HELP!!! Found a Chicken: Now What Do I Do?! (Austin, TX.)

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Parisienne, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Parisienne

    Parisienne Hatching

    Dec 14, 2007
    I work at Starbucks and I close very late. I live in an apt. complex in the middle of suburban Austin, TX. We're about a mile from The University of Texas. Certaintly not a farm community or outdoors area where one would normally expect to see a chicken...

    I was coming home from work when a chicken fell from one of the balconies that I was walking under to get into the entrance of my apt. He fell right on me and of course I was very startled. Then after I ran away and looked back I realized that there was a chicken in my parking lot.

    She (didn't look like a rooster from what I could tell) was very agitated and seemed like she was trying to get over the wall that separates our apt complex from a busy street. At first I was just going to chalk it off to a weird thing and let the chicken be. Then I thought that maybe she was someone's pet chicken in the apartment complex...weird as that might be. So then I started to worry. I am an animal lover and the only fate I could see befalling the bird was to get hit by a car or eaten by a stray dog/cat. It seemed a horrible way to go and I decided that I would see if I could do something.

    So my fiance, good friend and I got an old cat carrier and managed to corral the chicken into it. It didn't put up much of a fight and quite willingly allowed me to touch its back and sort of walked into the carrier of its own free will. We managed to get a picture of it and I wanted to share it with some "chicken folk" who might know and understand what she is.

    Here is my foundling chicken! Here's Ms. Cluck:

    Its the best we could get because she was strutting around. What type of chicken is she and what in the world is she doing in the Middle of Austin Texas?!

    I was googling to research and think she might be a "Black Sex-Linked Hen" . We got her some corn type wild bird seed, and water. We set the shallow bowl of water and block of seed (it sort of sticks together in a block) in the cage with her to peck at if she feels like it. I hope she is not too stressed out but I couldn't bare to leave her out in the parking lot where some idiot could speed through and kill/maim her.

    We also have her indoors (specifically in a larger cat-carrier inside of a locked bathroom with the lights off) so that she is out of the wind/cold and away from predators. She just seems very frightened and we were wondering if this was the right thing to do? I don't want to stress her out, but she seemed quite happy to march right into the "coop" and rest a while. We didn't have to force her. We were all very surprised that she walked in all by herself.

    We don't know anywhere that we could take her and honestly-- I know it sounds childish, but I don't really want to give her to someone who has a chicken farm who would send her off to the chopping block and not keep her for eggs or something more useful. Not that chickens don't make good food-- but I would hate to save her from the city's dangers just to have someone serve her up for dinner.

    So I am wondering if any of you helpful folks who know a lot about chickens could lend me a hand. We are keeping her now just so she isn't run over or eaten by stray cats. However we can't keep her forever and would like to return her to either a.) her owner or b.) a farm that will let her be free-ranged, and not send her off to get eaten if that's possible.

    Aren't there farms that allow a chicken to live out on the range clucking away or is it the natural order of things to eat them once they stop laying? I have no idea if this bird lays eggs...I guess we'll find out in the morning!!! hah!

    I just want Ms. Cluck safe and well-taken care of. Any suggestions of where we might take her in central-southern Texas? Are any of you in this area that wouldn't mind taking an extra chicken? I know its a lot to ask, but maybe someone who eats eggs but not necessarily chicken meat...haha! I just can't think of her getting her pretty little head chopped off. My goodness!

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  2. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas
    She looks like a Golden-Laced Wyandotte. I can't tell for sure, but she looks like a young pullet. (Girl). Too young to lay eggs yet.

    I bet she is someones pet that got lost. Good thing she fell on you and not some dog wandering around!!! I bet that was a Kodak moment though!!![​IMG] [​IMG]

    If I lived closer I would take her, she could run around here with the other chickens and Great Pyrenees dogs to protect her. I'm sure there are others on here in your area that can help you out if you can't find her owner. You might just have yourself a new pet!!!

