Wally's Journal - A Rescue Hen

HomesteaderWife

Crowing
Apr 24, 2015
1,483
5,893
377
Alabama
@mviera101 - Thank you so much! Update in full coming today!

@BarredRockMom - Somehow when I was a kid, the chickens were always patient with us and we could hold quite a few of them and even trained them to do little tricks. But cuddles are a different story indeed, so thank you for the extra shared happiness! I've had three very sociable birds over time as I've had my own flock- one being Wally. I lost my RIR named "Big Red" last year and that was tough - she acted like a little puppy and always wanted to be held. Chicken Hawk the bantam is still with me, but she's mad at the new addition and bullies her on and off, but about 80% of the time she'll fly to my arm if I call her. I'm beyond grateful to have had one loving bird, let alone three. Wally takes #1 for sure now, though!

@BY Bob - Thank you so very much. I'm very lucky to have her too!

@Sulky Bantam - Thank you! Not only was it satisfying to rescue her (counting down her quarantine and hoping she'd pull through with no illness) but to see how she's blossomed into a healthy and happy bird makes it 100000% worth it. Oddly/funnily enough, I always had a dream as a kid to have a chicken rescue, but hey - one at a time is still awesome!
 

HomesteaderWife

Crowing
Apr 24, 2015
1,483
5,893
377
Alabama
December 4th, 2020-
No pictures this go around as it's been raining alot, but a small good news update. Two months after her rescue, Wally actually has a little bit different living arrangements! Our original plan rescuing her was to have her be a buddy to our male Khaki Campbell duck (my icon/photo) who just lost his mate.

Supervised activities after quarantine first yielded Wally being mean to Tater and chasing him around- he was terrified of her. Mind you, they've never been injured during these encounters, and were never left alone. After Wally became a member of the neighboring coop's chicken flock and began to calm down when she realized she was not the boss, the duck was less afraid and she would not mess with him. Long story short, the time came when I felt confident things would work out - she was tired of being harassed by the other hens, and he was lonely. Their interactions were peaceful, friendly, and gentle at this point. Thus they were moved in together.

They've been together a little over a week or so, and it's going very well. He watches over Wally and they share their meals and treats with no fuss. They cuddle at night, though sometimes she begs me to put her on the perch (she's too spoiled to fly up on her own- she MUST be cuddled and have a belly rub first). He seems confused that she hides from the rain- water is good, after all. So far, he doesn't seem to see her as a girlfriend, only a good friend!
 

HomesteaderWife

Crowing
Apr 24, 2015
1,483
5,893
377
Alabama
@BarredRockMom - Thank you so much for following along! It’s only been three months but it feels like she’s been here forever. She has become a sassy, spoiled little lady and I am so happy to write and say that her and the drake are doing great. We appreciate anyone who has been cheering her on.
 

HomesteaderWife

Crowing
Apr 24, 2015
1,483
5,893
377
Alabama
December 11th, 2020 -

A short update on Wally as we are beginning to work on clicker training with her. She is very food motivated, more so than our other hens have been. As we begin to associate the clicker for positive reinforcement training, the plan is to eventually teach her to spell her own name with alphabet cards (or at least peck the letter “W”).

Dr. Sophia Yin, who passed a few years back and was an animal behaviorist who was an advocate for positive training and positive handling for veterinarians, inspired me initially by teaching chickens to select and peck a specific suit of playing card from an assorted set. I’m hoping to get the same result in children’s alphabet cards, the main goal teaching her to spell her name, but I would just be tickled with distinguishing the “W” from a group of cards.

The true, bigger goal we started with, and still are working on, involves going into her coop when asked without fuss. They are in their run during the day. Sure, she puts herself in at night, but what about threatening weather or if we would be unable to shut her up after dark due to a grocery run? We need it to be a stress-free, positive event. In three days, she’s progressed very well, and learning quicker than expected! I’ll try to post some photos of her soon.

Thank you for following along with her. I started it to document for myself, but I am so happy to see those around cheering her on. Thank you!
 

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