Hen living alone ?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by brooklynbirds18, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    133
    1
    81
    Nov 30, 2012
    Arizona
    I know in general chickens are not supposed to live by themself but I would like to explain myself and get some opinions. We had a problem with our HOA and we gave away 3 out of 4 girls, but kept one. She is an Ameraucana and is about a year old. We didn't give her away because she has a beak problem (https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/834747/weird-beak-issue-need-some-advice) and we are very scared for her.

    With that being said, she is the sweetest and nicest of all our girls we've ever had. She is at the very bottom of the pecking order and about 50% of the time we'd go in the backyard we'd see her by herself and the other three would be together. Obviously the other half shed be with the other hens usually under the bushes in the shade etc. She never lays an egg in the coop and found her own spot in a flower pot by the patio door above where most of the others can't fly. She's held the most out of all of them, never bites and is rarely noisy. She's fed separately and is spoiled with her own food and water ( only because our others aren't very nice to her). Even in the coop she sleeps on a support branch not even close to the others on the roost/ perch, I don't know what it's called. We tried to bring her to the new coop where our others are but even the pre-existing girls in there pecked at her and she wanted out immediately. At that same place where we would've left her, a small dog chased her just for play and she flew on my head, which she hasn't done since she was about two months.

    She's very timid and relaxed and loves attention from us and loves to just hop on our lap when we sit outside. I made a single roost for her so she can live inside in my room at night and I will make her a chicken diaper so she can be inside more, but she still needs to be outside just because of her nature. If her beak wasn't looking so unusual we would've given her away as well but that's just not the case. At advice would be great, thanks to all and god bless

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  2. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    133
    1
    81
    Nov 30, 2012
    Arizona
    We gave our other hens away today so it was my Ameraucanas first day on her own. She wandered like she always does and to my knowledge didn't show any bad signs but what should I look for? How do I know if she's upset or depressed? We're gonna try to make her a house pet but we'll see how it goes. I found her just now in the coop and she was where she usually is.. I took her in and I'm sitting with her. She'll be with me in my room tonight
     
  3. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    133
    1
    81
    Nov 30, 2012
    Arizona
    Any advice would be great.. Thank you
     
  4. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    3,971
    317
    233
    Jan 17, 2013
    California
    I had one hen living in my house alone After a devistating virus took her sisters.i put a stuffed animal in where she slept and spent lots of time with her. I'd sit her on the couch while watching tv and id stay with her as she freeranged. she did pretty well thank God but I felt it was time to get her some friends. Yesterday her new friends 8 week and 5 week old chicks arrived. she really perked up and instantly took to them!! She even purrs to them. In all honesty I think she is much happier having friends. If you can id get at least one more just to keep company. If that's impossible than I would spend as much time as I could with her. She will begin to consider your family as her flock. You will be amazed how cuddly and loving they can become. Hope this helps out some. Best wishes
     
  5. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    133
    1
    81
    Nov 30, 2012
    Arizona

    Thank you and thanks for the info. How long was your hen to herself before her new friends came? Technically speaking I'm not supposed to have any where I live but I refuse giving this one away. We would get another hen for her but we would need to now it's not a loud one. The one I have now is at the bottom of the pecking order so I also don't want to bring in a new girl and have the new one just dominate. But yeah back to your story how long was she alone? Did she show signs of sadness or depression or anything bad like that? The place where our new girls came in from, mind if I ask where you can get them shipped ? I would love to get her a friend in the near future. For now though I want to see if she can handle with just human interaction.
     
  6. Janet Pesaturo

    Janet Pesaturo Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    16
    78
    Sep 30, 2013
    Bolton, MA, USA
    Normally, yes, chickens are social and prefer to be with other chickens. However, after reading your story, I think if I were you I would not get another one. You are not supposed to have any where you live, she sounds so socialized to humans, and she spends a lot of time in the house with you. I think she will be fine, if you are able to continue the kind of care you are currently providing. Sounds like a fine pet.
     
  7. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    133
    1
    81
    Nov 30, 2012
    Arizona

    Well I know we're not supposed to have any chickens but we had 10 for a year and a half and a bad neighbor is what caused this. We went down to four and then obviously one now. Although I think she'll be ok I do feel very bad. I don't know how much we're supposed to keep her in and how much we should let her out now that she's all alone. When she's outside she does do her usuals but it seems so saddening. Today she saw a bunch of wild birds and ran In that direction but they flew away before she got there. She did start pecking at the ground when she got there so it was hard to tell if she was trying to make friends or just saw a bug or something. Regardless I do feel bad, but if she isn't saddened or depressed or anything then it'll be ok.

    We're only on day two of this and tomorrow will be day three.. Hoping for the best
     
  8. Janet Pesaturo

    Janet Pesaturo Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    16
    78
    Sep 30, 2013
    Bolton, MA, USA
    I think that was probably territorial behavior. My chickens run at wild birds and chase them off all the time. Chickens are quite reluctant to make friends with new birds, so I strongly doubt she was trying to befriend them.
     
  9. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    133
    1
    81
    Nov 30, 2012
    Arizona
    Yeah that does make sense when my other hens were here they always did that too.. With my Ameraucana tho she doesn't have any sort of aggression in here hence the unfortunate fact that she was at the bottom of the pecking order.. I mean at least I've never seen her do anything mean or aggressive and she's alone now so .. Idk your probably right I'm just worried for her I guess
     
  10. Janet Pesaturo

    Janet Pesaturo Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    16
    78
    Sep 30, 2013
    Bolton, MA, USA
    You'd be surprised how the gentle, bottom of peck order bird can become just as aggressive as most other chickens, when circumstances change and she is suddenly at the top. That could happen if you get another chicken.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by