Hen herding others

Matzwd

Songster
Apr 9, 2018
693
804
206
St Louis, Missouri
So, my precious faverolle girl Honey Dijon has been acting strangely of late, and at first I thought she was sick. She roosted by herself for a couple of nights, and didn't want to come down in the morning, staying at roost for a couple of hours after the others were long gone. I decided to watch to see if she was being bullied. When she went in the coop and started looking up for a spot, she began growling incessantly and searching for a "hole" between the others. I helped her out and put her up by the head hen Nugget, who is very sweet to the others and never a bully at bedtime. Well, Honey Dijon stopped growling as intensely and started trying to move Nugget by pushing underneath her breast with her head. Nugget didn't budge, and they all went to sleep where they were.
She's hanging out by herself a lot and nudging the other girls around with her head, particularly the polish hen. She complains when they get close to her. Then, she puts her head under CJ's chest (or butt, depending on which way she's facing) and bulldozes her where she wants her. I saw her herding the other girls underneath the shed this morning and managed to get a video. Has anyone seen this before? Is she wanting to be alone because she is molting, perhaps staying at roost so long so the rooster doesn't get her? (He's a silkie and can't get up on the roost).

Here are some videos of her putting the girls where she wants them this morning. Blue the rooster just watches. Why is she doing this? She's seven months old, and this is new behavior.

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NNYchick

Crowing
Jun 15, 2017
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Harrisville, NY
I don’t know if it’s the same thing but I see my younger Silkies do this to the older ones when it’s was cool out, I assumed they were snuggling to get warmer. Mine also do it at night, none of them roost they snuggle in a corner.
 

Matzwd

Songster
Apr 9, 2018
693
804
206
St Louis, Missouri
I don’t know if it’s the same thing but I see my younger Silkies do this to the older ones when it’s was cool out, I assumed they were snuggling to get warmer. Mine also do it at night, none of them roost they snuggle in a corner.
Mine did this when they were little, but she is actually moving the other girls, pushing then away from her. She's definitely not trying to snuggle. I just don't know what could be going on.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,064
125,833
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Mine did this when they were little, but she is actually moving the other girls, pushing then away from her. She's definitely not trying to snuggle. I just don't know what could be going on.
I think she is trying to 'snuggle' and the other bird is having none of it,
or rather just going on with her day.
I see birds try to get under another when they are alarmed or upset, often when I'm messing with them on the roost at night.....they are seeking the 'safety' of a flock mate.
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
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The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
I just got Silkies and a Rosecomb Pullet. Two came from the same place. The other two from another place. All introduced the same day though. My tiny Rosecomb was hiding under the Silkie she was familiar with. Now she is settled in and the behaviour has stopped.
 

Matzwd

Songster
Apr 9, 2018
693
804
206
St Louis, Missouri
Ok, so you all are right. She's trying to snuggle, and they're having none of it. I just lost one very sweet girl yesterday, and now I've brought Honey Dijon inside to try to make source she's getting adequate nutrition and fluids. They began pecking her this morning, and her comb has a spot on it that I put neosporin without pain relief on. She is eating. I made some mash with her pellets and water to try to get extra fluids down her. She is eating that asks the dry pellets. I'm very discouraged and hope she can be saved, but I'm scared to try to put
anything in her mouth.

She is clearly shedding some feathers, though people here are telling me she is too young at seven months to molt. She has spent the last twi nights on the coop on the floor instead of roost. She has lost a lot of weight in the last several days. Her poop actually looks great.
 

Matzwd

Songster
Apr 9, 2018
693
804
206
St Louis, Missouri
And the vet recommended we five get the Septra prescribed for Lacey, the pullet we lost, but I can't tube feed and aa even afraid to shoot it down her throat. In going to try soaking bread with it. Any other ideas? It's pink. Do you think she'll just drink it if I put it in a dish?
 

NNYchick

Crowing
Jun 15, 2017
1,518
2,553
261
Harrisville, NY
I’m confused. What symptoms did your pullet that died have and why did the vet prescribe antibiotics? Have you checked for mites and lice. I do think she is too young to be molting.
 

MANNA-PRO

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