One hen off to herself a lot

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pigcoon, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. pigcoon

    pigcoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Our girls are about 20 weeks old. They are laying quite a bit though there are still some soft eggs and the eggs are still small.

    This is a group of 5. No rooster. They are in their run at night or when we are going to be out for several hours (lots of predators around). They free range when we're home. One of the chickens frequently breaks off from the group, and goes off on her own. We'll see 4 of them in the woods scratching around, and the other (always the same one) in a different part of the yard doing her own thing. She also comes up to the door a lot which seems to be for human contact (she loves my daughter, who has handled and cuddled them a lot). At one point we found her in the woods sitting on three eggs, but other than that she doesn't seem especially broody. When they're in their run/coop, she "fits in" better. She's just......different than the others.

    Does this sound like normal variability in chicken personality? Is it anything to worry about? Obviously when she's off by herself she is more vulnerable. Will they at any point reject her because she's not 'getting with the program?' She really seems to have a different agenda than the others.

    Ironically, my daughter named her "Adventure Chick" when we first got all of them. It is turning out to be an appropriate name!
  2. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
    I have one like that, and was told she was the low bird of the flock, and to spend some extra time with her. Once she got to laying it seemed the others accepted her and she spent more time with the flock, almost like it was an initiation thing. yours might be the low chicken?
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    She'll probably end up being the broody one.
  4. pigcoon

    pigcoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Is that something I should research? Is 'low bird' a known term (like 'low man on the totem pole'; bottom of the pecking order?)
  5. PioneerPrincess

    PioneerPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    We also have a hen that will wander away from the flock and in the coop and run she is fine with them. She is near the bottom of pecking order, so that is why we think she does this. We give her lots of attention along with our other bottom chickens.
    Yes, low bird is the same as bottom of the pecking order.
  6. OverEZ

    OverEZ Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2009
    East Central Ohio
    Reba is the loner in our flock. She once held the top pecking order but had developed a gimpy leg and too much attention from the flock. Thus began assaults from the others until we removed her for 2 weeks. She is now back in the flock and just a little gimpy (she now gallops across the yard) but keeps to herself. She often sits on the our front porch waiting for one of us to come out. Also we've been a daily egg short since the episode. I suspect she is not laying.

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