Fox injured a hen, anyone else witness chickens helping sister?

FoxyHunter

Hatching
May 4, 2015
3
0
7
Background: Fox got a RI White last week, taking me down to 7 hens, 1 rooster. I just happened to be outside (chickens ranging) when I saw a fox grab one of my grays (I have 2), I gave chase and it dropped her after about running with her 30 yards or so. Gray was able to run away, but seems a little gimpy, slow, stays near me now when out of run. Question: Has anyone else witnessed chickens actually protecting and caring for an injured member of their group? She will lay down, and her gray sister lays beside her and won't leave her side. Every once in awhile I see the healthy gray peck at something where she's missing feathers and maybe injured. Wondering if she's helping keep the wound clean -- no blood, very gentle, very protective. This is the opposite of what I was expecting. Not letting them range any more unless I'm outside working -- they are clingy now -- and I have .22 at arm's length at all times.

As an aside, I know chickens are mean -- I've witnessed the pecking and bloody heads aplenty. The gray has no obvious signs of blood, just very slow, seems sore, staying more hidden, lays under shrubbery, lawn furniture -- and her healthy sister stays with her, and the rest of the flock keeps her in the middle. Even the rooster stands beside her on watch.

This is completely counter to anything I've ever read or witnessed. Anyone else experience this? And yes, the hunt is on.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,222
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Background: Fox got a RI White last week, taking me down to 7 hens, 1 rooster. I just happened to be outside (chickens ranging) when I saw a fox grab one of my grays (I have 2), I gave chase and it dropped her after about running with her 30 yards or so. Gray was able to run away, but seems a little gimpy, slow, stays near me now when out of run. Question: Has anyone else witnessed chickens actually protecting and caring for an injured member of their group? She will lay down, and her gray sister lays beside her and won't leave her side. Every once in awhile I see the healthy gray peck at something where she's missing feathers and maybe injured. Wondering if she's helping keep the wound clean -- no blood, very gentle, very protective. This is the opposite of what I was expecting. Not letting them range any more unless I'm outside working -- they are clingy now -- and I have .22 at arm's length at all times.

As an aside, I know chickens are mean -- I've witnessed the pecking and bloody heads aplenty. The gray has no obvious signs of blood, just very slow, seems sore, staying more hidden, lays under shrubbery, lawn furniture -- and her healthy sister stays with her, and the rest of the flock keeps her in the middle. Even the rooster stands beside her on watch.

This is completely counter to anything I've ever read or witnessed. Anyone else experience this? And yes, the hunt is on.
welcome-byc.gif

In my humble opinion your gray is staying close to your injured hen so that she won't miss out on cannibalizing her injured flock mate.
 
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom