smaller orphan being picked on by flock and kicked off roost? how to help


In the Brooder
Jun 18, 2022
I have one single orphan chick, she is 8 weeks? maybe 10? She is still not full size...and her sisters and mama were killed by predator, when she was 5 weeks...
My flock is 7 full size hens, and now this little one who is barely hanging with them.
During daytime she is fine, there is a huge free range yard and everyone has tons of space. At night she used to sleep in nest box, but as she tries to roost with the hens, its a mess, they peck her, force her off and kick her out of the nightcoop. If we put her back in, she is noisy and scared, and the other hens won't let her stay on roost. They don't draw blood, but also I think she flies away from that, not sure if they would.
I don't know how to help her and it seems like its getting worse with her being pushed out instead of integrating.
How can we help her sleep in roost?
How many roosts do you have? If only 1, a separate one might be better for her especially while she's still growing up, and the adults aren't fully accepting of her yet.

Other option is to install a divider on the roost so she has a separate area just for her, cardboard, plywood, even a feed bag hung like a curtain could work. She may need to be manually placed on that section to learn to use it.
What you describe is pretty normal for my flock, except that I've never had a single chick. But you did not have a choice in that. Until my pullets start to lay they form a sub-flock, staying away from the older hens day and night. There can be exceptions, there sometimes are, but not that often. They don't roost together or stay that close during the day. Her being a single chick probably makes it more noticeable than if she were hanging with her siblings.

In my coop I put in a separate juvenile roost, lower than the main roosts, separated from them by a few feet horizontally, and higher than the nests to give my juveniles a safe place to sleep away from the adults that are not my nests. I don't know if your coop is big enough to do that. I have not tried that divider on the roost so the adults can't see her but it may be worth a try. In any case don't try to force her to sleep with the bigs. She is not going to, she has shown you that. I don't care where mine sleep as long as it is predator safe and not in the nests. When she matures enough to join the big girls, she will.

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