possible friend for disabled hen

tamleah

Chirping
10 Years
Aug 30, 2009
9
4
69
I have a hen that is a few years old - she had encephalopathy when young and I somehow managed to keep her going. I had her in the house in a cage for a year - now she is outside in a coop all by herself. I can't put her in with the 3 other girls because she still has some issues and they will pick on her (she falls over sometimes and has trouble getting up). She is otherwise completely fine. Just wondered if there were any recommendations for a friend for her. Perhaps an older silkie hen or something that might not be likely to pick on her - are there any other small animals that might make friends with a hen?
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,949
707
Cleveland OH
Another hen would definitely be the best choice. I would pick a breed that's substantially smaller and maybe one that, like silkies or polish, have their eyesight slightly obstructed. Reason being it tends to make them move slower and startle less. After all, that's why birds like that are so prone to predation. So in this case it should work to your advantage.
 

All Ball

Songster
7 Years
Jul 14, 2013
329
165
191
El Sobrante, CA
Re the rooster - I have a slightly special needs hen, with hatching defects such as a limp, slightly odd behavior, and the rooster (her brother) is not that nice to her. Maybe this works, but not always.
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,949
707
Cleveland OH
I would think a rooster would be terrible. The moment he tried to breed her she'd be all over the place and much more likely to be injured. You'd need the worlds most docile delicate rooster who would never breed a hen that so much as looked at him first to make that safe and the chances of getting that are one in a million. Not to mention she's the only hen - I mean we've all seen overbred hens even when they're healthy and in numbers.
It strikes me that a small hen from a breed that's notorious for moving slow would be a much more reliable choice.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,268
12,428
636
western South Dakota
I think pin-less peepers on the other hens would be the best bet. Then she could be in with them. Or if you add a bird to her, put them on the new bird. However, I would not let her suffer too much. I know that those decisions are very hard on the pet keepers of chickens, but the reality is chickens are often not a long lived bird.

A bird that falls over and cannot get up, is not really fine, and unless kept in a very constricted area, is apt to get herself in a situation that could cause her death. I would not expect this bird to live much longer regardless.

Mrs K
 

tamleah

Chirping
10 Years
Aug 30, 2009
9
4
69
I think pin-less peepers on the other hens would be the best bet. Then she could be in with them. Or if you add a bird to her, put them on the new bird. However, I would not let her suffer too much. I know that those decisions are very hard on the pet keepers of chickens, but the reality is chickens are often not a long lived bird.

A bird that falls over and cannot get up, is not really fine, and unless kept in a very constricted area, is apt to get herself in a situation that could cause her death. I would not expect this bird to live much longer regardless.

Mrs K
Thank you - she's actually doing great - she fell over a lot more when she was in a small pen - now that she has room - she does quite well and is a very happy girl. I just would like her to have company as I think that is a more natural state. She is 3 or 4 years old already and doing just fine.
 

leighks

Songster
Apr 15, 2017
544
906
241
Western New York
My Coop
My Coop
I have a hen that is a few years old - she had encephalopathy when young and I somehow managed to keep her going. I had her in the house in a cage for a year - now she is outside in a coop all by herself. I can't put her in with the 3 other girls because she still has some issues and they will pick on her (she falls over sometimes and has trouble getting up). She is otherwise completely fine. Just wondered if there were any recommendations for a friend for her. Perhaps an older silkie hen or something that might not be likely to pick on her - are there any other small animals that might make friends with a hen?
That’s so great that you are taking care of your disabled hen, as long as she has a good quality of life it’s worth it. Clearly she’s a fighter to have come this far years later! I don’t have a specific suggestion better than other posters about adding some silkie friends, but let us know how it works out.
 

tamleah

Chirping
10 Years
Aug 30, 2009
9
4
69
That’s so great that you are taking care of your disabled hen, as long as she has a good quality of life it’s worth it. Clearly she’s a fighter to have come this far years later! I don’t have a specific suggestion better than other posters about adding some silkie friends, but let us know how it works out.
Thank you - yes she is a fighter. I know it is not a reasonable choice for some to make but I happen to have a very small flock now and she is no problem. I am looking for a few silkie hens to try out - I will let everyone know how that works out.
 

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