Back in the summer, we lost some chickens to what we believe was a fox. The fox had a good day. Took out 4 of our chickens. We were heartbroken and learned from our mistake of leaving them free range while cleaning the house inside. We found feathers for 3 of the birds in various spots in the yard. One, we did not find feathers for. Our kids were home and ran outside when they noticed something was amiss. They thought they saw one of the birds run through the woods. We did find tracks in the mud, but no feathers.
Yesterday, our neighbor stopped to let us know one of our chickens was across the road and under his porch. I found that hard to believe because I was just out there feeding and it was getting dark and they tend to hang around the coops and yard now. I figured something must have spooked them and my heart raced as I went down to do a count. There they all were, eating happily and getting the last snack in for the night. We ring a cow bell and they come running and I rang the bell before I counted. I figure we were all good so I went back in the house before closing up the hatches.
Jared comes down the drive carrying a chicken which looks like the one we have which was a sibling to the one that was "lost" with no feathers found. They looked identical except one had more white feathers.
My question: How long do you think a chicken could survive on it's own with mild temperatures? Could it be that our girl had ran and ran and stayed away for months and now that it finally turned very cold, sought shelter under my neighbors porch? Our homes are not that close here. We checked with the closest family that we know have chickens....none lost. I posted on lost pets for our area, no response. We don't know what to think, it looks like our bird but how could it possibly survived all this time?