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Author Topic: What to do with a loner?  (Read 4040 times)


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Leafy Surrey
What to do with a loner?
« on: April 05, 2011, 08:00:07 am »
Just need some advice from you learned people out there as these are my first chickens. I have ony had my 8 chickens for a few weeks now and I have one that is defiitely a "loner".  She sleeps on her own in a nest box (I have sectioned them off as they are not yet POL, but she still manages to get in!) whilst the other birds all congregate together.  She is definitely bottom of the pecking order and have noticed that one of the others does definitely pick on her.  She is a lot more shy than the others and always last in everything.  Should I be worried? (well I am)  Is there anything I should do to alleviate the problems? 


  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: What to do with a loner?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 08:41:22 am »
Hard as it is to do best to do nothing, they will sort themselves out. They must have plenty of room though to get away from bullies.


  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Cambridgeshire
    • Hempsals Community Farm
Re: What to do with a loner?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 10:21:17 am »
I'd love hear any advice regarding this, both my small flocks seem to have a 'loner' as you describe - I've thought about trying to move them out but am worried that then another bird would become bottom of the pecking order and we'd be in the same position.

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: What to do with a loner?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 09:54:59 pm »
In the circle of life as it were, there's always a "top dog" (boss hen) and an "underdog" (hen-pecked!)

as long as you keep a close eye on her, in case of injury, then you really have to let them be.

We have just one bantam frizzle pekin (tiny black thing, looks like she's had an electric shock!) who is bottom of the pack. the other day we caught red-handed one of the BC Marans actually sitting on Frizz in the nestbox, stripping feathers off the back of her neck!!   Poor little Frizz, my shout out frightened her more than her bully!
Little Blue

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: What to do with a loner?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2011, 08:53:10 am »

   lots of my birds spend time alone, doing their own thing. some go off and sleep in nest boxes some wander off to spend an hour or so alone excavating the muck heap. They do this regardless of their rank so I wouldnt see choosing to sleep in the nest box as a conciquence of being bullied. Also, as all the birds will be docile at night, this is actually when a subjugated bird would slink in last, tollerate a couple of pecks and quietly snuggle up to the others when they are too dosy to notice. I think she sleeps in the nest box because she wants to.

In terms of the pecking order this changes as birds grow and age and enviromental factors differ. In the warm weather when every one is out ranging, getting lots of excercise, pleanty of food and their attention is taken with hunting for bugs this usually reduces greatly. If it dosent my advice would be,

Be prepaired to remove a hen which is overly agressive and excessive in its treatment of the others as this can result in stress which can effect egg production, damage or death to other birds, nutrirional defficiency and illness in birds experiencing stress and lack of sufficient food.

Make sure the birds have lots of space and places to escape such as plants that they can hide behind but make sure they cant get trapped or cornered.

Put smaller or more docile breeds such as little pekins together in a separate coop

and make sure that you have lots of feed and water stations that are set far enough appart to pervent one bird guarding them all,



  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: What to do with a loner?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2011, 09:04:50 am »
they do settle down eventually
we spray with anti pecking spray if they start with the  feathers
some of ours sleep in the nest boxes (the boss does!!)


  • Joined Apr 2011
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Zeus (our saxony duck)
What to do with a loner?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2011, 02:20:00 pm »
Dont worry everyone has a loner hen i have a very very small pure white old english hen and she is always alone and never joins in on anything!!

she like being alone (i think)  ::)

Well i have cut back and i still have to many !!!! Oh well just as well i love them !!


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Leafy Surrey
Re: What to do with a loner?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2011, 08:58:02 pm »
Thank you for all the replies!  I think INAH is right - she just "wants to be alone".  ;D. many thanks to Buffy too for putting my mind at rest.

Am celebrating my first egg today (poached, on toast). Very very happy  :chook:


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