Outcast Chicken

thenestfarm

Hatching
Mar 15, 2020
2
4
8
Hi everyone, I have a single flock of 5 hens (Orpington, Barred Rock, 2 Easter Eggers Cochin) and 1 rooster (I'm unsure his bread but he's huge). This year all my hens molted, had their time away from the flock, then went back to the group. My cochin was the last to molt, has recovered but is now exiled from the flock. The rooster, orpington and barred rock all bully her, and if they even head her direction she freaks out and runs. So now I have a lone chicken, that stays to herself all day (she figured out how to jump a fence to hang in the front yard all day). I luckily already have two coop houses but they’re attached to one run. All chickens have free roam on my 1/2 acre property and are spoiled with Grubblies and plenty of food, so stress shouldn’t be an issue.

Any advice on how to handle a lone chicken? I feel so sad she’s alone all day. She's tried several times to rejoin the group. One of the Easter Eggers sleeps with her at night in the coop atleast. Anyone know how to mediate this situation? I greatly appreciate any insight!

She has made friends with my cat. Nelly and Mimi :)
 

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Callender Girl

Free Ranging
Sep 18, 2018
1,904
9,919
606
North Central Iowa
I sometimes think we all put too much emphasis on how "lonely" our chickens are. I can say that because I have a "house chicken," a single fall chick who wasn't fully feathered that year in time to go into a regular coop. Integration was a major flop, and I tried a lot of approaches. Now two years old, Dottie sleeps indoors in a dog crate and, weather permitting, goes outside during the day when the others are free ranging.

Despite her best efforts, Dottie just can't make friends with the other birds. Much like your girl, she has tried, and when she's had enough of them, she -- apparently the only hen with the ability and smarts to do it -- flies up to the deck railing and over into the "forbidden yard,"
where poultry is not allowed. That's both for their own safety and my garden's ability to produce anything.

Dottie seems quite content there and spends her time checking out the bounty that is hers alone. Not everybody -- human or critter -- needs lot of socializing to be happy.

Like your girl, Dottie has made friends with my blind house cat and my crazy dog. She will snuggle with us all on the couch.

Since your girl sleeps with the EE, maybe that's a small path toward reintegration. One of my girls who lives in the coop in my avatar was bullied so much that she spent most of her first year without tail feathers. Eventually, although she's still at the bottom of the pecking order, everyone backed off enough that she now looks like a regular Welsummer.

Best of luck with your girl!
 

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