I have a mixed-breed flock of 9 hens and a (Ameracauna) rooster, made of up 4 hens and the rooster from 2009, and 5 hens from 2010. The formerly Alpha hen, a Golden Comet from 2009, has been ousted from her position by one of our big Black Stars from 2010. The Comet has always been the friendliest and most outgoing of the flock, but now that she's aging, and the Black Star is really SO much bigger, the Comet has been completely ostracised from the flock. When all the others are out in the run, she is pecked if she comes out. When all the others are in the coop, she is forced into a nest box. She has some plucking on her behind, and some more on her face, but no actual damage, and she seems healthy enough (though I don't think she's still laying). This morning when I went out to get eggs and replenish their feed and water, the Coment came out of the coop (I made sure the rest stayed out in their run cos the rooster is mean and nasty!) and has been enjoying wandering around the yard with my kids, being hand-fed and petted. I put water out for her, and she's just the sweetest, nicest chicken in the whole flock. So my question is, what do I do now??? I don't have another space for her to live, and can't afford to get one. I don't want chicken poo in the house (though she'd probably love to eat what the kids drop on the floor in the kitchen LOL) but I'm afraid that if I put her in the coop, she's going to continue to be picked on and shunned, possibly more now that the rooster has seen her interacting with the kids (he's going balistic out there right now, watching her with them). Does anyone keep a chicken in their house??? Do I dare put her back out there with her flock-mates? Do I risk leaving her out alone in the yard? I'm afraid to let the others out (which we usually do regularly) because I assume they'll just chase and pick on and generally stress her out. What do you think? Thanks!!