Has one of my chickens just become an outcast?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jasper7952, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Jasper7952

    Jasper7952 In the Brooder

    May 24, 2009
    I have 7 red sex link hens, 1 Rhode Island Red hen, what I think might be a black cochin or cochin mutt, and a Rhode Island Red rooster. I began with the Rhode Island Red hen, rooster, and cochin and after several weeks added the red sex links. The first 3 hung together all of the time until the sex links got older and were accepted. Now the black cochin seems to have been cast out from the flock. I free range them as much as possible during the day. She is either the last one out and very slow to leave if she leaves the hen house at all. When she goes out she seems to stay to herself with the others wandering off together. At night she sleeps alone on one roost while all of the others bunch up together on the other roost. I don't know if chickens can feel sad, but it is making me sad to see her snubbed, if that is what it is. Is this normal behavior among chickens? This is my first time to have chickens and I'm loving it other than this situation.

  2. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    How long has this been going on? Sometimes they do they're "negotiating on chicken status" of a particular hen and it may take a few weeks. I'd wait and see what happens. Is the outcast hen getting food and water? Is she being pecked at? If she's being allowed to eat and drink without too much aggression from the others, I wouldn't worry too much. Just keep an eye on the situation. It's kinda sad sometimes....how they do things....just watch out for her. [​IMG] This has happened in my flock, and now they're best buddies.
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I've heard that this can happen when you have a singleton of a particular breed. You could always get another black chochin...

    In the meantime, watch to see if there is a particular hen picking on her. I noticed this happening in my flock, so I took the offender and put her in time out. This took her down a peg, and she was so preoccupied today trying to lay her egg in a particular place that was off limits that she complete forgot her reign of terror. We'll see if she starts it up again tomorrow or not.
  4. Chickie'sMoma

    Chickie'sMoma Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    i have a bantam cochin pullet that seems to be having the same issue in with my mixed flock. though she has a bantam WCB polish who is her good friend and keeps the others from chasing her out of the spots she likes. they are also the youngest and smallest in the group and may just be a pecking order thing.

    i think it is the breed that can get picked on when in a mixed flock. my cockerel is also a bantam cochin and will sometimes come to her rescue when he's close to seeing things going on. but will on occasion get nipped at by the bigger girls.

  5. Portia

    Portia Songster

    Feb 29, 2008
    South Central PA
    We have a welsummer that was ill as a pullet but we nursed her through it. Since she has some behavioral type issues, she fancies herself a house chicken and used to always want to come in and clean up any dog food she found on the floor (or in the dishes). She would walk around with her tail down, always whining and when she saw people she would walk like she was sprained an ankle. However, when people weren't around she would run across the yard like all the rest. She still presents as seemingly less hardy, however as my husband notes, if there were a major catastrophe she would be the only chicken left b/c she is a survivor. Given that, she tends to sleep apart from the others, although they would let her in b/c I've put her up on the roost and they let her in and she's there in the morning and she eats with the rest of the flock when I put out treats. I used to worry about her, but she lays an egg a day (well, before she started molting) and is plump, has fully colored waddles & combs and is otherwise as healthy as can be...so we think she's a few bricks short of a load; but we love her dearly!
  6. Jasper7952

    Jasper7952 In the Brooder

    May 24, 2009
    I appreciate everyone's input. I don't think she is ill as she eats with the rest of them and they don't harass her in any way. She is more shy around me than the rest of the chickens. She does not seem to be losing any weight and I noticed today she was sitting in a dust bowl right next to a red sex link in her own dust bowl. They seemed to be quite comfortable together. Maybe she is just extra shy and reserved with all of them together. I'm going to move her to the roost with the others tonight and see if she gets used to that. We moved the roost to the other side of the hen house to get them farther from the window as I do open-air housing. Maybe she is just slow to learn. She's definitely different from the rest.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by