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Dropped-off chicken - What breed and advice

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Happy Flappers, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Happy Flappers

    Happy Flappers New Egg

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    Dec 7, 2012
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    This pathetic chicken was dropped off down the road from our house in a rural area. We found her standing near a small, filthy opened dog crate. She is very friendly and docile and came right over to me immediately when I called her. She hobbled so badly I thought she might have a broken leg but I was able to check her all over for any injuries (none). From what we can determine, she lived in that crate all the time, neglected, and her owners no longer wanted her and either hoped we would "find" her or she would be picked up by a predator. Fortunately she was there only one overnight before we found her. In the past two days we've had her, we've given her a badly-needed bath and lots of food and water (she was starving) and she is learning to walk. She is already improving rapidly and walking much better with no signs of limping - just some balance issues and trying to figure out which foot comes next! She has the high peep sound of a young bird but we don't know how to determine her age. We have no idea what kind of chicken she might be. She is considerably larger than my barred rocks and even my partridge rock, but all feathers and bones now. She appears to be healthy with no mites or lice or any sign of disease. She is living in our large dog crate until she can get enough strength to be moved to the coop. We take her out for closely supervised "walks" in the yard. She seems to have no clue about scratching, dust baths or any other normal chicken behaviors. We've only had chickens for a little over a year and our flock is doing great so this is our first experience with a chicken needing rehab. We already love her sweet and friendly nature and will happily add her to our flock if she can withstand the rigors of life with the big bossy girls. We would appreciate any advice or ideas about her breed or possible age.
     
  2. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Not sure on the breed, but that one won't be giving you eggs any time soon. That's a rooster. The dark patches on the wings, along with the pronounced hackle and saddle feathers give him away. I would guess that he's around 14 weeks old.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  3. fancyfowl4ever

    fancyfowl4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Red Sexlink cockerel. Am guessing someone ordered pullets and they ended up with a cockerel in the batch.
     
  4. Happy Flappers

    Happy Flappers New Egg

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    Dec 7, 2012
    Lake Erie Region, PA
    Oh, no! I don't want a rooster. I know nothing about them other than they can be aggressive and loud. He is extremely gentle and friendly now. Do they become aggressive when they get older? I do feel tiny buds of spurs on him, now that you mention it, and that would explain his large size. (My hens have the same tiny buds, though). Thanks for the information. Anyone want a red sexlinked rooster? Please!
     
  5. RockerHen

    RockerHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's rare that I get aggressive roosters. Most of mine are very gentle. My silkie and LF marans roosters even help out with caring for chicks. I would say give the guy a chance. If he gets aggressive, send him to freezer camp ;) that's where any roosters that show aggression go here.
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    If you can keep a rooster (no fussy neighbors or city ordinances or young children around a free-ranging flock) I'd say give him a chance. Yes, *some* roosters can become aggressive. And ALL roosters are loud to a certain extent. But once you have a rooster, you'll see that it can be nice to have a man about the place. We always keep a rooster just because our flock dynamics are so much smoother with the rooster there to stop hen fights, and I love to watch them take care of their ladies.

    My advice is to watch him. He looks too young to have his adult personality yet. Don't make a pet of him, just let him be. Odds are, he'll be just fine. You'll know his final personality around a year of age. If he hasn't become aggressive by then, he most likely won't. In the meantime, watch for him to come up behind you with his head lowered and his neck feathers fluffed up; if he does this then squawk like a chicken and flap your arms and chase him all around the place. Catch him if you can and hold him down to the ground until he stops struggling. If he had any thoughts about challenging you, this should settle him if he's just a regular, non-aggressive bird.

    If he ever tries to flog you or attack you with spurs, I'd get rid of him. CraigsList is a great place to get rid of roosters. List him for free, and understand that he'll probably go for meat.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Perhaps this explains why he was abandoned. The previous owner didn't want him either. The sex links are popular for their egg laying, but when it comes to the cockerels, most never make it alive out of the hatchery. Since the hybrid is a terminal mix, they aren't popular for ongoing breeding as the results are very mixed and the sex link feature is gone. If you breed them 50% of the next generation are also unwanted males as well.

    These strains are intended as egg layers, so the males do not make particularly good meat birds either. This is the conundrum of having developed this rather single purpose strain of chicken. What to do with all the males? It's a tough question and the answers are difficult to come by.
     
  8. Tricoglossus

    Tricoglossus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aw what a shame. I can't imagine how someone can treat such a helpless little chicken so terribly. Good on you for giving him a second chance.
     
  9. Happy Flappers

    Happy Flappers New Egg

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    Dec 7, 2012
    Lake Erie Region, PA
    Thanks so much for all the great information. We would be very inclined to keep him and give him a try. He is so sweet and beautiful. But we do have fussy neighbors who are good friends who also are our chicken-sitters when we are away, which is often. They have their small grandchildren with them often too and are strongly opposed to roosters. So, to be nice, we will continue to find a home for him. I think there will be tears when he goes.
     
  10. iheartnh

    iheartnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Handsome guy! I hope the situation works out for you all.
     

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