Lost her best friend and coop mate- now depressed


10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
Hi- We recently lost our beautiful Buff Orp to cancer (diagnosted by avian vet). She shared her life and coop with a little runt brown leghorn. Immediately after Sunny passed, Stripes (leghorn) got a very bad cold. Back to vet, got meds, and she struggled through it. Now her behavior is what can only be defined as depressed and she barely eats. Her color is good, she can walk, jump, scratch, and peck fine- not to mention she is feisty as ever if I do something she doesn't like. She never was very vocal- although she used to sqwak when she'd hear us come home or if Sunny was doing some misdeed like sitting too long on the nest. But I haven't heard her sqwak in days. If I put her out in the coop she just sits where I put her. If I shove her out to scratch she just comes in the house (she spends lots of time inside with us now). She hardly eats and I've been tempting her with all her favorites- raw ground beef, canned corn, cheese... Her poop looks realitively normal although there is a lot less than normal. We live in Florida and this time of year the weather has been sublime- 50's at night to 70's during the day. I think she is depressed- but I have no problem hauling her little butt back to the vet. She's been a good friend~ Can anyone suggest anything to perk her spirits?
She definitely sounds depressed and lonely. Chickens are social creatures - I would really suggest finding a new hen friend for her to hang around with. They do a lot better with someone to chat to
I agree with the previous posts here - she does seem depressed and is missing her friend badly.. can you find her another female that she can interact with?

Wishing you and her good luck!

Poor dear girl

She needs a new friend as quickly as possible. Check with rescue groups or 4-H groups in your area.

Put a drop or two of Rescue Remedy (Bach flower remedy) in her water - for its potential calming effect. If you can get the pet version (has a paw print on the label) put a drop directly on each of a couple of bits of fruit or whatever you can get her to eat or can put in her water. If not pet version, can put drop or two in her water.

Depressed, Oh, How Sad!

Are you able to find her a friend to stay with her? Another chicken somewhere? Not sure where you are, but craiglist is a good place to check and often people have them on there for little to no cost, depending where and when needed.

I did see where someone on here put a stuffed animal in the coop where the one chicken who was excluded from the rest would sit. The owner felt she was lonely and cold, and shunned by her coop mates, so put in the little stuffed one and now the shunned one snuggles with the stuffed one!!! I am thinking of this as well...but wonder how long the stuffed one stays poop free?!?

Hope she is better soon, update when you can!
I totally understand. I had to put down my silky hen. She and her sister were always together. When I would go to pick them up (which I could do at the same time since they were so little), one would automatically put its wing over the other one in a protective way. We called them Cookie and Cream. Well, Cream developed a neurological problem that went downhill fast, and we had to put her down. Now Cookie is just...sitting. She has never been away from her sister in her life. I would love to get her another "buddy," but silkies are not too common around here, and the red sex-links I have are only tolerant of her, not friendly.
It's been close to 2 days since the OP posted. Not sure if still around but hopefully has been able to get her lonely bird some help with her terrible depression....

I second that... hopefully she has found another friend for her depressed chicken... so very sad to read this thread!


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