Older Hen Waits for Me

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by calelettus, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. calelettus

    calelettus Hatching

    Sep 4, 2012
    We have a 4 year old Buff Orpington who has slowed down quite a bit the past few months. She doesn't seem to be in pain but isn't laying anymore.

    She can't seem to make it up the ramp into the coop at night and waits for me to put her in. She doesn't get pecked or bothered by the others - and there are 11 others and a rooster. In fact, they seem somewhat protective of her. She sits outside under a small tree for most of the day then, when the others move into the coop, she walks towards the back door of the house and waits for me to come out to put her in. I pick her up and she coos the whole time I'm putting her inside.

    She isn't egg-bound nor does her crop seem impacted. She's alert and eats and poops properly. No mites or worms. She's just slowing down I guess. She occasionally walks over to the ramp and sizes up the height as if to say "Hmmm.... I wonder if I can make it?" then walks over and sits on my foot. This has been going on for a month now. The last few times she really tried to make it up the ramp she hopped up and pretty much didn't make it.

    I can't see putting her down since she doesn't seem to be in pain and she is otherwise healthy. And I have to admin there is something endearing about a chicken that wants to be tucked in at night. Any thoughts?
  2. Spangled

    Spangled Songster

    Jan 12, 2012
    Serenity Valley
    She sounds like a little sweety. It's great to have a good relationship like that with her. If she were here at my place, I would worry because we don't always have someone at home to put chickens away at nightfall and, also, winter is coming. The chicken coop gets shut up in the evening when one of us gets home. I have had (and still do) some old chickens. But even at five years old, I haven't had a hen that needed me to put her to bed. Here we have a few old scraps of wood, so I would end up making her a little box on the ground to sleep in at night that she could get into herself (if she was amenable to it).

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