an amazing story of survival: 9 days without food or water!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Picco, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    I have an amazing story of survival: 9 days without food or water! (Don't worry this is not about neglect)

    My favorite hen, a bantam cochin/Japanese cross named Sally, disappeared one day. I thought for sure our dog had killed her (a boxer). I looked everywhere for her. My fenced yard is only 1/8 of an acre and I covered every inch but no sign of her... not even a feather. I also looked all around outside the fence but again no sign. After three days I was sure she was dead.

    I was heart broken; Sally was so tame, she knew her name, followed me everywhere, ate out of my hand and was all around amazing. After a week I decided to replace her with another bantam so the other bantam I had wouldn't be lonely. I have several chickens but at the time had only three bantams, a rooster and two hens. At the time of her disappearance she had a brood of nine chicks that she was co-mothering with the other bantam hen. Thank goodness I had the other hen to care of the chicks.

    Nine days after her appearance I had plans to go to the local livestock auction to look for a bantam hen. I needed a box or crate to bring with me so I went out to look for one in the garage (which I had thoroughly searched several times before). I heard a faint scratching sound and thought it was one of the chipmunks who live in our garage. I ignored it but the scratching didn't stop. I went to the back of the garage where there was a whole pile of junk. I looked around carefully because at this point it could have been a wild animal. I gently started to move some of the stuff... an old chair, a weed whacker, etc. There was a push lawn mower at the bottom of the pile and I thought the sound was coming from under it. I cleared a path to the mower and gently lifted it - Sally popped her head out! I was amazed. I picked her up and gave her a “hug”... I was SO happy.

    I rushed her into the house as I figured she was starving at this point. My mother flipped when she saw her, she couldn't believe she survived. I brought in some game bird starter and gave it to her with some water. She went crazy over it. I kept her inside for a couple days to make sure she was ok before putting her out with the rest of the gang. I put her back with the flock after she seemed fine and she joined them without incident but she totally forgot about her chicks. Luckily the other hen had that taken care of.

    I still do not know how she survived for NINE days, yes that’s 9 days! After looking at the area where she was trapped I figured she must have run from the dog and hid in the pile of junk. The dog must have knocked things over trying to get at her and thus blocked her escape and trapped her.

    I think she was able to survive by conserving energy like a broody hen. What's even stranger about her amazing survival is that she had been sitting on eggs for over three weeks just prior to her trapping. The chicks were only about a week old when she disappeared. She therefore was already underweight. She was feather and bone when I first picked her up - poor thing!

    To update her story nine months later - she is happily living back with her flock and is back to her old self again. I just don't take her for granted any more and give her extra love and attention.

    Here's a pick of her!
  2. MarkR

    MarkR Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Ivy, Virginia
    Happy endings are the best! Thank goodness you found her. [​IMG]

  3. kingsdaughter

    kingsdaughter In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2007
    Great Story
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Picco.....she is so beautifull...I am glad this was a happy ending. What a little survivor!!
  5. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Oh my gosh! Her story brought a tear to my eyes! Such a sweet looking hen, I'm so glad it has a happy ending! [​IMG]
  6. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    What a happy ending! [​IMG] Glad she's home safe and sound, and hope you spanked yer dog for that one! lol [​IMG]
  7. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    What a cute little hen. I'm so glad she made it home!
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    How awesome!
  9. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    The dog who did this is my brothers, she's a boxer and wasn't socialized with chickens as a puppy. She's a great dog, just not with chickens. We keep them fully separated, the chickens have a run and are allowed to free range only when she's in the house or on a leash. My other two dogs are great with chickens, I think its all about the socializaton when they are young. I told my parents that the chickens were here first and that they have seniority... they agreed (they're chicken lovers like us). The chickens now have the lawn to themselves and the dog is not allowed out with them unless she is leashed.
  10. beckt

    beckt Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    I just love a story with a happy ending. Your little hen is beautiful & such a trooper.

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