worried about hen being alone, please help

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Trishkabob, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. Trishkabob

    Trishkabob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2010
    Schuylerville, NY
    We lost our speckled Sussex to yet another, or same, fox today. We now have just one hen, a silver laced Wyandotte;we are sick about losing Alice but also worried about Lorna being alone now. As winter is coming we can't brood chicks now but she will be miserable won't she? She is 7 months old. We have cold winters and without Alice to roost with...we really don't know what to do now.
    if we get a pullet or full grown hen they will have to be separate for several weeks so where would the new one sleep/roost?
    Lorna is used to free ranging during much of the day so a new one could be kept in a new pen next to our current coop but wouldn't we have to build a second henhouse too? And then they will BOTH be alone (and cold).
    I love having chickens but it is so painful to lose one when they are pets. I want to protect them but I also want them to have freedom to dig and eat and exercise-clearly, we haven't found the right balance and our girls have paid the price ( we have lost 2 others).
    Thanks
     
  2. tedabug

    tedabug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ended up with a roo this summer so had to replace him with a new pullet. I used some plastic poultry fencing to make a little apartment for my new bird so she could be in the coop with the others, see them, smell them (and them her), but not be attacked by them. I stapled it to the inside of the coop. It worked wonderfully and within a week or two, I found her on the other side of the netting with the others, so it came down. I didn't take very good pictures of it, but I think I have one that may show her in her temporary apartment. A dog kennel for a week or two would work as well if you can fit one in your coop. My coop is very small.

    I let her free range with the others for a few minutes/hours each day, but at night she was locked up in her own apartment.

    I say get her some friends! She'll be happier in the end. Sorry I don't have a better pic. There is a window that covers the front side of the coop and the others could use the ramp to get to their side. Oh heck, I'll post a pic of my coop configuration...

    [​IMG]

    Here they are all together without the separation:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    FYI, I added a bottom to my chicken tractor because I had rats digging under and haven't regretted it! I recommend getting yourselves one step ahead of those foxes or the pattern will repeat itself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  3. Trishkabob

    Trishkabob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2010
    Schuylerville, NY
    Thanks....I read that they should be quite separate at first to make sure the newcomer has no illnesses. is that too fussy or unnecessary?
    the dog crate is a good idea. Will a single bird be cold in freezing temps? our henhouse is about 4'wx4'hx2 1/2'd(not counting nest box).
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Do you know, if I only had one hen left, I wouldn't even bother with a quarantine. And I'm usually the one who thinks, "I can't believe they didn't quarantine those birds first before adding them to the flock!"

    If my original hen got sick, and it was something awful, I would feel bad of course. But loneliness for chickens is torture IMO.

    But I would be sure to put Eprinex Pour on and Sevin dust right away to both hens old and new.

    One thing to worry about is that some diseases contaminate your very land and coop and everything. And other diseases leave your chicken an asymptomatic carrier. But with a single chicken I think I would have to say I'd risk it.

    That's just me, and it flies in the face of all usual advice on BYC. But for ONE chicken, oh my! I think I would be miserable every night worrying about the poor thing outside all cold and alone.
     
  5. tedabug

    tedabug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would do a little research online to find out what to look for when picking out new chickens. Don't meet people in a parking lot, try to see the real environment and conditions any new birds are coming from. There are people getting rid of healthy birds all over the place. There are also people getting rid of sick birds, so give them a good check-over before you take them. I agree with the last post though. You only have one left, so it's not like you have a flock of 200 to worry about. Just do your research on what to look for and do your best!
     
  6. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Agreed! And I am a total quarantine stickler, but with only one bird left.... [​IMG]
     
  7. Trishkabob

    Trishkabob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2010
    Schuylerville, NY
    Thanks so much. Those are our thoughts too -she seems so confused and is hanging out just outside our liv. Rm. Window which she doesn't usually do so much.
    We have a line on a friend for her nearby from someone who seems like a good, conscientious person so we will talk with her today. Any advice on best way to introduce?
    Can't tell you how helpful this is and generous of you. We are sad and don't want to make emotional decisions before being smart about it.
     
  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Agreed! And I am a total quarantine stickler, but with only one bird left.... [​IMG]

    X3 A flock animal being isolated from its own kind is a particularly cruel punishment. She needs a friend or 2 ASAP.

    Sorry for your losses. Good luck.
     
  9. tedabug

    tedabug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Expect that they will give each other a few good pecks to establish dominance for a while. Don't let them beat each other up, but know they will have to work things out in a chicken sort of a way at first. My sister just threw two new birds in with her other three two weeks ago. One bird did fine, but the other got a bloody head and had to be separated for a bit. Two weeks in and they are all doing fine.
     
  10. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Upstate NY
    Quote:Howdy neighbor, this is Brian not Lesa.

    I am sorry to say it is either the fox or the chicken. One is going to go if you want to free range. A single bird is not going to survive in Upstate unless you heat the coop. But I think your first priority is to get the fox then you can get more birds. I wouldn't let the bird out until you deal with the fox. A dog is a good deterrent for a fox but you have to make sure the dog is kept from the chicken or the same result will happen.

    Good luck on your dilemma.
     

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