Ok... could really use some advice! Lost chicken, found!

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by stoutfamily, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. stoutfamily

    stoutfamily Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2010
    Tempe, AZ
    Here's some background to the story: In Feb, my husband and I adopted two one-day old chicks, which turned out to be an RIR (Buffy) and an EE (Hoot). [There was an issue of me thinking Buffy could've been a roo, she had some comb on her pretty young, but it hadn't yet turned red- I still call her a she]. We had one other hen, who died shortly after we brought them here (She was old), so they were our only two chickens. In May, Buffy up and disappeared. I saw a bunch of feathers in one area but no other sign of her. I even searched the neighborhood calling her name, and got nothing. I assumed she had been snatched up by something. Our yard is not fenced in, so running away was a possibility, but I didn't think it was likely, especially since she had always come when I called her and I looked EVERYWHERE (so I thought). Tomorrow will be 8 weeks since she went missing, and she's 22 weeks old now. Since she's been gone, Hoot has really grown into her own, whereas she used to follow Buffy around. She's a very friendly lap chicken now and I love it. She just started laying, too.

    Well, today a friend of my husband's who lives in the neighborhood knocked on my door. He said him and his son saw my chicken running around in the condos across the (neighborhood) street from me. I assumed he meant Hoot, of course. I checked my yard and Hoot was sitting under a chair, content as can be. Then I was confused, so I went to go check out the chicken he'd seen, since I had not known anyone else around here kept chickens. To my amazement, it was Buffy! She didn't really respond to her name how she used to, but she definitely perked up to my voice. She was still pretty friendly towards me, but not as friendly to my friend.

    Here she is shortly before she went missing:
    [​IMG]

    Here she is just today:
    [​IMG]

    So here's the dilemma: I don't know if I should try to get her back here or not. I would talk to the people who are keeping her now, and see if they would give her back, of course, but she was mine to begin with.
    I was VERY attached to Buffy before she disappeared; I had picked her, and my husband picked Hoot. In the last 8 weeks, I had pretty much come to the conclusion that I would not see her again, and had let her go a little bit. I'm expecting a baby in December, and have been trying to focus on the positives and not dwelling on the chicken I lost. Seeing her again, I definitely still would love to have her back! But I'm afraid of all the issues that could bring up, and keeping one has been much simpler than having two (or 3).

    My first issue - in no particular order - is that I don't want to take her out of a happy situation, to one where she has to adjust again. If she's healthy and happy, I don't know if I can force her into a "new" place. Second, I literally live across the street from where she is now, and she could easily run back over there at any given time, and Hoot could follow her. Then they would both be lost. There's also the issue of how Hoot and she will get along after 8 weeks apart. They were best buddies before, but time and age can make a difference. Then, of course, there's the issue of her being a roo, which are illegal to keep in city limits here. I'm sure there are many more things to worry about as well!

    So any advice? What would you do in this situation? I'm so confused! [​IMG]
     
  2. Iheartchicks<3:)

    Iheartchicks<3:) Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    Mount Vernon, WA
    My first issue - in no particular order - is that I don't want to take her out of a happy situation, to one where she has to adjust again. If she's healthy and happy, I don't know if I can force her into a "new" place. Second, I literally live across the street from where she is now, and she could easily run back over there at any given time, and Hoot could follow her. Then they would both be lost. There's also the issue of how Hoot and she will get along after 8 weeks apart. They were best buddies before, but time and age can make a difference. Then, of course, there's the issue of her being a roo, which are illegal to keep in city limits here. I'm sure there are many more things to worry about as well!

    I would let her be.. but then again i bet hoot is lonely. And im sure she is too [​IMG]
     
  3. GardenGal

    GardenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Western WA
    Shoot, that's no fun. I think if your chicken is happy in her new adopted home that's maybe the best place for her - or him. You should get another chicken to keep your other one company - get several [​IMG]
     
  4. KristenAM

    KristenAM Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2011
    I'm surprised you didn't scoop her up and take her home- from the picture it doesn't look like she is in anyones yard?? I would go and get my chicken back - try and find out who has been keeping her, thank them offer to reimburse them if you are in a position to do so (if there are kids attached maybe offer for them to come and see her once and a while), and go home with your girl. I'll bet Hoot will be happy to have her back!!
     
  5. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2008
    Cypress, Texas
    Are you sure someone is keeping her? Or is she just running around the neighborhood? If shes just wandering around I would take her...
     
  6. DancingHen

    DancingHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Central Oregon Coast
    I f it was me I would definately try to catch her, and try to find out if someone actually is caring for her. If you find someone who is caring for her and decide after speaking with them that they are a good home for her then you can always agree to let them keep her. But if you just assume she's being cared for, but in fact she is just running about loose, then you should take her back and either keep her or find her a new home. She definately should not just be left to fend for herself. Also, from looking at the pictures you posted, I do not think she is a rooster. That looks like a hen to me. One last thought is that chickens really are social creatures that are happiest living in a flock (even if it's just a flock of 2 [​IMG] ) so your other hen likely will be happier if she has other chickens around to live with. Whatever you decide to do I hope it all works out in the end.
     
  7. Memphisjourney2seramas

    Memphisjourney2seramas Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    Your set up seems more for a chicken then a condo complex in Tempe. Take her home!
     
  8. stoutfamily

    stoutfamily Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2010
    Tempe, AZ
    She was running around the walkways behind backyards in the condo complex - not in anyone's yard but right outside one or two back gates, and I saw her sitting on two different porches. There was a cup of water sitting out for her, but no food. She looks pretty healthy, maybe a little thin for my liking though; I prefer to make sure my animals are very well fed! My girl doesn't have CONSTANT access to food because of a pigeon problem but I feed her a lot, and there's always food inside for her. Our setup is definitely better for chickens than a condo complex. We have a yard, with plenty of grass, but no fence, though clearly she wasn't fenced in there either.
    My husband got home and we walked over there and he grabbed her. She was very willing, and rode over on his arm. I tried to lure her earlier but she wouldn't cross the road. (Funny, I know!)
    She ran right into my house, went right to where the food has always been and started munching. Must've been hungry!
    She and Hoot are going at it a bit, but they need to establish dominance, naturally. We'll see if Buffy sticks around once they go back out. I knocked on a few doors a couple different times, and got no answer.
    We'll have to wait and see what happens!
     
  9. Memphisjourney2seramas

    Memphisjourney2seramas Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    Good job!
     
  10. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    good job!!! glad you got her back [​IMG] get a chicken tractor so she does not go any where next time. chickens do not know boundaries as far as Im concerned will wonder around and wonder off . if you do not want to lose her or your other one again try to contain them in a run, or tractor . there are dogs, cats and other predators .no fence means they run off looking for a bug LOL, better safe then sorry. you can also put food and water in the tractor and know just where your girls are at all times
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011

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