One of my hens won't stay with the flock - any suggestions for bringing her back into the fold?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WindmillCharity, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. A couple of weeks ago I was putting the chickens to bed, locking their coop up, and I noticed one of my white sex links was missing. I have two of these and one is very timid and one time got her leg band off. When I rebanded her, I put hers on the left leg, all of the other chickens have their on the right leg. So I know this chicken is the skittish one. So I thought she had been eaten by a predator.

    Then 3 days later I came home from an early appointment and I saw a hen in the yard but when I looked down at the coop I saw a chicken pacing in the window. I asked my husband if he let them out of the coop yet and he said that he saw a chicken in the front and thought I had let them out. I said I had not. So I thought, the prodigal chicken has returned. She ran into the coop once the others had exited and she was starving. I assumed that she had gotten stuck in our neighbours garage or something.

    So that night she was missing again. And for the last week I see her in the morning wanting to be fed and then disappearing for the night or two nights. I think maybe she is being bullied. Has anyone had this situation? I have no idea where she is going the rest of the time and she is very timid.

    Any suggestion for getting her to stay with the other 15 hens and one rooster?

  2. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    Sounds like she may have went broody and have a nest hidden somewhere that she's sitting.
  3. She is just 5.5 months old, would she go broody so young?
  4. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2009
    Chickens can be very sneaky hiding nests and trying to raise unauthorized chicks. Short of Jimmy Neutroning it with a gps locator chip and a chicken camera, you may have to observe her after she feeds and see which direction she goes and follow her. Nancy Drew Style! On the sly.

    I had a chicken once had 15 eggs in a stash, laid in the hole of a tree and was sitting on them in a 45 degree tilt - Her name was Dopey so go figure! The eggs were not all hers. Apparently she was either the Minion charged with sitting on the eggs or the Master mind but we are talking about Dopey. No Master mind anything. I tested all the eggs with water and some of them were really old. Floaters.

    I filled the hole with Pine Cones to discourage further laying of eggs there and put Dopey on a nest with Golf Balls, Which never hatched but she did enjoy sitting with them for another week. Solved my ....why so few eggs mystery and the case of the missing chook.

    I only wish I had Nancy's Swell Wardrobe during the caper!


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by