Mentally Traumatized Hen ?????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by al6517, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    May 13, 2008
    I was wondering if any of you have ever witnessed this type of behavior before.

    About 3 months ago she was in a big coop & run with about 15 hens and a good rooster, my layer flock. Then one night the nightmare happened and the flock was massacered by a very evil big momma coon. The coon killed all of the birds but her, it was like a war zone in there, anyway after that she stayed in her nest box day & night I thought she may be trying her hand at producing a new flock since she is carrying fertile eggs. She layed 2 eggs and sat them for a week when I notice she had broken them so I put another 6 under her and a wk later she also had broken them, so I didn't put any more under her since she was obviously not the mothering kind. She is still staying pretty much to her spot and has not layed an egg in more than 3 mo, I have since put in a new Rooster and a few teenaged hens who aren't laying yet.

    She just seems really Mentally stressed, is she history and will she ever lay again???, she was allways a great hen and a good layer very happy bird. What to do, I don't want to keep her around if she cannot come out of this funk, what do you think???. Sorry for the long story but you needed the backround.

    AL
     
  2. newchik715

    newchik715 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well in all honesty I have no experience with chickens yet but common sense tells me she went through something terrible. Maybe she will come out of it but as of right now it does sound like she is ruined by the experience. My soft heart would keep til old age bc she deserves something good after all that but if it is not practical for you maybe you could give her a bit more time and try to coax her back into life?

    Isn't hard to tell is she has stopped laying at this point bc of the weather. Maybe you could hold off on her sentence til spring?
     
  3. koifarm

    koifarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    It would not surprise me if your hen was traumatized by the stress of the coon....I had a flock that was terrorized by a Bobcat who actually ate the feet of a few of them getting under the elevated coop and reaching up for them.
    My main rooster was so terrified he could not crow for about three months...just a strangled crow....the hens were out during the day and the bobcat actually picked them off one at a time till I noticed the feathers all over the yard one day....lost three of the flock before I started keeping them inside the pen full time.
    I have no doubt your hen is suffering from stress related trauma and may never lay again.
    Is she the only one left? You might consider starting over and reinforcing your pen (see the predators section) with hardware cloth or double wire depending on your situation.
     
  4. substandardtim

    substandardtim Out Of The Brooder

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    I would really reinforece the pen and then perhaps get her some young friends. put the younger chickens in a pen inside the coop/run till they are use to each other. she may be feeling extra vunerable because she is all alone.
     
  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    The pen was very well protected at the time he got in by 4" spot at the roof of the run and had to come back out at the same spot because he couldn't get out to the other pens. That was my very first attack in 3 years.

    AL
     

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