Rescued Chicken

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MinneChickies, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. MinneChickies

    MinneChickies In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2015
    East Central Minnesota

    Hello! I've been reading BYC for a long time, but this is my very first post. I have five Buff Orpington hens who are equal parts spoiled pets and awesome egg-layers. But I have some questions about a new arrival!

    I live out in the country, and when my mom was driving over to visit yesterday, she saw a dog in a field, standing over something that was flopping around on the ground. She stopped, discovered the flopping-around thing was a chicken, wrapped it up in a towel, and put it in her car. No idea where the chicken came from, but its butt and tail feathers had been completely plucked, and it has beat-up wings, as well. No way it was going to survive out in the cold Minnesota winter with no butt fluff!

    So now it's living in the small auxiliary coop in my barn (my hens are in a separate coop, on the other side of my house, with zero exposure). The plucked area looks a little raw, but I haven't seen any wounds. My mom kept referring to the chicken as a 'she', and I went out to have a look a little while after she'd put it in the barn coop. 'That's a rooster!' I told her -- I still don't think she believes me. He doesn't have much of a comb (maybe an older chicken who's done some fighting or lost a bit to frostbite?), but the feathering looks very rooster-y, and he has SPURS. I just went out this morning to bring him new water, and he doesn't seem to be in shock (quite calm, but walking around and talking a bit), although he hasn't touched the food we put out.

    So my questions:

    1. Anything extra I should do? I'm inclined to just make sure he's not freezing and keep him supplied with food and water, since he doesn't seem badly injured. ie, As long as he seems to be doing alright, I don't want to add to his stress.

    2. Assuming he recovers nicely, how long should I wait before letting Mister Chicken and my hens have any sort of contact? I'm in NO rush for this at ALL -- the last thing I'd want to do is get my hens sick. And I'll probably wait until his feathers are all back, since I imagine the hens would pummel him if they thought he was weak (he's a bantam; they're whompers). So looking at probably a couple of months, but I'm curious to know when the risk of passing some sort of disease onto my hens would be over. Or could he always be carrying something contagious, with no symptoms?

    3. Less important, but any guesses on his breed? Hard to tell without a tail! But he's mostly red, with about 50% buff wing feathers. Looks like he might have darker tail feathers, but of course most of them are missing right now. Bantam-sized. No foot fluff, unless that had been torn out, too. I haven't had a chance to get a great photo, as he understandably wants to stay tucked up in the coop, and I don't want to pull him out just to get a better look.

    Thanks, everybody!
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi, it looks like he has some nice digs! Maybe vitamin supplements or electrolytes may help, but you seem to be doing a dandy job of things. I'm sure he'll recover soon enough.

    Probably a couple of months is more than fine to wait before integrating him into your flock - I rarely wait so long.

    All the best and welcome to byc btw (should have been my first sentence!)

  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    He's cute, and lucky, too. All my bantam roosters have been nice. Once he recovers and his feathers have grown in, if you can put him where he and the hens can see each other they should acclimate pretty quickly, especially if they can free range together after a bit. Looks like Rhode Island red bantam. Once his feathers grow in you can compare pictures and see what he is.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  4. hayley3

    hayley3 Songster

    Aug 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    What a nice story and what a lucky little guy he is to have found such a great home. [​IMG]
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  6. MinneChickies

    MinneChickies In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2015
    East Central Minnesota

    Just a little update on Mister Chicken, who is doing very well! His feathers are growing in nicely, and his tail seems to be black, with green iridescence. I still have no idea what breed he might be, except that he's probably a mix. He's so much lighter than all the RIR bantam roosters I see on-line.

    He met my hens recently, and then this weekend he flew his coop to join them outside. No drama at all! I think it helps that he's the newcomer and is so small. A few times, I've seen him try to convince the hens to go here or there, and they just ignore them. And he'll sit on his coop in the barn and crow for them, so I've had to go in to explain that if he wants to see the hens, HE is going to have to go to THEM. They're independent ladies! He's turning into a good little chicken -- not as friendly as my hens, of course, but not TOO skittish and definitely not aggressive. He seems to be more relaxed around me now that he's seen the way the hens come running to my side.

    My parents were visiting the first time he ventured outside, and they were concerned about needing to catch him and put him back, but I was confident he knew where his home was -- and sure enough, he just strolls back down the path and tucks himself in when he's had enough of the great (and snowy) outdoors.
  7. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

    Apr 20, 2007
    Thanks for the update. He has recovered very nicely. I'm sure the hens will accept him after a while. Thanks for rescuing him you did a great job with him.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by