Mabel's Adventure

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by cmlew99, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. cmlew99

    cmlew99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2014
    Massachusetts
    I don't really know if people actually post stories here or what. But here is a recent one of mine!

    I should first introduce my flock.

    Edith, my Buff Orpington Rooster (24 weeks)
    [​IMG]

    Mary, my Buff Brahma pullet (24 weeks)
    [​IMG]

    Cora, the Rhode Island Red (20-24 weeks) *new member
    [​IMG]


    Mabel, the Easter Egger (17-20 weeks) *new member
    [​IMG]


    For a very long time I have been planning to add chickens to my tiny flock of two (Mary and Edith). Obviously, having a rooster with only one hen was simply not an option. For months I have been planning this. About three months ago my neighbor/boss/local farmer decided that she would sell me a few of her chicken. Fast forward two months. I visited her farm, and chose the breeds I wanted from a far (they free range all day long, with zero human contact).

    I said I would take an Easter Egger, a Rhode Island Red, and a Bantam mix. Fast forward a month, to a Thursday (about two weeks ago). She pulled into my drive way holding two chickens by their feet. An EE, and a RIR. (I think she may have forgotten about the bantam, but that's okay). She handed me the chickens by their feet, I put them in the pen, and we chatted for a little. I could see the chickens were freaking out, trying to find an escape. They'd probably never experienced the confines of a cage before!

    After she left, it was beginning to get a little dark. I still had to herd Mary and Edith back into the run, but had no earthly idea how to do this without letting the newbies escape. Finally, after deliberating a little while, I chased down the RIR and herded her into the bottom of the A-Frame coop, shutting the door. Now I just had to get the EE in. But before I could grab her, she found a narrow escape route, and shot out of the fence.

    I immediately went into panic mode, but tried to calmly call to her. But there was no way I could make her come forward- like I said, she isn't used to humans. She was even hatched out and raised on the farm by her mother hen. We weaved in and out of the shrubbery, until I got frustrated and made a lunge for her. That really scared her, and she took off.

    She flew into the air, about ten feet, and across two backyards and into the woods beyond. I sprinted after her, but when I got to where I thought she'd landed I couldn't find her. Not a trace. Extremely upset, I texted the previous owner about the incident, and my parents and I looked around. Finally I was forced to return to my three remaining chickens, defeated.

    The next day I got a text from the previous owner, saying she had returned to her farm,and that she thought she saw her pecking around with her chicken friends. I rejoiced. Now I could enjoy my long weekend! But nope. Because that night I looked out the window when my pug, Wendell, began to bark. And there she was. Innocently pecking around the enclosure, with Edith frantically clucking at her from the other side of the fence.

    I took the bag of scratch and spread some around the fence, hoping that if she stuck around maybe she would roost in a nearby tree. But as soon as I went out, I saw her little fluffy chicken butt trotting away into the bushes. She quickly returned after I disappeared, but by the time the sun set she had trotted away again.

    The next day it was raining. Hard. I locked my chickens in the bottom of the A-Frame and opened the run. She took a lap around the inside of the run, but vanished before my father could close it.

    The next day, a Sunday, I was gone for most of the day. When I got home in the afternoon, I let Mary and Edith free range a little. Than I locked Edith and Cora away, and for whatever reason left Mary out to free range, with the run left open (and lots of scratch). I went and sat on the steps out of sight from the chickens. Because I hadn't seen her all day, I sort of gave up. I had reached a point where, realistically, I had to think of her as dead, or soon to be dead. When suddenly she came sprinting from the bushes towards Mary, as if they had known each other their whole lives. In my surprise I had leapt to my feet, making the EE halt, until Mary chased her away.

    I quickly sat down again and waited for ten long minutes. Finally, she returned again. By some miracle, she wandered into the run enclosure, where I leapt up once more and sprinted as fast as I could across the driveway, swinging the door shut. Mary looked at me as if I was crazy, and the newly named Mabel was extremely surprised. I lay in the grass and started laughing at the ridiculousness of the whole situation. I had spent my whole weekend strategizing on how to trap a runaway chicken. Not really how most high-schoolers spend their time, is it? [​IMG]
    But I had such a feeling of relief. Now everyone was where they were supposed to be- whether they like it or not!

    Anyways, thanks for letting me share my experience with you. If anyone else has any funny runaway stories, post them! I'd love to read 'em!
     
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Phew, I'm glad you were able to close her in the run. I know how it is to plot and scheme to catch semi feral chickens. Mine is a long story with many failed attempts. But I finally coaxed the chickens into the garage and closed the door behind them. Then I turned of the lights and caught them because I had the advantage of better night vision. The poor chickens screamed bloody murder, but they were taken to a safe coop with a big run. They soon got over the trauma, and learned to eat directly from my hand.

    I hope Lord Edith (LOL) and Ladies Mary, Cora and Mabel form a happy flock.
     
  3. cmlew99

    cmlew99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2014
    Massachusetts
    @scratch'n'peck Well that sounds extremely stressful! I was upset about one chicken- I can't image a bunch of them! That is a good strategy though. I'm glad that they warmed up to you eventually- Mabel is still giving me the cold shoulder. Lol!![​IMG] Lord Edith (doesn't sound very manly does it?) is really enjoying his new lady friends… I can't say the same for the ladies though...
     

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