did forgive me for that and was always sad and depressed, still sweet and would allow you to handle her anytime but just moped around by herself. The only thing that cured her depression was raising chicks.

2nd I had to part with my cochin boy because him and the other rooster were fighting quite a bit and DH wanted the other rooster, I wanted to keep dudley. I gave him to a friend of mine who has some cochins she bought from me whom dudley was used to so he had familiar faces. My flock after dudleys departure were sad, depressed, and moping around just like pearl did when I sold her sister. Dudley ended up coming back here due to my friends roosters using him as a whipping post. He was gone almost 1 month. When he came back ALL the girls ran to him and it was as if he never left!
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We have another pullet, a buff laced Polish, and she came from the same farm... they pretty well ignore each other! I actually feel bad bc the Polish is usually alone

The new RIR is coming from a farm, but around here that means 'backyard farm' of like, 10 or less chickens (we actually have a city council and licensing commission meeting this Tues to legalize them, possibly, so hopefully more people will get them!)
I'm torn.... the WL has zero bond with me, and just flat out hates people. The new RIR (I posted an ad on kijiji for it) will be much friendlier, and since I only have a tiny flock, that's pretty important.
If they're legalized, my fiance has OK'd a few more birds (Ameraucana for sure, and hopefully a little Silkie!) But around here.... chickens are hard to find
I had to re-home a 1.5 y.o. hen when her flock rejected her after months of isolation from a bad injury. She settled in as "Queen of the Flock" at a new home where she was much older than the other birds. Despite having the coveted position of alpha hen at her new home, she continues to be very much a loner. She has never settled in like she did at her first home. When she was brought to her new home she spent several weeks looking for members of her old flock. She hopped the fence repeatedly, and caused much worry and consternation. She genuinely acted as though she missed her old flock. Who knows? Maybe she was just looking for the best feeding grounds in her new home... but I still think she was looking for her old cronies.
I just sold a white orp pair and removed a FBCM roo and ameracauna to a breeding pen-the last three girls have not laid an egg since and always seem to be looking for their friends-it breaks my heart that they were so attached:-(
I have 10 RIR's. I want more but I'm gonna build another coop for my next 10.They all get along so well I don't wanna interfere with their flock. Am I wromg not in my mind.
Okay so i had to sadly Rehome my chickens and i was wondering will they miss me and will they be sad because they are in a new environment without me. And also im still able to go visit them and will that make them sad at all

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