Terrified Chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SHD7, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. SHD7

    SHD7 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 16, 2015
    Last Friday we rescued a hen. Her name is Lilly. She is a very friendly and very laid back hen. The whole pecking order thing is going on and my other hens are picking on her. I expected it. Been through the pecking order thing before.
    What is throwing me is today I was gathering eggs and Lilly came up to me. She was just hanging out and then the other hens showed up. Lilly jumped onto my chest and into my arms. I wrapped my arms around her and held her and pet her. When the other hens left she was ok with being put down. I'm worried she is terrified of them.
    What do I do?
    Do I leave nature take it's course and leave her in?
    Is she just too timid to be in with the others?

    Right now I have her closed in a section of the coop by herself with food and water and to give her a break from the others.

    Any advice would be appreciated! I don't want her to be miserable... I know the pecking order process is awful... I'm not sure if I should stay the course or what to do.

    I've never had a hen crawl into my arms before so It really threw me. Is she that terrified or is she just that friendly?

    I'm beside myself.

    Please any help
    Thank you
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  2. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    When you say you "rescued" a hen, what do you mean by that? My assumption here is if a chicken needs rescuing, they were treated poorly or living in poor/unsafe conditions. Perhaps that trauma combined with meeting a new flock (who are picking on her) is driving her into your arms.

    Does she have a place (other than your arms) that she can get away to? A place to hide from the other chickens?
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    She's terrified. She doesn't know them from Adam and they want her to leave or kill her. I can't imagine much success putting a single hen with a strange flock without getting that hen a friend among the new flock first.

    Do you have 2 or more housing options for chickens?
  4. SHD7

    SHD7 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 16, 2015
    When I say rescued .... someone dropped her off at a rock quarry and she was living there by herself. She appears very young.[​IMG]



    A rescue picked her up and she lived in a huge dog kennel for a week before coming to us. Prior to the Quarry I have no idea where she was or what happened to her.
  5. SHD7

    SHD7 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 16, 2015
    I do have two or more housing options for them. The weird part is until today... she would roost with them and huddle up with them. They obviously pecked and chased her but when time for bed they let her huddle up without a problem.

    When the rescue found her.. they were transporting her to the rescue and she crawled into the lap of the person driving and went to sleep.
  6. SHD7

    SHD7 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 16, 2015
    When it comes to a place to hide... we have a network of roosts. she often will sit up there and watch the others run around... We have the "apartment" where the laying boxes are. It's HUGE inside and sometimes she goes in there.... sometimes I find her on top of the apartment... but all of these places are accessible by the others too.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If she's already been in with the other birds, I'd leave things be. Removing her now is just going to make it harder all over again when she's re-introduced. You'll lose all the ground she's gained with them.
  8. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    Yes, I'm with Donrae - it's early days yet - not even a week. These things do take a little time. Do you free range your birds at all? That would also give her a bit of a break. I find that I have the most problems with mine when they are locked in the coops that I have for long periods of time. They roost peacefully and free range peacefully otherwise. It will work itself out. She is going to fit into the pecking order somewhere. Pretty bird! And, if she's young, you'll have her eggs for a while too.

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