Her comb is still flopped over which in my limited chicken-vetting knowledge means nutrition deficiency or old. She's still missing a lot of feathers. She still seems not quite all there.
With all that in mind, Andrew & I have been talking about our responsibility toward this little lady. We did have an offer to adopt her out to a bigger flock, but my sense is that, because this other flock is big, each individual chicken is less...valued. I have a sense that the flock owner has a much more pragmatic approach to hen husbandry than we do. If Peggy was picked on, I'm not sure she'd be coddled there. As Andrew points out: it's not a rescue farm. (Note: even at the rescue farm where I used to work, there wasn't too much time to worry about each individual chicken's emotional well-being, if you get my drift).
But we did commit to Peggy when we got her. Maybe not in the same way that you commit to a dog or a cat, but in some way we promised to take care of her. So now what?
We've decided to try to find a pal for Peggy that we can adopt so that she has company and body heat this winter. Ideally, we'll find a 6 month old who can start laying in the spring as I'm pretty sure Pegster's laying days are through. We'll get just one so Peggy won't have to defend herself against two. We'll monitor things to see how they go. We'll see...
Peggy's tiny addled brain can't understand this decision, but I know she'll be happier staying put!
Incidentally, if you know of a not-too-aggressive older pullet or young hen looking for a home, please let us know!