Lone Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shani914, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. shani914

    shani914 Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Nov 8, 2014
    Hi, I went on a five-day vacation and left my two hens plenty of food and water. When I came back today, there were no hens in the coop and after I looked around, I found my black sex link and some feathers from my other chicken. Since I live in an area with bobcats, I'm assuming a bobcat attacked my other hen. I also saw that the food was nearly full and that they had a total of five eggs, meaning they must've escaped 2-3 days ago. I have two questions: Is my black sex link alright (and should I be worried as far as health goes)? Can I wait until this weekend to buy another companion since she's alone?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  2. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

    Determining if she is all right will take a physical exam for any injuries followed by close observation of her behavior... chickens are very adept at hiding weaknesses so it is up to us to be very careful to observe and examine.

    How long you wait to give her a new companion is a personal decision and should be based on your familiarity with her and her behaviors... make sure she is OK physically first.
    You also need to take into consideration the normal isolation times recommended for adding new birds to a coop....

    Also, you may not want to add more birds to the coop until you determine how a predator accessed the area and took the first bird. Correct that access problem first before placing another bird at risk. A predator who succeeded at getting a meal there will very likely try to return for another.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  3. animalwild

    animalwild Chillin' With My Peeps

    298
    8
    71
    Jan 29, 2015
    I think she would be ok until the weekend. If you have room for more then just two chickens I would get a few more in case this happens again. Last year, I had 4 wyandottes they got killed by a weasel. This year, I got 21 they all have survived except 2 so I think having more also makes it harder for your predator to pick out just one. So I think your chicken can wait a few days for another companion. Sorry about your chicken.
     
  4. shani914

    shani914 Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Nov 8, 2014
    One of my chickens has gotten injured before and I couldn't find any place that would take her in for an exam. Do you think it is okay to get two more chickens this weekend?
     
  5. shani914

    shani914 Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Nov 8, 2014
    So sorry to hear! Thanks for your reply!
     
  6. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

    I don't mean you have to take her somewhere for an exam.... I mean that you have to very closely look her over. Have someone help you if needed but you have to run your fingers under her feathers and lift them to view the skin underneath to look for puncture wounds or cuts or bruises, lift the wings and look closely under them also. Usually bite marks are on the birds back or from the wings back on her sides (because the predator tries to grab them as they are fleeing, usually) but you have to look over the entire bird to make sure no injuries are missed.
    Cuts or punctures need treated immediately (search on here under the emergencies section, there are many, many threads on wound care), bruises mean the bird at the least will be sore and should rest for a few days, but it also means you need to watch closely for signs of listlessness, which could mean internal bleeding. Again, searching the emergencies section can help with treatment plans.

    You haven't mentioned if you determined how the predator got to your birds in the first place... and I don't think you should get more birds until you have fixed any fencing problems or predator prevention issues which could put more birds at risk.

    If you are getting more birds at some point, do you have a plan in place for quarantining them until you are sure they are healthy to avoid exposing your bird to possible illnesses? They should be houses in a totally separate area for a few weeks to make sure they show no sign of illness before you begin introducing them to your lone hen.... also, do you have a way of housing them separately if needed if they don't get along for a while? Introducing birds can be stressful for birds and often can result in fighting, bringing in 2 strange birds when your hen is still recovering from her experience may not be good for her, especially if the new birds gang up on her.
     
  7. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,784
    136
    228
    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    I agree with both of Fisherlady's posts. I would like to add that getting new friends for her fairly soon is a good idea. A lone chicken is a depressed chicken. After quarantine of the new birds, introduce them in the see each other but not touch each other fashion. It will be good if the new birds are younger so she can be the boss. In the meantime, spend as much time as you can with her and put a mirror in with her so she feels as if she is with another hen. A trail cam might help identify the predator and it's entry method. As stated before, you gotta fix that first! Sorry about your other bird....good luck. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by