Need an emotional support chicken for my chicken.

JavaFrannyEaster

In the Brooder
Jan 31, 2019
8
34
34
Yes, that's right. That is a silly title but it's essentially what I'm looking for right now.

I have three chickens right now. Two are independent sex-links (Java and Franny) and one is a cuddly Easter Egger (Easter).

Sadly, Easter's temperament is the problem we're having at the moment. We absolutely adore it when she wants to snuggle with us! Java and Franny, on the other hand, do not appreciate it quite as much.

Java and Franny are not terribly aggressive for the most part. They'll tolerate when they're being picked up and handled and don't peck at people. But they're also not much for cuddling and much rather have some space when they're out and about. Easter, on the other hand, feels the need to cuddle a LOT. This means when she's outside she's always huddled up against Franny or Java, even for a simple dust-bath.

Needless to say, the ladies don't appreciate this clinginess and let her know. Unfortunately, this has caused some aggression that lead to a bald spot on just above Easter's tail and a wound. Since chickens are naturally attracted to blood, this created a serious wound before we were able to get her separated.

Poor Easter is currently in quarantine until the wound is healed. We've tried to stop this before by separating Java, who would be the most aggressive in her attempts to tell Easter to 'back off', but the quarantining only seemed to make her more aggressive towards the others to re-establish her as the head of the pecking order (Even though she's technically the youngest and Easter is the oldest by a week).

There's plenty of food and water about, we've set up separate watering and feeding areas and they have plenty of access to free-range time, though with the weather being the way it is we tend to bring the chickens inside at night where they're set up in a large area to roost.

Easter doesn't seem to be after anything other than cuddling. We're hoping that if we can introduce another chicken with the same temperament as her that after the quarantine period is over and the pecking order has been re-established she will choose to cuddle with a chicken that accepts this need to huddle up.

We do have a few problems, though.

1. We can only introduce one new chicken, as we need to keep the numbers low for the feed-bill.
2. Unfortunately we have to start out with chicks. Which means keeping the chick quarantined until it's big enough to be safely introduced.
3. This one is the biggie: We live on the edge of a town (Killeen, tx) but there's a 'no-roosters' ordinance in my area. Chick sexing is pretty great at a 90% accuracy but there's still that 10% chance that they'll be a rooster. We had started out with 4 chicks but 1 ended up being a Rooster. We were VERY lucky a co-worker was willing to take Fluff in for us but that co-worker is moving and we don't know anyone else who would be willing to take in a rooster.

So now that all that is out of the way, here's the questions I'm hoping I can get help with:

1. What breed of chicken would be the most likely to accept all the cuddling that Easter needs?

2. Does anyone know any places around the Killeen area that would accept roosters due to this city ordinance? This could even be extended to the Austin and Bastrop area. I'm just worried about raising this baby only for it to end up on someone's dinner plate.
 

ShannonR

Crowing
Sep 17, 2015
1,566
3,326
332
Hmm. If you can get only one chick, and it has to be a female, maybe another sexlink? I do think she has the personality to be able to bond to a youngster this way, though. She does seem to be the foster mama type, I had an EE who did the same thing once!
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
7,370
7,245
536
western South Dakota
Truthfully, you cannot make a friend for your bird, I would expect that she will be the victim with the new bird too. Separating her, will make it worse, but keeping her with the others, not a great situation. She might be the bird you need to let go, and then get a new pair.

Some birds, just do not fit the set up. And it makes it miserable trying to force it.

Mrs K
 

ChooksNQuilts

Free Ranging
Nov 26, 2017
2,198
4,618
567
Southwest Idaho
Truthfully, you cannot make a friend for your bird, I would expect that she will be the victim with the new bird too. Separating her, will make it worse, but keeping her with the others, not a great situation. She might be the bird you need to let go, and then get a new pair.

Some birds, just do not fit the set up. And it makes it miserable trying to force it.

Mrs K
:goodpost:

This is absolutely true.
I had to rehome 3 SLW I had that were bullying everyone including each other.
After going to live with my friends flock they are absolutely fine!
The bullying stopped.
It was a win/win for everyone involved.
 

TashaFrancois

Songster
Jun 3, 2018
643
1,166
232
Kansas City, MO
I would look for an adult Silkie as they are snuggle bugs to the max. Yes there will be some new pecking order. But when we lost one of 2 silkies to an owl, the one left was a lonely outsider like Easter. We kept her as safe as possible and got a young Silkie friend. We separated the two using a big bird cage from Craigslist lol. Now Marie and Malificent are 2 peas in a pod. :)
 

BY Bob

Proprietor, Fluffy Butt Acres
Premium member
Jan 1, 2016
5,178
33,803
977
Hershey, PA
I find that 3 is an odd number for a flock. They seem to like to work in minimum groups of 2. With 3 one of mine has always been pushed away. Another hen to make 2 groups of 2 might actually solve this problem. I would reccomend an orpington but I would look for a mature one. I wouldn't wait for a chick and I would also be assured of a hen that way.
 
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