My husband and I moved to the country about a month ago to a lovely little house on two acres. The previous occupants left behind, among numerous other, less charming things, a Rhode Island Red hen. I only spent one night in the new house before departing to spend a week house sitting. When I came back the hen was still around, in fact she had taken up roosting on our fence post. She was sleepy, it was after sundown, so I scooped her right up without any fuss. She was skin and bones and I was so impressed that she'd spent a week in the "wild" without getting eaten by the prolific coyotes in our area. I got a lovely little chicken hutch, built it myself, got her the best organic food I could find and the first thing she does? Hops the fence and spends her days foraging in the orchard across the street :/.
Since that first week we have become best friends. I have since brought home three other chickies - two Australorps and one Araucana Bantam but Hecubah, my Red, is my favorite. She is so smart and wiley. She remembers everything and has taken to being the rooster of our little flock, looking after the other girls. She gets all perturbed if I try to catch one of them.
She has a mild case of scaley leg mites, which I have heard occur mostly in older chickens. I examined her vent because I read that it can indicate if a chicken is of laying age or not, and sure enough her vent looks shriveled. I am assuming she is older, but I have no way of knowing how old. Either way, she is an amazing chicken and has completely sold me on chickens as pets.
I completely expected to be indifferent to our chickens. I own several parrots and always thought of chickens as kind of stupid. I had NO idea how wrong I was. They are smarter and generally much more pleasant than my parrots (who, of course, I love dearly) Even my mom, who was prepared to find them stinky and high strung, fell in love with them and is thinking about getting her own little flock. Since getting to know Hecubah I have found myself totally unable to eat chicken meat anymore.
Hecubah, aka Heckles, has put on SEVERAL pounds since we adopted her and is now quite huge and heavy. I love her so dearly I can't even put it into words!