Mystery Hen Found in my Yard

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sophiaw00, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. sophiaw00

    sophiaw00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found a mysterious bird in my run tonight as I went to go count mine and lock them up for the night. It was pouring and cold tonight and my birds were all tucked nicely in the coop (except Vivi, who has minor brain damage and doesn't know to go into the coop). This mystery bird was laying on the ground, shaking, barely moving, and freezing cold. She's in a hard molt too, so that doesn't help.

    Let's start from the very beginning though - my neighbors bought 6 chickens and 2 ducks a few weeks before I got mine. I didn't even know about them until the day mine went into the coop for the first time and my neighbor came over and told me they had chickens too. Fast forward a few months...he starts free ranging. Two red star hens show up on my property every day and wander around my chicken pen. I didn't mind them at all. My birds didn't mind at all. One day, they got caught in a net that hangs down the side of my pen. I helped them out, and fell in love with how sweet they were. I named them Martha & Henrietta. When I started free ranging my chickens, they immediatley became part of the flock, but went home to their own coop at night. Eventually, they started roosting on top of my chicken pen. I noticed they were very skinny, so I put food and water out for them. They started laying in a nest in my garage. I offered to buy them from the neighbors since I was already feeding, watering, and sheltering them. They said no, and locked them back up in the coop. I hadn't seen them since.

    Today, when I opened the door to free range mine, I saw two red star birds in a heavy molt wandering in the woods behind my pen. I crouched down and called to them, thinking they were Martha & Henrietta who would usually run to me. They got up and ran the other way. I thought that was weird. I did my chores and went back in the house until tonight when I went out to lock my girls up and found this mystery chicken on the ground.

    I scooped her up and ran inside with her. My mom helped me wrap her in a towel and warm her up. She nuzzled her head into my neck for warmth. I thought she was Martha and after setting her up in a basket with blankets and food, I ran back into the rain with a flashlight and searched for her sister. I didn't find her, so I went to the neighbor's house to see if the other one was in the coop. Surprisingly, both girls were in the run roosting. So who's chicken was this? I walked across the street and knocked on my other neighbor's house who also has chickens. He took me out to his barn and counted all of his birds. They were all there.

    The only other home she could have come from is over 2 miles away, but I don't think she came from there. I still haven't found the other bird I saw earlier in the day, but I am going to look again tomorrow. She is resting comfortably in a laundry basket lined with a thick fur blanket and a towel. She's since stopped shaking and has eaten a slice of turkey and some pellets. I'm already falling in love with her.

    I'm not sure what to do with her. Any ideas? If I have to, I have ZERO problems with mending her to health, introducing her to the flock, and loving her forever.

    Also looking for names for this sweet girl! I was thinking something like Mystery but I don't like that name. Does anyone have any pretty synonyms for Mystery that would work as her name?

    Oh and I'm pretty sure she's a red star. The little feathers she has left are reddish orange and she has some black on her wings.
     
  2. BlueShadow

    BlueShadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Enigma

    If you have checked with all of the neighbors that you know have chickens, I would care for her. Nothing says you can't continue the search for her proper owner tomorrow, hopefully when there is better weather!
     
  3. Alex1010

    Alex1010 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Guess you just got a free chicken or maybe two. I'd say give them a home with your flock!
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It is sweet of you to help this poor girl.
    Now I don't want to be a damper, but I encourage you to practice biosecurity and quarantine your new found friend. Since she just suddenly appeared, you have no way of knowing what her health and condition may be. She may just be lost or someone may have let her loose because of illness or old age. It would be heartbreaking for you if she did have something that could infect your flock and cause everyone to become ill. Of course, continue to take good care of her like you are doing, check to see if she belongs to anyone, quarantine her to make sure there is no illness, then if all goes well slowly integrate her into your flock. I would search here on BYC to get ideas on how to do this. Here is one to get you started.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/12751/urgent-reminder-please-quarantine-newly-acquired-birds
     
  5. sophiaw00

    sophiaw00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for the well wishes! My new friend, is eating and drinking! I brought her pellets & water and she's been loving it. She can stand, but doesn't like to walk. I noticed she has crooked toes, so that might be why? I'm almost positive shes a red star now. She looks so similar to the photos I've seen of ex battery hens. She seems to not know what to do with herself, and is definatley the same breed as battery hens. She has a lot of feather loss and virtually no tail.

    Thank you so much for the quarantine thread link. I'll check it out. I have already set up her temporary quarentine cage. She'll stay in there until it's nicer out and then I'll transfer her to my makeshift brooder/chicken hospital where she'll stay for at least 2-3 weeks. That is, if I don't find her owner, which I will continue to look for over the next several days

    My hen, Vivi, taught me a lot about introductions because unfortunately she was my first introduction and it didn't go too well. She was attacked and almost died after going into depression and not eating. BUT my girl fought and she lived AND she's currently sleeping on the top roost of the roosting bar, right next to the same hen who almost killed her.

    I'll give this new girl as much TLC as she needs until she's healthy or I find her home. Keeping her could cause problems eventually due to lack of space - currently have 10 chickens and an 8 x 4 foot coop.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    JMO but I would stop looking for the owner. You didn't ask your neighbor, you just saw that his two other birds were in the pen so I would bet this bird came from his house.

    Sounds like he does not take care of his birds properly, if he doesn't come looking for the bird then he doesn't care about them and you would be doing the bird a favor by letting her live at your place.

    If it becomes an issue in the future just "play dumb" and say you saw all his birds were in their pen and you had NO IDEA this stray came from his house.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  7. sophiaw00

    sophiaw00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He only has two birds and I saw them both at his house. I'm thinking this bird might be one of his 6 original. He thought they were all killed because he only saw feathers & 4 missing feathers but maybe shes been on her own for awhile.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    She's adorable! There is no better person for her to have come to for rehabilitation, love, and food, so maybe this whole situation will turn out to be a wonderful thing. Please keep me posted on her; I love watching unkempt birds transform in good hands! [​IMG]

    -Alex
     
  9. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good. Just pretend she has entered the "Chicken Protection Program" which means a new name/identity so no
    one from her past can find her. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  10. BigRedRoo

    BigRedRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Yep I was thinking this aswell. I came home to find a red sex link in my coop two days latter had mites!
     

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