My hen is depressed :(

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    In my ongoing saga of trying to introduce two older EEs to six young Red Stars . . . here is a brief recap, and my current problem. Penny and Grace were together for about a year and a half, alone together. i got six Red Star pullets, and integrated them too late, after the RSs were big enough to be full of themselves.

    The RSs were beating up on Grace mercilessly, but Penny got along fine with them - she showed them she was boss. But when i pulled the two out, Grace began ferociously attacking Penny (probably to make up for her frustration). Grace had been known to be a a bit brutal with Penny before, but now it had increased. So i rehomed Grace to a nice big farm where she could freerange.

    Only problem is, now Penny is very depressed. She just mopes around the pen, staying off by herself. She won't eat any treats, and walks off when i enter the pen, looking over her shoulder at me like i'm a monster. i know a lot of people probably think that chickens don't have feelings. But i know for sure they do, just by seeing the sad look in Penny's eyes.

    So now, what do i do? i honestly don't want Grace back, as she was picking on Penny. i suppose my options are to find Penny a new little friend and put her back in a smaller pen so she can bond and live her life in a duo. Or i can just wait and see if she perks up after some time. It's been two weeks so far. Has anyone had any experience with a depressed chicken who lost their buddy? If so, how long was the grieving process? Thanks for any help or advice anyone might offer.
     
  2. danamillette

    danamillette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish i did, that practically made me cry!
     
  3. aimky

    aimky Out Of The Brooder

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    I have the SAME problem! i had to rehome a rooster which had been paired with my hen for about 6 months. I brought back a silkie hen to be her buddy, and now the silkie is crouched in the corner of its pen and doesn't really eat much. The orginal hen is also acting a bit depressed. I'd love to get some advice from the more experienced members as well!
     
  4. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    So sorry your hen is depressed. [​IMG] I have no answer for you on length of time she may be depressed. Sorry. I've only had one chicken who became depressed after loosing her best buddy, EE's also, and she died of a broken heart about a month or so after her buddy was killed by a hawk. I don't know if it's the breed or what but seems to me that EE's get picked on more if there are only one or two in a mixed flock. I'd say get her a buddy or try putting her in with some of your other breeds away from the Red Stars. My sex links are pretty bold but with only the three have to behave themselves in the general flock. I hope you come up with a good solution. It's hard to see your chickens unhappy.
     
  5. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Amazing, I thought I was the only one with depressed chickens. I removed Chickie, my Austalorp rooster that was being really mean to my Faverolle rooster, Roo, who is such a timid guy. Now Roo hides face first in the nest box whenever he hears Chickie crow. However, I know he misses Chickie as he looks for Chickie regularly. They were together amicably for 3 months before Chickie started being mean. I sure wish I could get them back together again.
    Gosh I wish we could all get some solution to this problem.
     
  6. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Fair Oaks, California
    Thank you for the input and stories. It's pretty clear that chickens are emotional critters. keeperofthehearth, that is so sad about your EE. i would feel just terrible if Penny died of a broken heart. i can't put her in with any of my other chickens as they are all bantams.

    Lobzi, funny how they miss their buddies, even if they were being beaten up on.

    i would be willing to juggle and set her back up in her old pen and coop. i am just using that temporarily now for my Showgirls until i can finish their new housing. But where will i get another 6 month-adult age hen, i just don't know. i guess i should look for another EE. Nothing so far on craigslist. Poor Penny! i feel like such a meany!
     
  7. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    My EE was sisters with a polish who got picked off by a hawk/falcon last week. My EE just faded away. She died yesterday. Causes unknown.

    I was suspicious that she ate something she shouldn't have, but it was weird that she would just die within a week of losing her best bud. It 'bout broke my heart to see her fade like that.
     
  8. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    My EE was sisters with a polish who got picked off by a hawk/falcon last week. My EE just faded away. She died yesterday. Causes unknown.

    I was suspicious that she ate something she shouldn't have, but it was weird that she would just die within a week of losing her best bud. It 'bout broke my heart to see her fade like that.

    Do you think EE's as a breed are prone to depression? My EE's are sooooo sensitive. My Gold Comets, on the other hand, seem to take anything that comes their way. Nothing seems to get them down or frightened for more than a minute or two. Tough birds!
    But I love my EE's. I have 10 EE girls now and dh says that "Not Enough". [​IMG] More EE chickies this spring!!! [​IMG]
     
  9. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    I have WHAT in my yard? :

    My EE was sisters with a polish who got picked off by a hawk/falcon last week. My EE just faded away. She died yesterday. Causes unknown.

    I was suspicious that she ate something she shouldn't have, but it was weird that she would just die within a week of losing her best bud. It 'bout broke my heart to see her fade like that.

    Oh my goodness, i am so very sorry! i better get her a little buddy quickly. She is my favorite chicken. i thought i was doing her a favor by getting rid of her buddy that kept beating the feathers out of her.​
     
  10. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    I took my OEGB's chicks away from her about 3 weeks ago...she still hasn't recovered. [​IMG]
     

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