  3. herechickchick

    herechickchick Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    Keeping chickens in urban areas is very popular. I am not surprised in the least that you found her. She is a Golden Laced Wyandotte and looks to be quite young. perhaps only 3 or 4 months old. You are right she is a girl and will be a nice sized hen and a decent layer when she is grown. She can eat tomatoes and greens as well as blue berries until you can find a pet or feed store to buy chicken food, put water in a shallow dish and dip her beak into it so she will know where it is. I hope you keep her. Chickens are wonderful pets, very affectionate. Consider a second hen to go with her, they are very social and like to be in pairs. If you do not want to keep her post her in the buy sell trade section, someone will want her.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2007
  4. Parisienne

    Parisienne Hatching

    Dec 14, 2007
    Thank you!!! I would gladly keep her but I do have a cat and the friend she is staying with has three big, large bottom-less pit male cats. We are worried that should we keep her the cats will do away with her in a heart beat. That and we aren't exactly situated where we could comfortably keep her in the best possible conditions (small apt. in the city) where she might be happy.

    If there is anyone in the Austin, Texas area (Roundrock or Boerne maybe? Dripping Springs?) who would like to have another chicken or needs another chicken for eggs (though I hope not meat...but I won't think about it) please email me. I look forward to hearing more from you and you've been very helpful so far.

    Thank you once again!
  5. herechickchick

    herechickchick Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    If you do not want to keep her post her in the buy sell trade section, someone will want her. Also list her on craigslist.
  6. Parisienne

    Parisienne Hatching

    Dec 14, 2007
    I posted in the trade topic about her.

    We are going to put up "lost chicken" flyers tomorrow so that we can see if anyone in the immediate area could have lost her.

    What I am wondering is-- we did the right thing by make-shifting a "coop" out of the cat carrier and bringing her in out of the parking lot right? I just want to make sure that I'm not doing something wrong.

    The birdseed we got her was made for "wild songbirds" it had big seeds, corn and some other little seeds in it. She has a shallow food bowl but we were worried that she might peck us or be too frightened to allow us to touch you think she would mind if we pushed the water bowl to her? I'm worried she will get too dehydrated...

    I'll go check on her (she's at the neighbor across-the-hall's place right now) tomorrow and suggest that Jeff (my friend) try to dip her beak in the water. Do you think that she will drink it if its just sitting there in the cage with her? The water bowl is glass and see-through so perhaps she will see the water floating in there?

    I don't want to screw this up and have her die on me...she is a very pretty little bird. Very good-natured too. She let me stroke her back like a cat when we were coaxing her into the cage. I just don't know how she would react to me trying to touch her face...

    I hope I am doing the right thing!!!

    *worry worry*
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2007
  7. Hi, Dont worry, she will find a forever home.
    Nice breed too!
    Alot of us keep them until they die of old age.
    I hope someone from here sees this and comes to help out.
    I have heard of people keeping chickens in apartments and they turn their kitchen cupboards into coops, yuk.
    This is a common parctice with some poorer members of our community, they have them for eggs etc.
    Maybe someone in your complex was doing this too??
    Sounds like she is used to a cage.
    Anyhow, heres hoping that someone here will come over and pick her up and take her to the country where she would be happy.
  8. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    You are doing everything right. She probably feels secure in the cat carrier -- it's like a nest box.

    Chickens will eat almost anything, but if I were you I'd make her some scrambled or hardboiled eggs, or oatmeal, or plain unsweetened yogurt.

    If you can't find her owner I'm sure you can find someone on Craigslist who will adopt her. Just specify that's she NOT for eating. There aren't many people on CL who are cruising for food, though!

    Good luck! THANK YOU for rescuing her. I'd take her in if I lived nearby.
  9. Zylphrix

    Zylphrix In the Brooder

    Nov 24, 2007
    Hillsborough NC
    Wish I lived closer I would take her off your hands .. Im a sucker for Lost animals.

    I commend you on your recent decisions ... and so does that Bird! [​IMG]
  10. Henrietta23

    Henrietta23 Songster

    Oct 20, 2007
    Eastern CT
    Quote:I'd say you summed it up when you mentioned getting her off the street away from preditors. Sorry I can't help. I have a cousin in Austin but I don't think he and his wife are chicken people. We're not close, I'm not sure I even know how to reach him!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: