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ginger's retirement

Ginger is 11 years old. She is blind from one eye due to cataract, but otherwise she is healthy and has been maintaining her place in the flock. Recently however, I noticed the other girls pecking at her, especially the low ranking ones. This is a telltale that something isn't right with her, her friends have noticed it before I did. So I started paying extra attention. She bangs into things, misses the door of the coop and the treats in my hand.

Her good eye is starting to cloud, and when you don't see well in the chicken world, it's not fun. Not only you don't see where you are going and have troubles finding the food, but your "friends" are starting to attack you and you don't see them coming! Every time she would be pecked at, she would panic :(

So we gave her her own private coop to retire in peace. She loves sleeping in in the nest box till breakfast is served. She enjoys not having to share her meal without inconsiderate youngsters. But she didn't like hanging out by herself during the day. We installed her run in a way she could be close to the rest of the flock under their favorite tree, but you could see she wasn't happy. So after a few days, we let her out, back with the others. She got pecked by everyone at first (it's kind of like introducing a new chicken!) but they eventually all relaxed, and Ginger got to lay down with everyone else. She looked happy.

So now, when we put everyone to bed, Ginger goes to her retirement coop where she can roost and eat in peace. And in the morning, she joins the flock in the yard.


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