Oreo thinks she's a human....Advice???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 77horses, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Our little Oreo (Cochin/Amer.) thinks she's a human, it seems. [​IMG] She was the only chick to hatch out of a batch of eggs in my homemade incubator, and has been raised in her brooder box alone since she was born. We gave her lots of attention to keep her from being lonely...maybe a little too much attention. [​IMG] She watched TV with us, was cuddled and played with often, etc. She was helped out of her egg a little while hatching because of too low humidity, my dad was the first thing she saw when she hatched, and she was raised by us all her life. So, now she doesn't know how to be a real chicken! [​IMG] Ugh this is what I get for spoiling her LOL. [​IMG]
    Today she's about 4 months old (hatched July 20th, 2009) and she last night was her second full night of sleeping in the outside coop instead of in her brooder box. We kept her in it later than planned because the flock was having issues excepting her...She could have made it and they would have established a pecking order, but I didn't want her to be the youngest chicken in her flock because she would be pecked on a lot. So we waited until she was a bit older and we've been slowly introducing her to the flock...well, more like teaching her how to be a chicken, not a human. [​IMG]
    Oreo doesn't know how to roost in her coop at night, instead she will stay outside in the run and roost on a stick perch outside, while the rest of the flock goes inside the coop when it starts getting dark. She knows where the coop is and how to get to it, but I guess she doesn't know that she should go to it for the night, like the rest of them. And that's another problem; she hasn't bonded with any of the other chickens in her flock. She won't follow them, she won't eat with them, she won't do anything with them. She just ignores them and if one of the chickens comes up to her, she will run away. She will wander around on her own out in the run while the rest free range (even though the door to the run is open, she will stay in there and not follow the rest).
    So, I took the two most friendly and mellow chickens out of the flock, which were Raven, her mother, and a small Bantam Cochin hen named Pumpkin. I noticed that they rarely pecked her or bullied her, so I separated them from the flock and put them in the coop together while the rest of the flock free ranged outside. I was hoping that they would bond with Oreo and she would follow them around and since Raven and Pumpkin follow the flock like they are suppose to, Oreo would too. I put them in the coop together and not much happened. Oreo would sit on a perch near the window and I would put Raven up next to her so she would feel more comfortable near her. Raven just sat next to her and Oreo ducked her head away from her and sat still in fear, as if she thought she was going to peck her. Eventually she relaxed when Raven was sitting next to her. After letting them spend time together, I would let them go back outside. Raven and Pumpkin would go outside and return to the flock, Oreo would stay where she was and preen herself. I repeated this for a few days, and got the same results everyday. Although Pumpkin and Raven weren't seen as very much of a threat to her anymore, Oreo still didn't seem to want to go with her flock like all the rest.
    But when I go outside and walk nearby Oreo, she will follow behind me! She won't follow her flock members, but she will follow me. [​IMG]

    What should I do? When will Oreo learn that she's a chicken and that she's part of the flock that she's so scared of? We want her to follow her flock like she should, and not have to wander around alone all her life.
    Thanks! (and sorry this is so long....) [​IMG]

    Oh and here's a picture of Oreo...it's not very recent, it was when she was around 1-2 months old. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  2. adkchickmama

    adkchickmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2009
    She's a beauty. Her name so fits! I think you will have to give it time. She has been with humans for so long it will take her a while to fit in with the rest of her flock. We have an EE roo that is 4 mos now. He was the only egg hatched by his mama hen and rasied by her until he ripped open his leg at 3 wks old. So he ended up in our kitchen for a couple weeks. Then his mom wouldn't take him back, so we had to keep him seperate for a bit. He has just been fully introduced to the flock and they pecked him bald at 2 months old... Back to the kitchen hospital cage...Then out to the baby pen and his own room next to the girls. Now he runs around and eats with them but is still nervous if they come near him. He runs to me for "help" if anyone chases him. I notice they are more used to him and not pecking so much and he is getting more comfortable around them. Forages with girls all day, on the finge but at least he is with them all day. I think time will fianlly win out and she will intergrate with your flock. Some BYC'ers will most likely have other suggestions as well. Best of luck.
  3. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008

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