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Lone wolf... er, chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by depruett, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. depruett

    depruett Hatching

    Jun 24, 2014
    Bloomington, IN
    I have a small flock of hens (four) that I raised from chicks. They're about 7-1/2 months old now, and I recently started letting them freerange during the day. Out of the four, I seem to have one that is a loner. (I call her "Pensaclucky.")

    When I let them out, she's the last one out the door, and the last one back in at night. The others stay in a fairly close formation, whereas I'll often find her 20 or 30 feet away, doing her own thing.

    She's also the most skittish of the bunch. The others follow me around and I'll pick them up and pet them regularly. Not Pensaclucky. She would rather do just about anything than be picked up by anybody.

    Other than this, she seems healthy and normal (or as near as I can tell, since I'm new to the backyard chicken thing.) Is this just a personality trait, or could there be something else going on? It probably sounds silly, but I kind of worry about her...

  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Sounds like she is the lowest in the pecking order in the flock. Some chickens are just more social/friendly than others. Is she a different type of breed than the others, sometimes the odd chicken out will wind up being a loner (ie if you have one leghorn type and the others are heavy breeds). If they aren't all laying yet, often pullets get friendlier when they start laying, and the pecking / social order will rearrange itself, so she may yet get integrated more into the flock.
  3. cehasz

    cehasz In the Brooder

    Jul 28, 2014
    I have a rooster like this. He's and EE and he tends to stay away from the rest of the flock, except his brother. He is skittish around me, but will eat out of my hand. He is also more gentle about it than the girls are! Actually, all of the roos are more gentle than them! Anyhow, he gets very stressed when his brother decides to venture out of the run. He is young yet, 4 or 5 months.
  4. depruett

    depruett Hatching

    Jun 24, 2014
    Bloomington, IN

    I did consider the possibility that she's lowest on the pecking order - it's hard to say, though. Two of the hens haven't started laying yet, and she's one of them, so that might be it.

    As far as breed is concerned, I've got three Buff Orpingtons and a 'Cherry Egger', and she is one of the Orpingtons. She's the same size as the rest and I've never seen her getting pecked or bullied.

    One time I was handing out treats (mealworms) and it looked like she wasn't getting any. It didn't seem like she was being shut out by the others, but just in case, I separated her in a different part of the run. I tossed her some meal worms and she acted very leery. She walked around them for a solid five minutes before she finally sampled a few...

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