What to do with a lonely chicken

What can you do to help a lonely chicken?

Hens are flock animals, meaning they thrive when they live together with a few friends (or more!). But what to do if you find yourself with a lonely chicken? 

You may have found yourself in this position for a number of reasons; perhaps your other hens have passed away and one has been left on her own, or maybe you decided to adopt a lone hen who somehow wound her way into your garden. 

Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that, broadly speaking, hens should not live on their own so here we’ll take a look at your options, should you find yourself with a lonely chicken. 

We should say at the outset that you know your hen better than anyone – in some cases, chickens can be perfectly happy in their own company so, if your hen is thriving and perhaps you are looking to wind down your flock naturally, a solution may not actually be necessary. 

Adopt friends for your lonely chicken 

Of course, our preferred option is for you to rehome some more hens from us! That’s more lives saved and more hens living out a free-range retirement in a lovely back garden environment. 

It has always been our policy that rehomers can adopt a minimum of three hens; however, this recently changed in light of the fact that many people with a single lonely hen may prefer to adopt just two. 

Therefore, if you like to keep your flock small and want to bring two more feathery friends into your coop to keep your single hen company, please contact us and we can arrange this. 

How about a house hen? 

As mentioned above, some people may find that their lonely hen is perfectly fine without any extra company; however, we have also known rehomers to keep a house hen. 

Of course, this takes a little doing; you will need to be prepared for the droppings and ensure that any of your other pets will be okay with a bird ruling the roost inside the house. 

It’s not for everyone, but evidence has shown us that this can work in some cases. 

Rehoming a lonely chicken

If you’ve come to the decision that you do not wish to keep hens anymore, but need to find some company for your lonely chicken, it may be that you wish to rehome her. 

This needs to be done carefully and slowly; introducing a single hen into another flock can be tricky, though not impossible. 

Try to find a friend nearby who has hens and would be happy to adopt your single chicken. Then you can make regular visits to get her (and the existing flock) used to each other over time. 

Be prepared for some fighting, and keep an open mind in case this doesn’t work and you need to find an alternative solution. 

Avian Influenza 

It is worth noting that, if we are unable to rehome due to an outbreak of Avian Influenza, then of course adopting hens from us won’t be an option for a (hopefully short) period of time. 

In this case it’s important to do whatever you can to keep your lonely hen happy, such as introducing boredom busters to keep her hentertained. 

Hens also get on really well with other small furries such as rabbits and guinea pigs, so if you have any of these in your family it may be an idea to try integrating them, if only for a short period to keep your hen company. 

The bottom line on a lonely chicken 

As you’ll now see there are a few options available to you should you find yourself with a lonely chicken. 

Whatever you decide, it’s important to make sure your hen is happy at all times; if she is notably miserable on her own then it’s vital you find her some company. 

For more help please contact our Hen Helpline on 01884 860084

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