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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Please Don't Take My Sunshine Away...

I'm not sure if I have a case of Chicken "Heartbreak" or shear out and out Hen "Depression" on my hands.
I have a hen that for the past week has refused to come out of "the roosting box". At first I thought she was afraid of the water on the ground, but that has dried up and everyday I have to coax her out and it takes some doing! She seems to walk around okay but doesn't want to get to far from the pen. The other hens free range openly but she stays behind.
I told my husband about it and we both said the same thing at the same time.....she must miss "Sunny".......which his full name is "Sunshine"........
The white hen roosting is "Red" (I have no idea why I named her that other than the fact that her red comb stood out so beautifully on her white head). The hen beside her is "Butter cup" she's a good friend, even to me..... but this is about "Red". She talks to me when I go out to coax her out and I really wish I could understand her lol!
This is "Sunny". I raised him from the incubator, his Mum died after a raccoon attack and I took the eggs and finished the hatch in the incubator. Sunny was the first one to hatch and it was on a beautiful bright sunshiny get the picture. Anyway....I've had him for almost two years and he's been a great roo, but it's a good idea to rotate the roos out if you keep the same hens, because of cross breeding.
I had some baby chicks given to me last spring and they were ALL roosters! Go figure! Anyway one of them turned out to be a beautiful Dominique rooster. When we culled the other roosters a few weeks ago I decided that I would keep "Dominique"....don't you love the name??? ;0)
He is the sweetest roo and such a sweet one with his girls. He hasn't been testosterone crazy at all with them.
Well, back to Sunny.......I had to keep Dominique separated from the rest of the flock all the time because Sunny would beat the living daylights out of him! I was constantly yelling at Sunny. Poor Dominique wouldn't even be near the girls and Sunny would clobber I had to make a decision.......
My husband found someone that wanted him and I even threw in Sunny's favorite hen to go with him....but now I'm wondering....maybe Sunny had more than just "one" favorite hen.......
I have been keeping chickens for over twenty years and have never had something like this....
Maybe I need to seek out a "Chicken Whisperer" or "Chicken Shrink", LOL! What do you think????

I know that a lot of you don't believe it but spring IS just a few weeks away.......I've already seen wild ducks with babies so that means that birds will be looking for nesting material soon. If you dry your clothes by machine save the lint for the birds. If you put it in a bowl or something to keep the rain out and put it where it's easy for the birds to get to, they'll get what they need for their nest. The "Titmouse" really like lint and it's neat to watch them come on the porch for it.
Until next time I hope everyone is keeping warm AND dry.........


  1. I know I commented on this post! Dangit - I must have messed up somewhere.

    But I have definitely heard of hens that mourn the loss of a buddy. Heck, when Duke stepped down as alpha roo, I had a Black Spanish Hen start crowing! And she has done it each time we culled off extra roos. So I do think they get a little off balance when there is an upset in the flock..... She's not broody right? The first broody I had last year decided to start in February.....

    You have such pretty chickens. I wish I lived close enough to swap some eggs with you...

    Love ya!

  2. Hey Penny!
    No, she's not broody, I think I figured out what's really wrong though. She just recently started roosting in the box since the bad weather moved in (most of the others had been roosting in there all along. At first I thought she was scared of getting her feet wet because there was a puddle under the area, but it dried up and she still wouldn't come out, but wanted too. I think she thinks the door is to small for her to fly through, as the days have passed she is getting better at it. It was comical at first watching her because she would hit the ground with such awkward grace, like an

    I would love to swap eggs w/you! You know that if I could get them to you on the very day you leave from your parents they would be okay. Maybe next time you come down.....well see.

    Love you too!