I have one old hen - Aunt Bea. She is at least 5 and probably older, as I'm pretty sure the guy who gave her (and 4 others) to me was pawning off all his oldest hens on me. She is the only one left of those original 5 and I got her 4 years ago. Anyway, I noticed a couple of weeks ago that she was spending her days down in the barn, only going to up the hill to the coop right at dusk, after the rest of them went in. A few days ago the rooster and a few other hens were in the barn, too, and I saw him just attack her - not to mount and mate, just brutally attack. So I thought maybe something was wrong with her. I brought her in a kept her a couple of days checking for a stuck egg, worms, blood, anything. Spoke to the vet. Got a fecal. As far as he can see, the hen is healthy. (I posted about her a few days ago). So I put her back out today with everyone. I saw her later in the day in the barn and a few other hens were there. I threw them a couple of handfuls of horse grain. Everyone pecked happily at the grain, including her, everyone getting along. Tonight when I went to shut them in for the night I did my count and counted only 27 - Aunt Bea wasn't there. So I took the flashlight down to the barn and found her hunkered down behind a feed bin. So I brought her back into the house to sleep in the kennel. I don't know what the problem is now. I'm stumped. I can't very well let her start living in my house. And I would worry about her sleeping the barn. She was pretty well hidden (I just knew places to look), and she wouldn't be easy to get to by an owl or anything else. However, I can't be sure so I hate to let her sleep there every night. And it seems such a sad way for her to live out the rest of her life, you know? I won't give her to anyone because there's no one I trust to take as good care of her as I do. My chickens have it made: 10 fenced acres for free ranging and a predator-proof coop and lots of treats, goodies, etc. Please tell me what to do. I do put a chicken in the freezer now and then but I won't do that to her.