PTSD? Separation Anxiety?

ItsUsAgain

In the Brooder
Sep 5, 2017
8
17
26
I have a flock of 8 chooks. All beautiful girls of different breeds, ages and personalities. Happy, healthy and living the dream.
I recently took in a 9th hen. An 18 month ISA brown (I have 2 other ISAs) who was being picked on by her previous flock. Unfortunately she seems to be being picked on by my flock too. And this seems to be way beyond the usual pecking order thing. She's really clingy when I go into the run - literally under my feet looking to be picked up, and when I leave the run she clucks and caws really loud (like an egg song). She has a tendency to hide in the coop during the day and my concern is that she's not integrating properly. And that she'll continue to be picked on. She was previously rescued from battery and I'm looking for any tips on how to smooth her transition in. It's almost like she doesn't realise she's the 'same' as the other hens.
 

ChickenLeg

Crowing
9 Years
Feb 15, 2012
1,399
1,596
297
I had a white ameraucana hen I hatched out 5 or 6 years ago. She was the only one to hatch out of 12 shipped eggs. She was the wildest chick I ever hatched, I thought she had to be a boy with how much energy she had. When she got older she was kindof goofy but very friendly. She ended up being egg bound and after we got it out of her she was rehomed to a friends house.

She didnt lay eggs forever, then she finally started then stopped shortly after. She was so friendly, under your legs, anyone could pick her up. She ended up going blind and running into things and didnt live to see 3 years old.

I know all these behaviors aren't like yours, but my white hen had a small flock of 3 bantam chickens she lived with at my friends house. They also had a separate LF flock who would attack my white hen so she lived with the bantams instead. The small flock lived well together til my hen passed away. Maybe if she doesnt integrate you can try separating her with a couple of the friendliest ones and see what happens.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,262
126,413
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Did you just toss her in with the flock....with no introduction period?
It's not PTSD on the birds part...it's the keepers not understanding chicken society.

This might help:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock.71997/

This might help too.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

This used to be a better search, new format has reduced it's efficacy, but still:
Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
This is good place to start reading, BUT some info is outdated IMO:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
 

FnWeirdo

Songster
Sep 6, 2018
243
531
146
u.p. mi
Did you just toss her in with the flock....with no introduction period?
It's not PTSD on the birds part...it's the keepers not understanding chicken society.

This might help:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock.71997/

This might help too.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

This used to be a better search, new format has reduced it's efficacy, but still:
Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
This is good place to start reading, BUT some info is outdated IMO:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock

well said aart.

may i suggest ordering an collapsible wire dog kennel with a removable plastic tray(comes in different sizes , cheap on amazon). im pretty new to chickens but I've had some very successful integrations useing the see but no touch.
pop the new chicken in the kennel for the quarantine time period. clean kennel, pop kennel inside coop, keep kennel locked for x amount of time. you can make a small run within your run and you can take the bird out for some outside time every day. eventually you can let the outside time be with the other chickens and monitor to see how they are doing once you know they are all good leave the cage unlocked but still in coop and let the chicken decide when it feels safe to integrate.

ive never took in an old battery hen though. and i would imagine they need a whole lot of extra time, effort, patience and kindness.
 
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MANNA-PRO

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