Lone Hen

HenFriend99

In the Brooder
Jan 27, 2021
5
18
13
I have 7 hens and 1 Rooster. My one hen was bullied so bad that they pecked her eye out. I removed her and nursed her back to health. I tried reintroducing her, but they kept attacking her. So I removed her altogether and she is now in her own coop. She is my best layer!!! I do let them all out to roam and she does try to socialize...from a distance. Is there anything I can do to help her not to be so lonely?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
27,087
211,914
1,612
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
I have 7 hens and 1 Rooster. My one hen was bullied so bad that they pecked her eye out. I removed her and nursed her back to health. I tried reintroducing her, but they kept attacking her. So I removed her altogether and she is now in her own coop. She is my best layer!!! I do let them all out to roam and she does try to socialize...from a distance. Is there anything I can do to help her not to be so lonely?
Can you post pictures of your setup?
Where are you keeping her now?
Do you have at least 4 sq ft of space per bird in the coop with at least 10" of roost space per bird (more is better)? Do you have at least a total of 15 sq ft of space per bird between the coop and run with lots of things inside the run for chickens to entertain themselves when they are not let out?
How long have you had these birds together and how old are they?
When you brought your injured girl back to the flock, how did you reintroduce her?
 

Callender Girl

Free Ranging
Sep 18, 2018
1,902
9,898
606
North Central Iowa
Oh, I'm so sorry for your girl. I know first-hand how hard it is to watch when one of your "kids" doesn't fit in with the group. I unintentionally ended up with a "house chicken" who tries her best to socialize with the others when they free range but just can't fit in. Even the hen who is the lowest in the pecking order-- and who spent most of her first year without tail feathers -- picks on her.

Can you get your girl a new friend who isn't part of the current flock? And introduce them slowly, maybe putting a small dog crate inside the coop so they look but don't touch for a while? Maybe that would even work with one of your current girls who might now bully if not part of the ruling clique?

I don't think my girl will ever fit in, but -- strangely, at least to me -- she's perfectly happy to "roost" on the couch with me, the cat and the dog. She's made her own "flock." Sometimes, we all have to do that.
 

HenFriend99

In the Brooder
Jan 27, 2021
5
18
13
Oh, I'm so sorry for your girl. I know first-hand how hard it is to watch when one of your "kids" doesn't fit in with the group. I unintentionally ended up with a "house chicken" who tries her best to socialize with the others when they free range but just can't fit in. Even the hen who is the lowest in the pecking order-- and who spent most of her first year without tail feathers -- picks on her.

Can you get your girl a new friend who isn't part of the current flock? And introduce them slowly, maybe putting a small dog crate inside the coop so they look but don't touch for a while? Maybe that would even work with one of your current girls who might now bully if not part of the ruling clique?

I don't think my girl will ever fit in, but -- strangely, at least to me -- she's perfectly happy to "roost" on the couch with me, the cat and the dog. She's made her own "flock." Sometimes, we all have to do that.
Thank you so much!!! Putting her "coop" which is a dog crate in our existing coop!!!! I am definitely going to try this. Currently she is in the dog crate in our shed with her own heating lamp. Unfortunately the Hawks have figured out where they all live and since it's winter here in PA there are no leaves to help keep them from seeing my babes! I'll let you know how things go. Ps...I wish she could be inside, but my hubby said no :(
 

HenFriend99

In the Brooder
Jan 27, 2021
5
18
13
Can you post pictures of your setup?
Where are you keeping her now?
Do you have at least 4 sq ft of space per bird in the coop with at least 10" of roost space per bird (more is better)? Do you have at least a total of 15 sq ft of space per bird between the coop and run with lots of things inside the run for chickens to entertain themselves when they are not let out?
How long have you had these birds together and how old are they?
When you brought your injured girl back to the flock, how did you reintroduce her?
Our situation is a bit unique. We got them almost a year ago and had to move them to a neighbors yard due to my son's job (hauled chicken feed), but he left this job and we were able to move them back home. Unfortunately, while they were at the neighbors they were not able to get out and wonder. This was when the bullying started. We are in the process of expanding their run. Currently they roam my backyard, but this is limited due to Hawks.

They all were bought together and are almost 1 year old with the exception of "Mommy" hen. She was from another brood that had been attacked by a fox :(

When I tried to reintroduce her I brought 2 hens out and allowed them to roam, but when they went back in, she was attacked. However since they have been back home it appears the girls are accepting, but my rooster, "Shim", does not want her. I think it's because she fights off his advances.

She is currently in our shed with her own heat lamp. She gets out more than the others because she hangs out on our (covered) back porch.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
5,153
9,350
526
USA
I tried reintroducing her, but they kept attacking her. So I removed her altogether and she is now in her own coop. She is my best layer!!! I do let them all out to roam and she does try to socialize...from a distance. Is there anything I can do to help her not to be so lonely?

Putting her in a wire dog crate, inside the coop or run or yard where the others live, can help her be less lonely, and can help the other chickens start to accept her as part of the group.

Or you could try putting just one of the other chickens into her coop, to keep her company. Of course supervise to see how it goes, but just one could be different than having them all ganging up on her. If you know which one is at the bottom of the pecking order, that's the one to try putting in with her.

If you are able to add one chicken, then after a while you might try adding another. You might even be able to gradually work back to having a single flock, just by adding them one-by-one to the group with the hen that was injured. The difference is that instead of her being a single newcomer, each other chicken would come as a newcomer to her group. This could take weeks or months, adding one at a time and then waiting a while, so it might not be worth the effort.
 

HenFriend99

In the Brooder
Jan 27, 2021
5
18
13
Putting her in a wire dog crate, inside the coop or run or yard where the others live, can help her be less lonely, and can help the other chickens start to accept her as part of the group.

Or you could try putting just one of the other chickens into her coop, to keep her company. Of course supervise to see how it goes, but just one could be different than having them all ganging up on her. If you know which one is at the bottom of the pecking order, that's the one to try putting in with her.

If you are able to add one chicken, then after a while you might try adding another. You might even be able to gradually work back to having a single flock, just by adding them one-by-one to the group with the hen that was injured. The difference is that instead of her being a single newcomer, each other chicken would come as a newcomer to her group. This could take weeks or months, adding one at a time and then waiting a while, so it might not be worth the effort.
This is a great idea. I actually have another hen who has taken her place in the pecking order. I think I might start with her.
 

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