Suddenly Hen is roosting outside hen house by herself!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AVF, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. AVF

    AVF Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Mar 19, 2011
    Lafayette, CA
    Hi. We have 6 hens all about 9 months old. One arucana has started a pretty ugly molt. She's the only one really molting. We have noticed that she is a bit of a loner since the molt began, but the other hens aren't picking on her. She is keeping her distance from us and them. Tonight we brought all the chickens in from the backyard and they went into their coop/henhouse complex. The one molting arucana stayed on an outside perch while all the others went to go snuggle on the henhouse perch as usual. She has never done this before. I'm concerned that she might get too cold out there (temps in the upper 30s/low 40s). She is safe from predators where she is and can always move into the henhouse with the others.

    Is this normal for a molting hen? Should I be concerned that her change in behavior is something other than the molt? Should I move her into the henhouse with the other 5 hens?

    This is our first full year with the chickens so we are a little nervous. Thanks for any thoughts/advice.

    Abby
     
  2. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,525
    20
    171
    Oct 31, 2008
    Reading
    Molting hens are a strange beast, however, I question a molt on a 9 month old hen. She should be in prime egg laying mode, not a severe molt. Are you sure she isn't ill in any other way?
    I would grab her and examine her thoroughly for any damage, illness, whatever you might find. Then put her in the coop. If she truly is molting, she will be cold. Ours frequently cuddle up in a nest even during the day when in a bad molt.
     
  3. AVF

    AVF Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Mar 19, 2011
    Lafayette, CA
    Though she seems to have a bad attitude, she is behaving normally-ish. She is eating and drinking and moving around just fine. Though she is definetly less social. I'll go out there now and give her a good check though and put her in the hen house. Thanks. We'll she if she tries this again tomorrow night.
     
  4. AVF

    AVF Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Mar 19, 2011
    Lafayette, CA
    Hi All -
    We added a 2nd roost inside the hen house, and for a few nights just moved her inside and onto that roost. After 2 or 3 nights, she went there on her own. She slept there, back turned to the other chickens for 2 months. She just started laying again and is back to her friendly self (with us). She seems to still prefer the other roost, but now allows another hen to join her some nights.
    All is well in the coop.
    Thanks,
    AVF
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by