Only one chicken left

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hollidayckinn, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. hollidayckinn

    hollidayckinn Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Apr 22, 2012
    I only have three chickens until two days ago. I let them out and kept a check on them, they were pecking in garden. In about 10 min I went out to close up coop and there was only one hen inside. Saw feathers in the garden so I knew something got one but no evidence of the other one. What I'm worried about now is my only hen will not come out of the coop even to get water. I don't know how to get her out, offered her water and food to entice her out but she goes back up the ladder. Is there any suggestions from anyone. I'm afraid she is going to die if I can't find an answer quick. I also wonder if she will survive being by herself. I hope this is the right place to post, if not please forgive me.
    Thanks for any help offered.:(
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,228
    801
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    Hopefully the other chicken is cooling her heels until she feels the coast is clear and it is safe for her to return. But two days is a long time in the life of a chicken, and yes, one chicken can live comfortably alone.

    Have you considered giving her food and water while she is in the coop?
     
  3. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    2,758
    523
    261
    Apr 7, 2011
    Boonies of NY
    My Coop
    So sorry to hear about your losses.

    Can you offer feed and water in the coop? This is often the safest way to offer feed anyhow, as it can greatly reduce waste from rodents and wild birds.

    Your hen is probably, wisely, not venturing out where she saw her flock mates predated. She's scared to go out where it is, in her mind, unsafe. It might be, since you lost two hens! This is a normal reaction on her part and in time she should come out again in time, perhaps several days from now, though you are right in that she will need food and water before then. If possible give her some while she is in the coop.

    Your next step would probably be to determine how best to make your birds safer because whatever took your other two hens probably now considers your yard as an open buffet; there is a good chance it will be back. Predators are smart and know a food source when they find one. If you don't take some steps you could soon have no birds at all. A lone hen is going to be much more susceptible to predation than birds in a flock, because she won't have extra eyes (her flockmates) to help watch for danger.
    You can consider a penned run, or lots of extra hiding areas. Some people use livestock guardian dogs.

    Chickens are social animals, and while sometimes you will get a 'lone wolf' in an individual, in general they are happiest with some flock members. You might consider checking the classifieds and the buy/sell section here on BYC to see if anyone has birds near you that you can adopt. Always use good quarantine methods when bringing in new birds, though, as many diseases can pass quickly from bird to bird and some are fatal. That's a whole other discussion, so if you decide to get more birds, it'd be wise to look up "quarantine" here on BYC and read about how to do it properly and what to look for when picking new birds.

    Good luck to you and your hen, and again I am sorry to hear of your loss!
     
  4. Tongiechick

    Tongiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    137
    1
    81
    Sep 2, 2012
    Tonganoxie Kansas
    i agree she probably saw it happen and is being wary. i would make her feel safe and conferrable in the time being. sorry about your girls.
     
  5. hollidayckinn

    hollidayckinn Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Apr 22, 2012
    Thank you to everyone that responded to my post. I sure wish I knew what got my two girls because it was so fast. I didn't see any dogs so it's a question my husbands did can't figure out . I did give her food in the coop which she gobbled up but I finally had to take her out of the coop and put her In the run and pull up the ladder so she couldn't go back in. She did act really scared but I stayed in with her and she calmed down. She finally started eating and got a treat of some worms. She still doesn't come out of coop much as she usually did with her sisters. They always stayed out in the run all day. I have not let her out of the run at all. We have the coop on wheels so we move it around. I'm too afraid to let her out. Also, can you purchase hens that are at the age to go into the coop when you get them? Due to health conditions it would be hard for be to raise some babies now.
    Again, thanks so much for the feedback. It has been very helpful.
    God bless you
     
  6. lovingmyhens

    lovingmyhens Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,550
    128
    186
    Oct 20, 2013
    Katy, tx
    Yes you can get hens that are of the age to go directly into the coop. I had two hens and lost one before thanksgiving. I got three more after thanksgiving from a very reputable breeder and put them together with no problems. They are all good buddies now. Definitely check the quarantine section.
     
  7. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    2,758
    523
    261
    Apr 7, 2011
    Boonies of NY
    My Coop
    Agreed, you are likely to find a few hens of approximately the same age. Be sure to read up on quarantine, as it's be heartbreaking to lose your last girl to a preventable disease. You will have to deal with a new pecking order, also, but with any luck they will be friends in time. I'd recommend choosing breeds that are similar in size and temperament as your other birds in hopes of making it go as smoothly as possible.
     
  8. lovingmyhens

    lovingmyhens Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,550
    128
    186
    Oct 20, 2013
    Katy, tx
    X2!!
     
  9. backyardflock1

    backyardflock1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    364
    27
    103
    Jan 22, 2014
    Massachusetts
    I have 3 chickens, 2 hens and a rooster. I am very sorry for your loss [​IMG]. You can either buy starter pullets or "started" chickens from websites or local breeders/ hatcheries.
     
  10. hollidayckinn

    hollidayckinn Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Apr 22, 2012
    thank you for your help. the only one I have left now seems fine, eats well and not afraid to go out into the yard. I got her in the spring of 2012. she laid eggs all winter after the loss of my other two chickens last fall but completely stopped this spring except for a shell less egg a few times. She also has a dirty butt, otherwise she is very healthy. she is a red pullet..do you think she could just be lonely or has become too old?
    sorry if this sounds dumb but I don't know what to think. I also tried to find where to post a question but it is very confusing so I'm trying it here.
    thanks for any help or advice.
    Sharon
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by