Do Hens Get Depressed or Lonely if they are by themselves?


7 Years
Sep 30, 2012
san diego, Calif
I Didn't know where to post this question.
I know chickens are social but if they are by themselves without other hens
around do they become depressed or lonely?
We try to spend time with her daily but I'm sure its not the same as having
another hen around. any thoughts.
Chickens are very much social animals and show signs of being lonely. Yes, she needs a friend or three! Even in a large flock of chickens with one being a total different breed from the others I've noticed signs of wondering off on their own and being anti-social with the rest of the flock.

Hello and welcome to BYC from Kentucky.

Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan
- yes, get your hen a friend or two.
I only have a flock of six EE's. Whenever I have to temporarily remove one from the flock (to administer antibiotics, illness, etc.) I can tell that they get really sad. As soon as I put one inside the house their feathers droop instantly and they become even more lethargic and won't eat. Sometimes I wonder if I'm making it worse by separating them. When they are healthy enough to return to the backyard I set them down out there and those little tail feathers pop right back up instantly! So I think that they are really important to each other. If one happens to make it over the wall and gets stuck in my neighbors yard, I always know because once they realize they can't get back to their friends they start screaming bloody murder and won't stop until I go over there and bring her back. When they are eating something messy like cream of wheat, they will pick the food out of each others beards. And when I accidentally drop mac and cheese on Franny Mae's back (my fav chicken who is always under my feet) I dont worry because I know the others will take care of it.
I know this is an older thread. Hopefully someone still gets a notification. I have a flock but one hen is a little slower and crippled than the rest she is healthy but she has not had a toe ever since I got her. She secluded herself from the flock in the winter but now seems to show more interest in the flock now that it is warming up. All the hens want nothing to do with her and attack her :( I feel bad for her because she just sits under a bush all the time by herself. Any ideas? I am getting chicks next month so was thinking about maybe once they got a little older getting them all used to each other, of course then, she would not be able to keep up with the "young chickens"

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