How long can a hen be separated from the flock before upsetting the flock dynamics?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LCEchickens, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. LCEchickens

    LCEchickens In the Brooder

    Mar 29, 2011
    My oldest hen who is also the top hen of the flock, came out of the coop limping this morning. I don't see any signs of bumblefoot, so I am assuming she injured herself jumping off her roost this morning. I have separated her temporarily so she can rest the leg. How long can I keep her separated before she loses her top spot in the flock? She is a good leader (and my favorite!) and I don't want my younger girls to challenge her too much we I reintroduce them. Thank you!

  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    One day is no problem, two days is alright, longer becomes a problem. When resetting the pecking order for problems a week is recommended. So less than a week. If she was just limping and no broken bones, I'd put her back tomorrow. If she is still limping badly keep her off the roost at night and see how it goes.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Were the other chickens bothering her? Cause if not, I think that I would leave her. All animals are stressed in a new environment, and chickens are especially away from the flock.

    just my 2 cents, if you don't think she is contagious, and the rest were not bothereing her, I would leave her, making sure water and feed were easily available. Mrsk
  4. LCEchickens

    LCEchickens In the Brooder

    Mar 29, 2011
    Thanks guys! I ended up putting her back with the rest of my small flock this morning. She is still limping pretty heavily, but is eating and drinking normally. I still don't know what is wrong with her leg (nothing appears broken, no wounds or swelling either). I lowered her roost (which I know will upset her when she discovers that tonight!) and put a 2-3 inch layer of sand on the coop floor for more cushion. She seems content hanging out in the run right now. I will keep my fingers crossed that her leg heals up soon! Thanks again!

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