I am new to chickens. Having moved into our new "hobby farm" (13 acres) in Oct '06, I finally decided I had the place cleaned up enough to start having fun with it. This summer was my first attempt at raising chickens. I figured it was a great opportunity for myself to relax and my three year old to....well..... chase chickens! So I mail ordered 25 (minimum order) 1 day old mixed breed brown egg layers from a hatchery in Iowa. I had already made a brooder when they arrived. We were thrilled when our chicks arrived and the post office workers were sad to see them go when I picked them up. When we got home I counted 26 chicks, five of which had a big tell tale blue dot. It was about 4 weeks later I had to admit to my wife that the blue dot indicated roosters... She made me promise no roosters, but the urge was there and I folded. Of the original 26, one died the first night and one died the second night. The rest grew wonderfully with no sickness, disease or problems. Until........................ This is where "Spot" the wonder chicken comes into play. Spot was a different chicken. Out of all the breeds we received, Spot, was the only Barred Rock (I think she is at least). I took an immediate liking to spot. Hence the reason I named only her out of 25 chickens. Then tragedy struck.......... One day after naming spot.............. Spot Was Gone..... Vanished..... Thin Air. The first night we thought she just roosted in a tree instead of coming into the coop. The second day no sign, the third day no sign..... Hope dwindled. One the fifth day I declared spot officially "Missing In Action - Presumed Dead". And then it happened....... On July 6, 2008.... 13 days after Spot's mysterous disappearance I was cleaning the chicken coop alone (chickens were in the yard terrorizing bugs) I heard a muffled distant............peep. It was behind a false wall I had built for the chickens when they were about 3 weeks old. Too big for my little brooder, but to small for the full coop (yard shed). I franticly began unscrewing the wall panels one by one. It seemed like an Eternity. After the wall was apart, there she was, In a pile of chicken poo. Spot The Wonder Chicken had survived 13 days.......no food......no water..... stuck in a space that measured 4" wide x 18" long x 38" tall. This was all inside a coop that is well over 100 degrees during the day. After Spots liberation we had to separate her from the other chickens. She was so weak she could hardly stand and was very unsteady on her feet. Many of her feathers just fell off her body and she seemed to eat and drink non-stop for a whole afternoon. A remarkable thing has also happened since her liberation. Spot LOVES US!!! She follows us around the yard, onto the porch and regularly sits at our feet or roosts next to us. She has no fear of my three year old and spot lets her pet and hug freely. It has been 8 days since we found spot and tonight she is making a reintroduction into the coop. She is asleep right now (in the dark) with her original 23 friends. Hopefully tomorrow is a new day for her in what will become a long life on our hobby farm.