traumatized chickens


8 Years
May 27, 2011
Last night, some idiot (Me) forgot to lock the hens in for the night. This morning we found that something, most likely a coon, went into the coop, dragged two hens out, and brutally murdered them. The rest of the flock (four) were very skittish and did not want to go outside into the yard in the morning. After the scene of the crime was cleaned up, they finally did go out, but at dark tonight, they would not go back in the coop. It looked as if they had not been in the coop to eat or drink all day. The wife and I had to round them up and throw them into the coop for the night. This time I remembered to lock the door. They settled down for the night after a time. I think that one of the murdered hens was the leader of the flock. I am planning to leave them in the coop for a day or two to help them realize that it is a safe place for them, so long as the idiot locks them in for the night.
I assume they will get over their fear in a few days, but will a new leader emerge. One of them has to tell the others it is time for bed. Also, should I try to replace the recently deceased, or should I wait a few months.


Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
10 Years
Nov 22, 2009
Jacksonville, FL - Arligton-
Quote:We all make these type of mistakes, learn from it and thank your lucky starts it was 'only' two. Don't beat yourself up any more.

Sorry for your loss.

To introduce new birds you will have to (well its highly recommended anyhow) to quarantine for about 4 weeks.

if you replace or not depends on what you need and want from your flock... eggs, eggs and meat, friendship, eggs and friendship, eggs friendship- then meat... etc...

most weeks (7 day) you will get an average (laying hens * 5.5) eggs so in one week 4 production type chickens might lay around 22 eggs, fewer in short days, high heat, moult, and stress conditions.

(of course many weeks my hens do better especially right after a low count week)


8 Years
May 27, 2011
Thanks for the bereavement counseling. I had six brown sex-links. We were getting six eggs every day. Now, alas, we will be down to four if the trauma wears off. Quarantining will be difficult. I will have to enter into a new construction project. Man, these chickens are a lot of work. Thanks again. JB


8 Years
Apr 15, 2011
Carroll, IA
:(Sorry for your loss, I'm sure they will pick a new leader. Hopefully you will find some replacements, maybe ask around for an extra "aggressive" chicken. Some people have several chickens that are competing for the leader role and need to "rehome" one.


May 10, 2011
Chattanooga, TN
If you are Quarantining new birds they are not suppose to share air/or anything for 30 days. The whole point of the 30 day Q, is to not spread disease to your current flock, killing or having to cull your existing flock would be far worse than the loss of 2 hens, IMO. I'm very sorry for your loss, you really have me thinking of a auto pop door sooner now. It would probable be me coming home late that would forget to lock-up:eek:.
Last edited:


Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Oct 6, 2010
Morrow Co ~ Ohio
My Coop
I am sorry for your loss

Your quarantine pen need not be permanent or expensive. Do you have a garage? I do and when I need to quarantine I have extra pegboard around that I zip tie together, throw straw or shaving on the floor and chicken wire or a blanket for a roof. They are already protected inside the garage. For an exercise area outside, I put 4 light duty posts in the ground and use snow fencing (the orange stuff). This arrangement means I have to carry the birds from their temporary "coop" to their "exercise" yard every morning and night but it also helps the birds get used to me. Works great for easily put together and tore down.


9 Years
Mar 13, 2010
Elevan, A little off topic but I use the pegboard,slip tie thing constantly.
Paid $11..00 for the board at Home Depot, they cut it to size and enclousure
that can be taken down and stored in minutes.....

I am sorry this happened also.hurts when you know it could have been avoided.
I have certainly had my share of learning mishaps.
Good Luck

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom