Is my hen grieving?

Ldeal

Songster
8 Years
Sep 21, 2011
139
105
171
Fallon, NV
My Coop
My Coop
This year I got my first silkie pair, my hen went broody so I let her hatch. This was my first hatching experience and an experience it was..... not good though. Her clutch failed so we got 7 fertile eggs which 2 hatched 1 survived. Brought home 4 chicks to add which she took too immediately. Those 4 passed away within a week or 2. That left us her hatchling Mouse, we loved her for over a month until a heart breaking thing happened. She was taken within feet from Coco and I by a hawk. Coco squawked I ran at it but we were too late. Now 2 days has gone by and she won't leave the coop or eat if I'm not there. I've got her eating apples, spinach, mealworms, crumbles and mash but that's only if I'm with her. I'm worried she is depressed from losing her babies. She normally doesn't want to be picked up or held but she only perks up when I come around now and actually cuddles with me. What can I do to help her get past this?
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Ldeal

Songster
8 Years
Sep 21, 2011
139
105
171
Fallon, NV
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you all this morning I gave her a breakfast of scrambled eggs, garlic, mealworms, tortilla and mash. She ate it up while we watched Grey's Anatomy lol. She's still terrified of going outside so tomorrow while I have the day off we will work on making it a positive experience again.
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Hen Pen Jem

Crowing
Sep 19, 2017
1,674
5,429
352
Southern California
Greetings Ldeal,

Poor dear Coco...I am so sorry for her loss. :(

Nature is harsh, and the lessons are even harsher.

Yes, chickens can and do experience grief and fear. Chickens also exhibit a range of different emotions. If you observe them long enough, and often enough, you will see jealousy, dislikes of certain individuals, depression, and also joy, and nurturing of their young and fearlessness in the defense of their chicks.

I don't know that they experience love in the same way that human beings do. But, the mere fact that depression follows the loss of a best friend, or a chick, does demonstrate a deep emotional attachment.

One thing I do know, is that chickens do live in the moment. So if you can produce many more moments of peacefulness, good flock experience, and environment enrichment, you will help the chicken move forward in its life.

Spring always brings the promise of new life. And hopefully your little Coco will finally become a mama hen again. Until then, spending time with her and her flock mate will help. I'm not sure a stuffed toy chick will help in this instance, but it might.

Here is a my hen Ginger during a depression that followed the death of her best friend. She became so depressed that she became susceptible to an illness. So be vigilant of your Coco's health during this time. Thankfully Ginger recovered, and is still with the flock.

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God Bless :)
 

MANNA-PRO

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