Prodigal Chicken Returns!

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Daisy8s, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    Central Michigan
    Five days ago I bought a pullet from a local breeder. She's a Chantecler/Buckeye cross. I kept her inside the coop in isolation next to my other hens for two days and nights and then let her join the rest of the flock on the morning of the third day. We never saw her again....

    Though we looked all over for her we assumed she'd wandered away and was already, or soon to become, something's dinner. That night as I stayed up late reading I heard the call our coyote pair make when they're calling their pups to a meal. Well, there goes, Tilly, I thought (we'd named her Attila the Hen because she so thoroughly dominated the other hens as soon as she was put in with them). I felt bad for her and sorry for the one and only egg she'd laid while with us--feeling that it was now the most expensive egg I'd ever paid for.

    A few days later, yesterday, I heard a commotion in an old abandoned barn behind our property that belongs to our neighbor. A quick scan of my hens and dogs confirmed that it wasn't one of my hens being pestered by one of my dogs. I walked over and made a search, but, seeing no fresh poop decided no hen was living there. My hopes for recovering the hen were dashed. I decided maybe it'd been my own hens squalling and the sound had bounced around in an echo tricking me about where the sound had come from.

    Today my son was playing out in the yard with his 4-month-old puppy. Suddenly I heard him yelling, "No, bad dog, bad dog!" I went to investigate and found a red hen fleeing before the puppy. I assumed it was my New Hampshire Red hen and disciplined the dog, then went to recover the poor hen. It wasn't until I got my hands on her and saw her comb and tail feathers that I realized it was Tilly, the Prodigal Chicken!

    She's now safely enclosed in her section of the coop and she'll stay there at least a week in hopes that she'll learn this is truly home. I'll have to feed her lots of tidbits to encourage her not to run away again. Not exactly killing the fatted calf for her--but maybe lot of choice kitchen scraps will do the trick!

    I will always wonder where she was for those three days and what kind of wild chicken adventures she had.
  2. MeatKing

    MeatKing Chillin' With My Peeps


    I'm so glad she is home safe and sound!!!
  3. Dowie

    Dowie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    She sure is Attila - she was out looking for new chickens to conquer. [​IMG] Glad she is home.
  4. LiLRedCV

    LiLRedCV Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    Land of the Rain
    Glad your girl showed back up again. [​IMG] Got any trees with low branches? She might've been up there if you do....

    I have a real fussy Banty gal (Ms. Fussy Britches) that prefers the trees to the coop (or if there was a ladder leaning up against the house, she'd go up that to the roof). This past summer, I didn't see her for almost 2 weeks. Thought a raccoon or the coyotes got her. [​IMG] I usually check my feeders a couple of times a day and fill as needed, but missed it one morning due to an extremely hectic schedule. By evening, it was empty when I finally got to it. She came flying out of nowhere! All fussy and "yelling" at me about it. [​IMG] Guess she'd been sneaking in to eat when I wasn't looking and then hightailing it back out of there before I spotted her. [​IMG]

    Finally got her rounded up (weeks later) and she's penned up in the new coop with the rest of the gals to get them acclimated to it. Hoping this sticks with her and when I finally let them back out to free-range it again, she knows she's supposed to go back in there at night and not the trees.
  5. Nako

    Nako Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2011
    Our Bantam ran off for three days once! she came home filthy, thirsty and starving! I'm glad yours came back safe too. That's one of the reasons we extended our run and keep our flock safe from adventures.
  6. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    Central Michigan
    Thanks for the well wishes. Yes, we'll definitely keep her penned inside for at least a week this time to re-acclimate her to where home should be.

    We do have a pine tree that the other girls love to scratch under but I've never seen any of them try to roost in it. I suspect she was in the rafters of an old barn behind our property.

    And, yes, her name (Atilla) was fortuitous with her unexpected foray into conquering new lands!

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