My wife and I were driving by a Tyson processing plant, and there was a chicken at the side of the road. She was standing there drunkenly while cars wizzed by inches away. We jumped out of the car and grabbed her (thus her name 'Carpe', as in 'carpe chicken').
We now have a pet chicken and no idea what we are doing.
I have her out in a shed in the back yard away from predators. She has some scratch and is in a warm cardboard box. She has access to water. I will build a little coop off the ground over the next few days.
She doesn't move around much, and there is moisture around the vent area. It is not very pleasant to pick her up and is probably not normal. Does anyone know? It may be from the stress of transport and escaping.
She seems young and is not very coordinated. She is probably from one of the factory farms and probably has no idea of what to do, how to eat, or even walk. She has not been de-beaked.
She's also a little bloodied somewhere on the body, we suspect she got hurt in her escape from the plant. The bleeding has stopped, so that is on the mend at least.
Is there something I can do to ensure that she eats?
Is there anything I need to do for her that more experienced flockmasters might suggest?
I would prefer her to be free range, but I do not want to simply feed the local possums. How do you free range chickens without predation? I have a 1/4 acre wooded side yard that is fenced and chicken wired already that I would like to use.
Is there some kind of chicken door lock on a timer you can get?
Do meat hens lay many eggs?