Is my chicken depressed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tatiana916, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. tatiana916

    tatiana916 In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2011
    I've got a baby polish hen who is about 4 months old. She has started growing her head feathers so her visibility is reduced.

    The last few weeks she has been isolating herself from the group and spending as much time as she can on perches. She will literally spend hours on her own and not moving just snoozing. Today I even had to pick her up and pop her into bed.

    I've checked her symptoms and have wormed her and treated her for cocciodosis just in case. Her poo is absolutely fine so it shouldn't be illness that is causing her to behave like this.

    I think the reason she is upset is that two out of the three big hens have gone broody and have become quite aggressive and because her feathers have been covering her eyes she can't escape as quickly as the others. She's fallen to the bottom of the pecking order so even the other chicks have a go at her. I trimmed her feathers today so hopefully that will help her run away. She's got her hiding places that she stays in where she knows she won't be harmed.

    I'm moving house this week and have got a new coop for them to sleep in. Should I move her in early with her brother that she gets along with to give her a chance to cheer up a bit without the fear of being attacked? Im just worried the situation might get worse when I reintroduce everyone, although hopefully the hens won't still be broody!
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Moving her in with her brother first sounds like a good idea. Sometimes people suggest taking the bullies out of the coop to take them down a few pegs in the pecking order, so your idea follows the same principle.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Polish are often bottom of the pecking order because of their impaired vision, they're cool looking but I always kind of feel sorry for them.

    Allowing the brother and sister to inhabit the new coop first should change the pecking order for when you move the 2 broodies in later.......will be curious to hear how that works out for you.

    No plans for breaking the broodies?
    How many other birds do you have?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014

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