Is a single chicken going to need a friend?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CrazyCatCulby, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. CrazyCatCulby

    CrazyCatCulby Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 27, 2011
    southwest Michigan
    Ok, so my neighbor gave us his last chicken because the rest of his got killed by some woodland critter. He let it out and it ran right into our garage, so I guess were keeping it. We gave it some bread, seeds, pet grass, and water and we will get it a coop and regular food soon. It is a red hen, i think its about a year old, but im not too sure. Will it be too lonely on its own, though? And the only place i know of in my area to get chickens is at Family, Farm, and Home during spring, when they have the baby chickens. But will the hen bully the babies if they arent hers? is there a way to make her think their hers? Any suggestions?
  2. Davian

    Davian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2010
    Vermont, USA
    She will need a friend...preferably one around the same size.

    As for her accepting new depends completely on the bird.
  3. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    She will get lonely. She needs friends or babies.
    Introducing chicks can go either way. She'll either accept them on her own or she'll bully for a little while until they learn their place. Either way, it's not very likely that she'll actually hurt them. She'll just teach them that she's boss and then move on.
  4. CrazyCatCulby

    CrazyCatCulby Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 27, 2011
    southwest Michigan
    ok so how many baby chickens should i get in spring?
  5. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2010
    Quote:Chickens are social animals, so it's always good for them to have company. She won't die from being alone, but I would recommend getting her some companions if possible. If you get chicks, however, you'll probably need to keep them separate from her until they reach about the same size; a hen that isn't in a mommying mood WILL kill small chicks. However, if she is broody (i.e. in the mood to sit on some eggs and hatch them), she will likely take in the chicks as her own. The best method for this is to introduce the chicks at night and to remove any eggs she's sitting on so that when she wakes in the morning, she thinks that her eggs hatched. You could also try looking on Craigslist or the BYC auction listing to see if any people in your area have any adult birds for sale or for free. This is the time of year when people start downsizing their flocks for the winter and weeding out pullets and cockerels they don't need for their breeding programs. Also, if you're willing to take a rooster, people are always trying to give away or sell roosters they don't need.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Chickens seem to prefer 3 as the minimum flock size. That way, one is top, one is middle and one is bottom in the Hyper Sensitive world of chicken social order. [​IMG]

    I wouldn't wait until spring, but that's just me.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  7. loveacatahoula

    loveacatahoula Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2011
    Hephzibah, GA
    I just ran into this same problem, my flock got killed a couple of weeks ago by a stray dog, but one survived. You could tell she was extremely lonely cause all she would do was sit in the roost. She wouldn't even go out in the coop. My husband felt so bad for her, he told me to start looking for some baby chicks or young adults. Chicks were hard for me to find, but I did find some young adults at a local feed store, they were a few weeks younger then her, but I got a couple of them and found a free rooster in the paper and now she is back to being herself, going out in the coop, clucking, and scratching around. They really need friends! I would see if you can't find her some friends now. Post an ad on craigs list or even on here if you have a local group.
  8. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    x2 for a craigslist ad. or just check the farm section once a day, you'll usually find someone who's selling some birds [​IMG] you can post an ad on here as well, if you're willing to list your location (so that people local to you will see it). when you get a new bird(s), you usually wanna introduce them slowly. like have them in adjacent areas where they can see each other but not interact. in your case you might have to shortcut it due to the situation, and so i'd expect for there to be some minor scuffles between them as they're finding their pecking order at first.

    you'll also probably wanna pick up some layer feed, to make sure she has proper nutrition. [​IMG]

    have fun!
  9. airmechreed

    airmechreed Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2011
    Colorado Springs many as you a huge coup.....make it so nice you would want to live in it....and fill it with chickens!!!!!

    Ok got that out of my system....

    I guess it depends on how many you want....size of your big a coup you want to have etc.

    I Say GO CRAZY! .... , but that is just me
  10. Chic_girl

    Chic_girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2011
    Near Columbus OH
    An idea you you: If the hen goes broody and sits on a nest all day, slip chicks under her. Hopefully the hen will think they are her own, and adopt them.

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