I'm hoping to get some helpful feedback regarding our hen Peggy who was attacked by a raccoon two days ago. We had three chickens, but Joan and Sally died at the hands of that rotten raccoon. We were able to save Peggy who is now at the vets. The vet is not a bird vet, but she's been very kind and has done quite a bit of research & called other vets. I love our vet. She thinks that Peggy can pull through (with several antibiotics and a pain killer). She still has both her eyes and most of her feathers. Her head is nearly bald and she has a few pretty deep puncture wounds on her neck. She was also molting at the time and so wasn't 100% to start with.
Here's the dilemma: We're not sure nursing her back to health is the right decision for Peggy.
- She's now an only chicken which seems like a lonely life and we're also afraid she might freeze to death over the winter without anybody else's body heat
- This could get expensive, but not too too expensive. We're really only talking about cheap drugs right now.
- Peggy is 3 years old. We were committed to keeping them as pets until they died of natural causes -- but maybe that's what's happening here?
Our vet thinks she might be able to place her with a rescue, but, again, she doesn't really know chickens and we're pretty certain that Peggy would need to be completely well before she had any chance of surviving being introduced into a new brood. And here it is nearly October. So we'd be racing the weather to get her back in fighting shape. This is all assuming that someone is interested in adopting a 3 year old, beat up hen.
Our options now seem to be:
-nurse her back to health and keep her
-nurse her back to health and find someone who will adopt her
We would not be heartbroken by option #1, but don't want to go there just because it's most "convenient." Also, our vet said she's probably not comfortable putting down an "otherwise save-able" hen. Which means we'd have to bring her home and do it ourselves. :(
Does anybody have an advice for us? We're a little lost. :(
-Jessica & Andrew