New chicken in flock isn't eating

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Tailwise, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Tailwise

    Tailwise Chirping

    May 22, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    I have a backyard flock that's gotten whittled down to three hens over the years. One of them is a real bully, the others are fine. Our neighbor has a single silkie hen. She's gone on vacation starting Monday, and decided to leave her hen with us so she won't be alone, since our hens already know her.

    If I have to, I have permission to put her back in her own coop. They'll be back in a week.

    You can guess what happened: the bully hen did her thing, and pecked the guest hen so hard she's bled a little from her comb. Now our houseguest is only eating about a third, if that, of whatever I give her. She hangs around the coop all day, too. She's responsive otherwise, and if I take her aside to her own space and feed her, she'll still eat some portion of the feed. She's drinking normally.

    The bully hen doesn't usually sleep with the others, and I've kept her separate from our guest hen for a while now.

    But I'm worried.

    Is this normal for a stressed newcomer? Or is she ill? Her droppings are green and watery.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017

  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Do you have a dog crate that you can put the silkie in with her own food and water? You could even put a blanket or something around the sides to make her feel safer. It's normal for other chickens to peck a new chicken in their coop. I would feed her some chopped egg, and add some water to a small bowl of feed to make it watery. If her poop is dark green, she is not eating enough. She may eat better in her own coop.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Nutcase

    Nutcase Songster

    Dec 2, 2012
    My Coop
    Bully hens are waaaay more common than you would think. Even though you only have this new hen for a short while it might be worth keeping the bully on her own for a day or so to give the new hen a chance to establish herself a bit with the rest of the flock. If she is eating less than normal it might be that she's stressed about unfamiliar birds in the area. As for her green poop, that could be either stress, dehydration if she hasn't been drinking enough water or her diet is rich in greens. I would eliminate those factors before worrying too much that something more serious is wrong.
    Hope this helps [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  4. Tailwise

    Tailwise Chirping

    May 22, 2014
    Thank you both so much! I separated her for a bit and fed her some egg, which took care of the lethargy. After that we tried putting the bully hen in her own pen while the others are eating, and the silkie is doing better (and getting mouthier) by the day.
    1 person likes this.

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