Lonely hen... *Not lonely anymore!*


7 Years
Mar 7, 2012
Western New York
Our coop was attacked this morning and only one hen survived. She is standing in the completely enclosed part of the run. She looks pitiful. Her tail is down, she has no interest in treats and every now and then lets out a quiet squawk.

What do I do with her? I have 6 week old pullets in the grow out pen but they aren't ready yet to join her in the coop. We had a complete remodel planned since we were expecting a larger flock this summer so the safety issues will be addressed. We are daily certain it was a hawk or owl due to the lack of damage to the fences and no footprints in the mud.
Hawk or owl won't kill all of them. I'd think weasel, fox or a family of raccoons. They can all climb without fence damage. A fox can also jump incredibly high fences.
Imagine, she saw all the friends she has in the world killed.
She needs friends. I'd try putting the pullets with her (if the building/pen is safe)
She won't take to them right away but she's lonely and will accept them sooner than if she had her buddies.
Make sure she doesn't have any injuries.
We found one bird, headless and one breast eaten. Then four piles of feathers quiet a distance away from the coop in four directions. No more bodies though. Lost 5 total. It had to have happened early this morning. The coop is attached to an enclosed run that leads into an open run by way of chicken sized hole at the bottom of the fence. There was no feathers in or around the coop or the enclosed run, only a scattering of feathers inside and around the open run.
I agree they should go live in the coop immediately. They are completely feathered and the cold will not affect them.

The best way to merge chicks is to enclose them in the coop with food and water for, at minimum, one entire day. Two is even better, but you'll have to accommodate the adult hen.

At the end of the day, put the hen into the coop just as it's getting dark. She'll roost and probably won't bother the chicks. In the morning, let her back out into the run. Repeat the procedure at roosting time.

On the morning of the third day, let the pullets out into the run, and I'm sure you've made it predator proof by now, including enclosing it so nothing can enter from the top, either flying in or climbing over the fence.

Since there will be more chicks than adults, they will develop confidence very quickly, and the adult hen should accept them as her flock just as quickly. But to make sure they have a safe place to run to, in case she chases and pecks them, I would partition one corner of the run and put food and water in there for the chicks. Make a small hole that the adult hen can't fit through. I call this a "panic room". It makes merging chicks with adults far safer and quicker, and it will give you peace of mind knowing the chicks have a safe area.

You need to do this right away. Your hen has suffered great psychological trauma, and the chicks will distract her from her grief and fear. And it will give her a reason to go on living. It may be a while before she will lay again, but I guarantee she will as soon as the pullets do.

I'm so, so sorry you lost your flock like this. This has happened to me a couple times, and it's extremely traumatic. I understand
what you're going through.
I'm so sorry that you have lost you're hens in such a way.
I think that she should have some sort of company, so yes you should put you're pullets in with her, even if it means they are separated via a large cage or something, where they can at least see each other and would give her some comfort I hope. If its possible, i recommend buying some younger but mature hens to accompany her, especially breeds of a friendly nature, like silkies?
Good luck and hope you get back on track.
Our OP would have much better luck just moving the youngsters in with the lonely hen than she would trying to introduce a couple of older hens into the mix. The youngsters will be way more easily accepted than strange adult hens. That's always been my experience.

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