Matt- The Puzzling HEN From the Very Start

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by cluckcluckgirl, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    Even as a young pullet she puzzled us. She had a sister of the same age and breed (Barred Plymouth Rock) who she matured much faster than. Since she matured so fast (big comb, top hen, etc.), we thought she was a he. Hence why she's named Matthew. Then, one day when I was out in their coop, I watched my Matt lay an egg! So apparently that little stinker who guarded my ladies was not a rooster! Still, we loved her very much. So she became the 3rd top hen, very good layer, quiet, and now one of my smallest girls. Whatever happened to her bigger nature than the others is a mystery to me.

    A year into her life she encountered trouble with ducks. Our ducks had now become violent and started picking on my chickens. They ripped out many feathers from my chickens for no reason. Matt lost all her tail feathers and many feathers around that area. She remained quiet and loving, though.
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    Then this year, she puzzled us yet again, and not for the best. I went out to the coop one day to find her barely able to stand on her own. My chickens are in such a big fenced-in area that it's like a mixture of a free-range and gated run. Putting the pieces of the puzzle together, it turns out my over-active rooster had kept he inside where she could not get food or water in the warm fall weather. He did this only to Matt, for a reason I don't know. Being as small as Matt was, it didn't take long for her to get even smaller. I kept Matt outside but made sure to feed her my special "chicken healing" concoction of food with water in it that my chickens love every morning. I made an effort to help her put her muscle back on by doing "chicken aerobics" with her every night. She seemed like she was getting better.

    I got home one day after being away for one of my relatives to tell me some awful news. The rooster had pinned Matt not inside, but outside while it was snowing, while we were all gone. Matt had been brought inside, cold and shivering. She couldn't stand, her eyes were closed, and she couldn't even sit up on her own. We had her own box that she was in, complete with a heat lamp and food and water. Sadly, her condition was so bad that I thought I'd lose her in the next couple days.

    When I awoke the next day to find her still alive, it gave me some hope. We visited her daily, fed her by hand, petted her, sprinkled treats in her box, and gave her some good ol TLC. Finally, over a week later, she was sitting up on her own! Not long after, her other eye opened! Maybe I wouldn't lose Matt!

    She progressed to being able to stand and eventually walk again, after about 1 month in rehab! She began to regrow those feathers the ducks tore out, too! Matt looked alive! I thought about putting her back outside once her feathers regrew, but as time passed on, I realized she liked it inside much better than she ever did outside. She wasn't my quiet, reserved gal. She loved being inside because she got visited so much and had no rooster to worry about! Her eyes and nature were the most alert I'd ever seen them, and now she'd cluck your ears off! Never once did she try to get out of her box, which has a low top.
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    (the box is actually pretty big, but she likes the corners best)

    But I knew she was a chicken and belonged outside- or so I thought. I put her outside one day, but she didn't like it as much. She was getting bullied by every other chicken and hiding in the coop. So, she came inside again where she again found happiness.

    To this day, Matt still loves company, lives inside her original 2-room box, and has even tried to lay an egg!

    {~I hope you enjoyed Matt's story!~}​
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Wow! Nice story! Sounds like he has gone through some hard times but he looks very happy!
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Aw, sweet little hen, Matt... It sounds like she wants to hang out with her human flock, more than the chicken flock.
     
  4. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    Yeah, I think she does! I also think she doesn't want to leave the 70-degree temps of the house for the 20-degree temps outside!
     

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