Last Chicken

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Lois Pardee, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. Lois Pardee

    Lois Pardee In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2018
    My name is Lois Pardee. I started with 4 2-day old hens about 6 years ago (2 Rhode Island Reds & 2 Ameracaunas). I've learned a lot from my chickens, and despite what a lot of people say, they're very intelligent. I read on this forum that they don't have the brains to be lonely. Don't let anyone kid you. They can also be very compassionate. Sometimes my hens separated into twos, and when they did it was by breed. When one of my Ameracaunas got sick, things changed. Since having Airedales, who need to be watched closely because they're so stoic, I watch my pets closely. My hen Spring would start to eat, but when others walked up, she backed away and waited for them to finish. Sometimes the other Americauna would peck at her. That's when we went to the vet. She had a breast implant to shrink the tumor, which did work for almost a year. I just didn't get her back to the vet in time, and it had started growing again and was too late to stop. Anyway, one of the Reds (her name was Red) stepped up to be her protector. If the other Americauna tried to peck Spring, she got pecked by Red. Soon no one bothered Spring. One day I was digging grubs for them, and three of them had had about 3 apiece. I kept trying to get one to Spring, but it would be quickly snatched away. She left the group and went to the back of the yard, as far away as she could get. I dug another grub, and Red grabbed it. Then she turned and walked back to where Spring was and dropped it at her feet and stood there until Spring finished it. The sight of it gave me goosebumps, and I thanked God for my compassionate hen. When Spring died, they knew and walked around crying all day. it took several days to get back in the swing of things. Then Red died about a month ago. She had a blocked crop, and we couldn't get it under control. Four days ago, I had to have Legs (the protector) put down. The vet said he never saw a chicken hide her illness so well and adapt to it so well that no one notice she had a problem at all. Less than a week before, I went out back, and she came running to meet me. Less than a week later, she couldn't get up on her legs. The vet didn't take an Xray because he felt it was fruitless. Whether she had impacted food/waste or petrified eggs or both didn't really matter because it was so solid that she would have to have surgery, and he felt she wouldn't tolerate it well because of her age. Right up to the end as she sat on my lap and on the doctor's table, it was hard to believe she was in such bad condition. She was alert and talking to us, checking out every the doctor did. But when sitting still with no one prodding her, she'd start to doze off, which is the way my others were at the end. Now Chubby is alone and lonely and keeps wanting to be in the house. My neighbor said her last hen died of loneliness, and I don't want that to happen. She doesn't like to wear a diaper, but if she'll tolerate that, I can tolerate her in the house. Wouldn't you know, I had 3 very sweet, precious hens and Chubby. Chubby pecks at people. When she wants something from me and I can't figure it out, she'll grab a chunk of skin on my hand or arm and shake her head back and forth; she'll take an actual bite out of me. Kind of sad I was left with the mean one, but I still love her and feel sorry for her. She just needs a lot of love. When she used to get mean, I'd pick her up and pet her, talk softly to her and tell her how much she was loved, and she'd settle right down. Now my question is, How can I help her?
  2. Kiki

    Kiki Quail Pusher

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC.
    :yesss: We are glad you joined this flock!
    Jump right in and make yourself at home.

    Are you wanting to help her by getting her a friend?

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    007Sean, N F C, rjohns39 and 8 others like this.
  3. slordaz

    slordaz hatchaholic

    Apr 15, 2015
    Welcome to BYC, sorry for your losses, it would help if we knew where you were, if your anywhere close I have some friends she could have.
    SoftSilkie, N F C, rjohns39 and 9 others like this.
  4. BullChick

    BullChick Enslaved by a Duckling

    Apr 17, 2012
    Coffee shop
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC, and thanks for that great story.
    007Sean, N F C, rjohns39 and 9 others like this.
  6. Sequel

    Sequel Free Ranging

    :frow Hi and welcome to BYC! That was a very moving story! I hope you can get her some new friends! Good luck!
    N F C, rjohns39, Shezadandy and 8 others like this.
  7. Meg-in-MT

    Meg-in-MT Crossing the Road

    Jan 29, 2018
    SW Montana
    Hello! Welcome to BYC!! :frowVery cool story about your compassionate chicken. They are far more intelligent than they are given credit for. I hope you find some buddies for her.
  8. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

    May 26, 2009
    David, Chiriquí, Panama
    If you were to get a half-dozen(ish) (could even buy sex-linked, so you'd know you were getting all girls if you wanted) chicks that you brooded where she could watch and hear them, they'd immediately ease some of her loneliness just by having something to catch her attention. I always get more chicks than the number of adults I expect to reach maturity. It's simply easier to give away an unstarted pullet than it is to brood another batch to get the number of hens that I'd like to introduce to the flock. Of course, I don't have the option of sex-linked chicks where I live, which makes a bit of difference too. After you'd brooded them until they were fully feathered (3 or 4 weeks) you should be able to easily integrate the two groups. The babies will have the advantage of 'lots' of them, and the big girl has her 'big girl' advantage. So they'd be on a semi-even footing as far as pecking orders go, and it's so much easier to integrate when the chicks are still a long way before sexual maturity as they're not perceived as competition. You'd of course need to give the chicks hideouts that mean ole Chubby can't easily fit into, giving the babies recourse if Chubby is simply not in the mood to babysit, and put food and water in that 'safe zone' so she cannot deny them access to groceries. You can still expect gentle pecking from Chubby as she 'informs' them that she has seniority. This could be a win-win-win. Chubby gets company, chicks get a loving home, and you get to experience another batch of chickens growing up. Chubby would have little ones to pass along her wealth of wisdom to.
  9. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    Hello, Lois, and welcome to BYC! :frow Glad you joined.
    Great story. I hope that you can find a friend for Chubby. Maybe two younger pullets, same breed? And do a slow integration.
    007Sean, SoftSilkie, N F C and 6 others like this.
  10. FortCluck

    FortCluck Crowing

    Sep 9, 2019
    Central Virginia
    007Sean, N F C, rjohns39 and 4 others like this.

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