My beloved hen Agnes, is needing a new home. She is large, VERY healthy, she's actually the healthiest of my entire flock, she's friendly, yet very feisty... and other than a totally crooked toe from her being 4 weeks old (which doesn't bother her or slow her down at all)... nothing is wrong with her. She follows me around the yard, will sit on my lap and eat out of my hand.
Here's my situation. I have two other hens that are sick (her sister barred rock, and my rhode island red) and the vet cannot figure it out, they have been treated with antibiotics, wormers, deloused, isolated, tube fed... everything. No other hens are showing any symptoms, and these two girls very likely are going to die, but she was heavily picking on them. I want my two girls to live out the remainder of lives without being in confinement. I took the advice of fellow BYC members and put Agnes in with a friend in isolation in my garage. I picked my buff orphington, Gladys, the sweetest hen I've ever met, to keep her company. I put Gladys in, and then Agnes.... Agnes panicked in the kennel immediately. She kept slamming herself on the door trying to get out, so I put a blanket over the door hoping the dark would calm her, and went out to tend to the coop. I returned less than 2 minutes later, and peeking in Gladys was hunched over laying down in a pool of her own feathers, breathing heavily with her head tucked in. I took Gladys out, and held her for 15 minutes crying as she slowly died. I believe that Agnes must have pecked her so hard that it gave her brain damage. I don't know... all I know is that Agnes killed Gladys. And knowing Gladys' spirit, she wouldn't fight back. I kept Agnes in that kennel for a week, then let her back out to re-join the flock. She is still picking on the weak. She is the top of the pecking order, and likes it that way. I can't in my right mind keep Agnes in isolation. It breaks her spirit. And I can't look at her without seeing the girl that killed my friend. I'm SO MAD at her, but still filled with love for her as a fellow earthling. Yet, I worry that she'll pick on my sick girls so much that their slightest chance of getting past whatever illness they are enduring, In addition I have a broody hen that has adopted 7 little chicks as her own growing up in my house, and I worry for their safety with the strength that Agnes has, when they are old enough to join my small flock.
I love Agnes, but the pain of what she did, although it was instinct and pure panic, has pushed me from her. I'm in tears over this, and fearful of her future, and the future of my other girls. I think it would be best for her to be re-homed. She needs a flock that will put her in her place... maybe even a rooster. I don't know. I think I need to let her go... I got chickens to be my friends...not food. I want them all to be happy and live their lives beyond their egg laying years. I know this is silly to some of you, but I will be wanting to interview all prospective adopters. She is not going to be your dinner. She is worth more than to be killed once she stops producing eggs. I will not mail her to anyone, and I am not desperate to be rid of her. Even if this takes months to find the perfect home, I insist that she goes to someone who knows her dirty past, but will love her till nature decides it's her time to go. If that person is you, I'd love to talk to you.
Thank you all for your time.