How long can a hen stay alone before being too lonely?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jhmoore, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. jhmoore

    jhmoore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2008
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    About a week ago, I had to separate my WC Black polish hen from the rest of my flock. She had been the victim of pecking- to the point that she had a half dollar sized bald spot in the back of her little head. I went through the blue-kote and pine tar routine, which seemed to prevent further pecking.

    However, on New Year's Eve, she seemed very off- closing eyes at a stand still, bobbing her head and falling forward. So, I brought her inside and isolated her in a dog crate, kept her quiet and warm, and fed her yogurt, scrambled eggs and her regular ration, along with water fortified with electrolytes. Vet suspects it may have been toxicity from too much pine tar!

    Once she perked up a bit, I gave her a bath and a haircut to remove all the pine tar gunk from her head. It was weighing her crest down to the point she could no longer see. She now has a little spikey, needle looking hair-do going on.

    I am afraid that with the feather shafts only showing, and her pink skin still visible through those, that the others would peck at her again if I put her back out with them. So, how long can she stay in this large dog crate by herself without being too lonely?

    I have been taking her out to the barn with me while I do chores and let her run around to stretch her legs. And, my hubby will be able to help me rig up some type of temporary run for her to be in next to my main coop during the daytime- that way she can see/hear the others, but they can't get at her. However, she'll need to be moved back into the barn in her own cozy crate at night. And, with work schedules, we won't be able to put the temporary run together until Friday. Will she be alright? She's starting to talk alot more now, like she's looking for someone.

    What is the success rate for reintroducing a pecked hen?

    I apologize that this is so lengthy and detailed. I just want to do what is right- and I'm so attached to this little gal now that I don't want her to get hurt again. Thank you for reading, and for any advice!
     
  2. muddler6

    muddler6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Jefferson County, PA
    I think she will be fine. I had a similar problem, what I did was put mine in a big dog crate inside the run, so she could still socialize, but they couldn't get at her. after a couple weeks of that she was good to go and it was like she never left and got along with everyone. I also took the culprit who was pecking at another hen and locked him up as a behavior modification technique, that worked out too.
     
  3. jhmoore

    jhmoore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2008
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    Thanks Muddler. Interesting...did you isolate the culprit by him/herself, or within the run?
     
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amy possibility that you could put the other polish hen in with her, then make therm their own run/coop area? Seems like people on here are always having problems mixing those strange breeds with standard hens. Sounds like you are doing a good job of caring for her though!
     
  5. jhmoore

    jhmoore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2008
    Holly, Michigan
    I thought about that too- only thing is the other polish hen was one of the three I saw peck her. The rooster was the worst, by far. But, the silver polish and one of my BR chimed in as well.

    If reintroduction doesn't work well, then I plan to build her a separate area of her own, but not until spring (winter in MI makes it difficult right now). So, the temp situation might have to work for a couple months. If she ends up with her own area, I have a friend who currently has a banty rooster mating with her 3 polish hens- I could get her a little roommate!
     
  6. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

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    i had the same problem ! I tried for months and when I put her in with the rrest they would still go after her head ! I just think it's not a good idea to put polish in with other chickens. they really can't see the attack coming .
    Anyway I ended up rehoming her with a friend that has a seperate run and coop for her polish and now she is fine.
     

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