sad day

wolfpup

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
112
16
83
I've only had my four girls for just over a month, (ex batts), from day one three of them formed a clique and shunned the other one (I named her Bashful) she was nervous around the others. Then they started to bully her, pecking at her - I had to take her into the kitchen daily in order for her to be able to eat in peace. She would eat ravenously whilst in my kitchen.

They just got more and more nasty towards her - until she spent three straight days in the coop - I tried to entice her out - she would eat from my hand whilst I distracted the others with treats scattered in the run usually, but yesterday as soon as she stepped out of the coop two of the other hens literally flew at her and she retreated inside the coop again.

I was in tears - but I knew I could not keep her - the others would end up killing her - she was losing weight and although I had two feeders and two drinkers - they would not let her near them.

So I contacted the sanctuary where I got her from and asked them if they would take her back, I explained the situation and they agreed it would be best for Bashful to be returned to them. I cried all the way to the sanctuary.

The chappie was really good with her, we went into the little shop they have and he put her on the floor to let her have a wander around and got some water and food for her. He then checked on the computer and explained he was checking for the best section to put her in - then mentioned they had a large flock of dominant and submissive hens - which formed two smaller flocks within the same group and he was going to put her in with the submissive ones. He said she would do just fine in there as she was fully feathered whilst the others were still growing their feathers (they only came out of the battery 3 weeks ago) and were still to regain their full strength.

He then said they would feed her up and really look after her and not to worry, I had done the right thing in returning her as the others would undoubtedly have killed her. He also said that as she was easily distinguishable (almost no comb) he would make a point that when she is re-homed he will ensure she is with submissive hens.

I know I have done the right thing - but I feel like S*** I cried myself to sleep last night worrying about her - I was sure I could see betrayal in her eyes. I have been rescuing animals for 40 years - this is my first failure.
 

Keltara

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,670
79
173
Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
This is not a story of failure. This is a success story. I know you really wanted it to work, but sometimes chickens have a plan of their own. Your compassion in returning her to the sanctuary was a very loving act. I'm sure you'll need time to grieve her loss in your yard, but you did the right thing!! It's clear that you loved her by what you did.
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Kelly
 

bluebirdnanny

Songster
6 Years
Feb 16, 2013
854
107
186
This is not a story of failure. This is a success story. I know you really wanted it to work, but sometimes chickens have a plan of their own. Your compassion in returning her to the sanctuary was a very loving act. I'm sure you'll need time to grieve her loss in your yard, but you did the right thing!! It's clear that you loved her by what you did.
hugs.gif


Kelly
x2
 

wolfpup

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
112
16
83
Chickens, wombling and bartering

Thanks guys - you made me feel a little better about returning her. They asked me if I wanted a replacement for her but I said no as I thought the three would only start on any newcomer. I will wait until one of them dies of old age then get three new ones so the other two will be out-numbered. The coop will hold 6 hens.

We had high winds yesterday which blew down a fence panel between me and one of my neighbours, Whilst chatting to them through the gap I noticed their greenhouse had lost its plastic covering and asked them what they would be doing with the frame. They were going to ditch it so I said I would take the frame. It will only cost me £13 to cover the frame in chicken wire and I will be able to almost double their run size - currently 54sq ft for three hens. Obviously the new run extension will not be fox proof but they will only have access to it during the day when I am around - at night I will chuck some wild bird seed down in their fox proof section and close the door. Each run extension I have had costs £40 so I have saved around £120. This is a pretty good womble and I have cheered up a bit. This will also give the the ability to add new hens slowly so there is less friction when the day comes.

At the same time I have bartered 2 fresh eggs for his lawn clippings for my girls - as these are the neighbours I was worried about when I got my girls I am really happy - they are giving me something they dont want - I am giving them something they want, but costs me nothing (eggs) and my girls get extra greens - which will save me money in bought lettuce and cabbages.

Not a bad days work
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