Hen isolating herself - went to bed under the coop


11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
Peoria, IL
We have a hen who began hanging out in the coop all the time just a few days ago. She's always on a roost, not in a nest box like a broody. She's also been sleeping on the lower roost by herself even though there's plenty of room on the high roost where she typically sleeps. We didn't pay much attention and figured she was being picked on by the others. Tonight I went out to close them up for the night, and she had climbed underneath the coop for bed! I pulled her out, and couldn't see any injuries or anything wrong. I put her in a nest box, because I was so confused that I didn't know what to do with her. She settled into the nest box, and as far as I know she's still there. Does anybody know what might be going on or what I should do?

As a sidenote, we had a kind of similar situation about a month ago with another hen. She was our oldest chicken, so when she started laying down in the middle of the yard in the middle of the day, we just thought she was getting old and nearing the end of her life. After a few days, she stopped leaving the coop. We found her dead after the second night of sleeping on the floor. As far as I know she wasn't sick - just old.

Could the two be related? Should I be concerned about my other birds?

Thanks for any help or advice.
She's always been near the bottom of the pecking order, so that could be a possibility. I've just never had one act like this unless there was something wrong.

I probably wouldn't be as concerned if we hadn't lost one of the others recently.
I didn't check for eggs under the coop, but I know she was inside the coop until everybody started going inside for the night. I've had broody hens, but none have ever acted like this, so I don't know.
I had two hens do the same thing and they both died of heart attacks within a day or two of just hanging out in the coop, all huddled up or lying down.

Sometimes you just can't tell what is wrong with them. The only way I knew what had happened to mine was the discoloration of the comb and wattles, with a post-mortem to investigate.
I hope this is just a pecking order thing, and not something she'll die from. My main concern is that it's a disease that could infect the rest of the flock. She's an EE, so she has a pea comb and no waddles. I didn't notice an odd color last night, but I can check her today. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
I have a hen less than a year old that is also isolating herself. More often than not she is in the coop by herself on a shelf (not a roost) I am also pretty sure she is not laying everyday (should be getting 13 eggs only get 13 - short one white one). She is easily spooked and very skittish - I am thinking/hoping it is pecking order with her - she also seems to be the smallest.

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