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Ousted from the coop? Hen drama

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrsmaonaigh, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. mrsmaonaigh

    mrsmaonaigh Chirping

    Sep 2, 2010
    SE Georgia
    This is a story about Peeps. Peeps is one of 8 girls and is one of the older ones (by 3 weeks). She has always been a feisty little girl towards the other girls. After a few months she seemed to divide herself from the group with another chicken named Idiot. Peeps and Idiot wouldn't really have anything to do with the other girls although when I would bring out treats they would come over and try to bully the others out of the way. My true Alpha hen is Goldie who didn't stand for Peeps junk and would snip back at her. Peeps didn't really back down though. Peeps and Idiot always seemed a little on the lazy side. They stayed in the coop an hour after everyone else and were usually one of the first ones in for the night. After a while they stopped running to the back door when I came out with treats. They wanted me to walk to them. Peeps really just had this regal air about her. But in the last week things have changed. Idiot has forsaken Peeps to hang out with the other girls. She seems to have taken on a higher status in the pecking order in that flock. She runs around with them in the back yard and runs to the back door now as soon as I come out. Peeps on the other hand still hangs back and just waits around for me. She doesn't really seem to be sick because she is still active as ever but she just does things her own way. Last night I found her sitting on top of the coop instead of inside it. She actually seemed a little depressed. I picked her up and tried to put her in the coop. She looked around for a little bit and turned tail and went back into the pen. She hopped up on the outside of the nesting boxes instead and settled in there. I got up this morning and she is still staying away from everyone although she did come running a little ways out when I came out with treats. She still snips at the other girls (except for Idiot) if they come too close to "her" section of the treats.

    Ok so that is my chicken soap opera. Do I have a hen that is shunned by the flock by her own doing? What can I expect and should I try to do anything? I don't want a sad chicken on my hands and she needs to be in the coop.

  2. Yardbirds286

    Yardbirds286 Songster

    Jan 7, 2009
    Western Mass
    As the egg turns...these are the chicks of our lives.

    I think in time, things will work themselves out. Chickens don't like to be alone. She is stubborn though! Is she getting plenty to eat and drink?
  3. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Songster

    Gosh, quite a few of my hens would answer to the name "Idiot". Also, Doofus, Nitwit, Airhead, Dumbbell, Rocks Upstairs, etc.........
    It's hard to say what's wrong with your hen, but when a hen has a sudden change in behavior, you should keep a sharp eye out for illness of some kind. If it's just a social thing, she would hang out with the other hens, although she may be banished to the fringes of the group. Staying in the coop alone, or not wanting to join the others in the coop at sundown, is not a good sign.

    Just watch her closely, maybe pick her up and check for mites, etc. Maybe worming the whole flock would help. That's all I can think of right now. I hope someone else will come up with better suggestions for you.

  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    She sounds seriously depressed! Arrange for counseling. This could be serious.
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    The hens lowest on the pecking order tend to go to bed earliest so that they don't have to fight for a spot (as much) and they are the last to come out of the coop, but usually not by a whole hour. My lowly girls just stayed on the roost until the bossier hens got out the door good.
    I agree check her over for illness or bugs, because sometimes chickens will shun a weaker bird, but otherwise I tend to agree with Yardbirds she may just be stubborn. Make sure she is eating good and has food in her crop at bedtime (not being chased away from the feeder too much).
    Is she laying? One of mine that I think died of internal laying was acting "off" and not hanging with the rest of the flock even though she didn't appear too sickly (still alert and walking about) but again it might just be girly drama.
  6. wildeflowers

    wildeflowers I suspect fowl play!

    Jun 29, 2010
    Maybe she needs an intervention?

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