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Lone hen - really need some advice, sorry bit long

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After losing one of my hens just before Christmas, I now have a lone hen Chloe and am getting myself in a state about what to do next.


To give some background, I've had hens for 9 years and in this time done many intros, however one was a lone hen i took on for a friend who was giving up, she was the loudest, most noisy hen I've ever heard in the mornings, so much that she had to sleep in a separate eglu in the garage until I returned her to the run each morning, this went on for 18 months til she died.


So my problem is Chloe is only a year old and needs company for a long while yet, so this weekend got 2 more girls which is where the problem started. The inevitable intros noise began once they'd all spotted each other and I just lost it, I had what I can only call a panic attack and broke down. I think it took me right back to the problem last time and I had to return the 2 hens to the breeder, who thankfully was very understanding.


I'm suffering with a few health issues at the moment and was so looking forward to having more hens but I don't see any way of this happening if I can't cope with the noise and the uncontrollable stress it causes me.


It would break my heart to rehome Chloe but I don't know if I can watch her live out her life alone. I've read through old rehoming posts on the forum which haven't always gone well and would only want her go to a loving safe home, if I could bear to part with her at all.


I would love to hear from anyone who has gone through this or can offer any advice, I'm so confused about what to do next. Sorry about the long post and thank you.

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I'm sorry you had an upsetting time.

I've read on here before that some people have kept a lone hen with no problems :D

You could just keep her on her own and see how she gets on.

If she really struggles then you could get her some friends.

Maybe it would be better to just get her one friend so that any attacks are just one on one and then introduce a few more later on when she is happy with the first friend.

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Yes, I also now have a lone hen, and she's managing fine. She hasn't shown any signs of stress or of changes in behaviour. It probably helps that she free ranges all day every day and can mix with the local wildlife (disclaimer: no restrictions in place concerning bird flu at the moment where I am in Germany). I think you need to keep an eye on your lone hen, but I suspect she'll manage just fine.

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Thank you so much for your lovely replies. I'm still stressing over all the options and am unsure if I'm going to keep hens long term, but I think I've decided I really can't give her away, to an unknown home and fate. I took her on and I should be responsible for her til the end.


I feel awful thinking about her being alone for possibly the next few years, particularly as she is in a run all day, albeit a large one with all mod cons, she free ranges only when we're at home.


Also we're going on holiday in February so even if I get her a friend, she will be alone at least until early March. This will be a total of 10 weeks which seems ages but I hope she can cope.


So because of this I was considering getting 2 ex batts which would be about the same age as Chloe and hypothetically (wishful thinking :roll: ) may live to about the same age. Other than this I was thinking about getting one hybrid but there would then be an 18 month age gap and I could be back to square one down the line.


Once these hens have gone I don't think I will have more, I'm finding the intros, noise and illness too stressful, I don't know why as I've been doing this for years :cry:


Thank you for listening again, it really helps

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Don't be too hard on yourself - and don't make any hurried decisions.


I find the settling period really stressful - they can be so 'cruel' to each other.


If you have health issues, I'd be inclined to leave her on her own and try to give her extra attention and see how she gets on.


It does so much depend on the individual hen - when I've been down to one, I've sometimes brought them into the Utility Room at night in Winter (when it was really cold for the whole night as was worried as no-one to snuggle with ) in a dog crate and put them back in the run during the day.


Hope it goes well, H

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I'm new to the forum and hens, but I know a bit about introducing guinea pigs. Would it be possible for Chloe to be introduced away from your home? I don't know if that would stress her or not, but it's something that some piggie owners do. I sometimes suffer from anxiety so I understand how you feel. Please try not to be hard on yourself.

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I did all my introductions at the boarding place, were I got my new hens from.

Brought my hens and chucked them in the coop together with new hens at the same time. Has worked a treat twice now. Some squabbling when I got home, but no shouting or full on fighting.


Ps don't think she was suggesting putting guinea pigs with a chicken Chuckabee.

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