Poor bullied chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jahphotogal, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. jahphotogal

    jahphotogal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2012
    CT
    Ever since "Penguin" was attacked by a hawk and mostly blinded last winter, she has been bullied by the other girls. It's gotten so bad now that some days she won't come out of the coop - she just stays on the roost. Other days she wiggles herself into a little nook away from the others and just sits there. One day I took her out of the coop and hand-fed her (she likes to eat out of my hand), and today I put food and water in her nook (she figures out where the water is by walking in it) but it's really cold, she's all alone there, and I worry!
    Is it OK to just let her be on her own like that? I have a cage and can just make her a house chicken (or porch chicken) but I think she;'d be lonely - she'd rather be near the others, given a choice.) Is she likely to just whither away and die? (She's very small already and I can't tell if she's malnourished.)
     
  2. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2013
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    My Coop
    I'm so sorry to hear this, it's just hard to watch how brutal the chickens can be to each other. I try hard to remember that as animals, their behaviors are largely driven by survival instincts. Most animal behaviors are dictated by what helps that individual best survive. In other words, they don't think in terms of mean vs nice, right vs. wrong the way we do. This doesn't make it any easier to witness but it helps me not "judge" them and in fact, helps me realize that what they do is what helps their species survive generation after generation.

    All that said.... you still have this chicken that is blind, picked on and that you care very much about. You've mentioned your options already, so you know what they are. One thing additional I thought of is, is there a second chicken that is also lower in the pecking order and that gets along even a little bit with your little blind chicken? If you wanted, you could put these 2 chickens together but separate from the others and see if they can be "friends." That way, your blind chicken will not be lonely and will have a companion.

    Another thing is... depending on the temperament of your blind chicken, she might actually be more comfortable with you as a house/pet chicken vs being with the flock. I have a chicken named Luna who is the lowest in the pecking order. She would rather hang out with me than with the rest of the flock. She's often by herself away from the flock as it is anyway. I'm not sure how she'd do if I truly separated her from the others but my guess is she'd "adopt" my family as her new flock pretty readily.

    It's worth a try, any of these ideas. She's obviously miserable so anything you try probably isn't going to make things worse. And if what you try doesn't work for her, try something else. If nothing else, *you'll* know you tried and that your heart was in the right place.

    Hope this helps,
    Guppy
     
  3. jahphotogal

    jahphotogal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2012
    CT
    Thanks, Guppy! I appreciate the advice and support!
     

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