Timid flock after losing alpha hen...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by idiganthro, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. idiganthro

    idiganthro Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 15, 2009
    Mechanicsville, MD
    My favorite hen was killed by a predator around Christmas. She was also the alpha hen of my little flock, now 6 hens. Since she is gone, over two weeks now, I've noticed the rest of the girls stay in the coop alot. When they do venture out they rarely leave the vicinity of the coop itself. We have approx 1/2 - 2/3 of an acre in the back, fenced, which they can freely range during the day. They used to putter all over the place all day, even coming onto the back porch, and would only go into the coop to eat, lay eggs and to roost at night.

    Before Ruby was killed, since she was so tame, if we came outside or opened the back door she would charge across the back yard to me, and the others would follow. She would let me pick her up, and 3 others would also often let me hold them. Their behavior has completely changed. Will another hen take over her role? She had such a strong personality and it never occurred to me how much her behavior influenced the others. It's kind of bumming me out!
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    They are still fearful of the predator and that is why they are reluctant to leave the security of the coop. Over time they may become bolder unless the predator is still alive and scaring them.
  3. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    they are being cautious they also need to reestablish pecking order a bit as the alpha is gone. They need to vote in a new flock leader so to speak. They will start to venture out as they feel safe.

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