As of the end of last week, Miss Emily--formerly injured--was healing very nicely. So nicely, in fact, that we decided it was time to reunite her with her sisters.
As you can see, her sisters thought not.
The good news is, I think I've figured out what the problem is. With a big hat tip to commenter Jessica for making me think to pay attention, I'm 90% sure that the ladies just want more roosting space at night. Because we made our coop bigger than it really needs to be, adding one more sleeping bar will be easy-peasy.
The bad news, however, is that Emily will now need another week or two in solitary to recover before we can test the theory by allowing her to roost with the rest of the girls again.
While she has never been my favorite chicken, I'm finding that Emily's gotten sweeter as we've had to handle her more. In the way it usually happens--we love the creatures that cause us the most trouble--I'm becoming more fond of her and feeling commensurately more sorry that we have to keep her, forgive the pun, cooped-up.
The other day the Kid called her "that crazy chicken in the cage". Something about his tone made me think of Jane Eyre and the crazy wife locked in the attic. Thank goodness, at least, that chickens don't speak human, and poor Emily couldn't understand the insult.