Lost the top hen, now the others won't leave the coop!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Wintersun, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. Wintersun

    Wintersun Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2012
    About 45 days ago, my top chicken (pecking order wise) was lost to a predator while the flock of 4 was out grazing. The other 3 hens scattered. We found one on the pool fence and had to coax her down. The hen I lost actually hatched 2 of the other hens and ruled the roost. Since then, my hens barely come out of the coop. I place food or treats in the run and they may come out for a bit but return to the coop. Today I tried to let them graze outside the run. They came out and returned shortly to the coop. An added piece is that they molted and are nearly regrown.

    Are they depressed? I've lost hens before but never with this result. Any suggestions oh how to encourage them to get some air and exercise in the run?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    They are probably depressed, as well as confused and traumatized. After a predator attack it can take months before birds start to feel confident, especially if they lost the dominant bird. Give them more time, it could take a while. Is the predator gone? Critters sniffing around the coop at night can add to their fears.

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