Will they re-accept an absent flock member?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BWchicken, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. BWchicken

    BWchicken Songster

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    Jun 4, 2009
    Texas
    I've had a hen recovering in the house for 10 days. I put her on the roost with her 8 flockmates tonight. She didn't seem to recognize her coop or her flockmates. The rooster saw her and tried to go after her. The hen beside her pecked her and she pecked back, which is odd because she's always been the very bottom of the pecking order and never pecks back. I quickly closed the door so they couldn't see each other in the dark. Checked on them later and everyone is sleeping.

    I've had one seperated longer than this before and they remembered, so I was suprised that they seem like total strangers after 10 days. Maybe it'll all be okay when they get up together in the morning. I'll be out there before they wake up to supervise but I'm worried. Any similar experiences or advice to share?
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I've had the same thing happen even with shorter stays of seperation. The caged bird usually drops down significantly in the pecking order and the rooster wants to reestablish his influence over the "new" hen. All part of chicken-life. You did the right thing by returning her to the coop at dark, easier to reintegrate. She'll be ok in a few days, dont worry.
    That's also a great way to knock a bully hen down the pecking order as well.
     
  3. BWchicken

    BWchicken Songster

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    Jun 4, 2009
    Texas
    Everything went pretty smooth this morning. They remember her. The rooster had the biggest reaction, he chased her and wing danced around her for a while but he finally settled down. The other hens weren't too concerned with her. I guess since she's always been the bottom hen on the pecking order, no one felt the need to challenge her for position, they just carried on as usual and she did too. Last time I looked at them, they were all standing right together preening themselves. All is well and I'm very relieved!
     

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