Need advice re: lonely recuperating hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenlady8, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. chickenlady8

    chickenlady8 Out Of The Brooder

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    My chickens were all killed by a bobcat except for one who was severely injured a few weeks ago. I brought her indoors and kept her in a dog kennel in the living room and she has recuperated! ...almost. She didn't move for about 10 days, then began standing occasionally, and now will walk a bit. She seems quite content but I need to move her outside soon! I have safe rabbit hutch for her until I get the coop fencing reinforced but I'm afraid she will be lonely. I plan on putting a red light for heat as she gets re-accustomed to the weather but I was also wondering about getting her some friends. Would young chicks be a good idea? I'm afraid hens her age would pick on her. (She's 8 months old - not laying yet)
     
  2. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry the bobcat got her friends [​IMG] If it were me, I would try and get a hen that's close to her age, though that's just my preference. You could always try and find another pullet that's not started laying yet, either. She might do better with someone to chatter with [​IMG]
     
  3. chickenlady8

    chickenlady8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you think she would get picked on by another hen? That would be the last thing she needs! She had her whole throat area torn up and it is still scabby and unfeathered.
     
  4. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure. I am still fairly new to chickens, but it seems like some types of chicken are gentler than others. I hope someone more knowledgeable than me comments here to help you out. My first instinct is to find another bird to keep her company, but I hadn't thought much about if she still has wounds like that.
     
  5. kristamarie

    kristamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she is scabby and seems weak to another chicken chances are they will pick on her if not beat the crap out of her. Thats what chickens do. I lost 2 out of my 3 girls and was very worried about my lonely hen. She cried and looked for her sisters for about 3 days then got over it. Clearly I was more upset about the ordeal than her. She went close to 3 months by herself and decided that my 2 dogs were her flock and would hang out with them. I was offered 2 new Bantams almost at point of lay and jumped at the opportunity to give Henny some friends. Well.... she didn't exactly see it as a positive thing. She had grown quite used to being the spoiled only hen. The poor babies ran screaming from birdzilla for close to a week. Feathers flew, dishes were toppled and Henny asserted her dominance.

    Long story short, if I encountered your situation... after seeing the brutality of my 'sweet chicken' I would wait until I was absolutely sure that my lone hen was up to 100% before subjecting her to friends. Thats just my personal opinion [​IMG]
     
  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    When you first introduce birds to each other there always is just a little pecking involved. Usually it's not bad and she might even be the one doing the pecking. It's been my limited experience that the one that is already there immediately assumes the "senior" position though that can surely change over time.

    Haha Krista and me must have been typing at the same time! But as you can see, I wouldn't worry about your hen being pecked by the new one too much.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  7. chickenlady8

    chickenlady8 Out Of The Brooder

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    So...I got three grown hens...not sure of their ages...from one of my daughter's friends who had to give up some of her flock. I put them in the coop by themselves with the hope of one day adding Sybil - the injured pet - to the coop. Sybil is in a rabbit hutch still recuperating; and doing so well!!! Her neck is nearly scab-free - but also feather-free. She walks tentatively and seems quite happy in the hutch - and happy to be back outdoors. I take her out once or twice a day and let her walk around the yard and she loves it. I have taken her twice to "visit" her future coop-mates but was shocked to see how small she is compared to them! I wouldn't dare let her in there by herself until she is much better. I think the new ones are mutts, but look like a New Hampshire Red, a Leghorn, and a Plymouth Rock. I have no idea what breed Sybil is. She looks "gamey" to me and most likely fits the description of an "easter-egger".
    I am so proud of her though! She has made a miraculous recovery over-all!
     
  8. ryanhodapp

    ryanhodapp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for posting an update
     
  9. Patricia Jane

    Patricia Jane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats on her recovery.I agree that she would be happy with other chickens. As far as introducing them it would be best done slowly. Instead of putting them all together at once, it is suggested that you should keep her seperated from the other 3 but where they can see each other for at least a couple of weeks. Put her into the coop at night on the roost. In the morning go out early and check on her. They may accept her (there will be bickering, pecking and chasing but should not be to the extent of drawing blood) if not you should sepreate her for another week or so and try again. It's 3 against one. She may be considered the newby.
     
  10. chickenlady8

    chickenlady8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Patricia...I haven't put my recuperating hen in with the other three except for a couple of "visits". The largest one in the coop wants to bully her so I was considering taking her out and keeping her by herself for a while. After such a tenuous recuperation, I can't see submitting my original hen to any abuse.
     

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