Zoe the Survivor

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FreeChicken!, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. FreeChicken!

    FreeChicken! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2010
    We got four Barred Rock hens about a month or two ago and then one them, Zoe, disappeared. This was on November 17th. But then, yesterday, she returned. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    She was undersized to begin with, but now she's even smaller and quite scrawny, which, of course, is to be expected. But that's not why I'm making this topic.
    You see, she has developed an odd habit. It doesn't worry me, though. I think it's actually kind of amusing and cute. But anyways. Zoe often looks around at everything, then suddenly runs around in jagged circles or dashes in a zigzag pattern, then stops, looks around a bit more, and returns to whatever she was doing.
    My dad says since she spent almost a month on her own, this is probably just something she learned to do to look out for predators.
    Is that the case?
  2. Lindz

    Lindz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2011
    Eastern Iowa
    Im not sure why she does that, but Im glad she is back! I know if one of mine ever got out I woudln't see her again. We got all kinds of hungry animals in the woods behind our house.
  3. Sassafras

    Sassafras Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    That is some lucky chicken. Gone almost month!
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    That's a miracle story if I ever heard one! Zoe is a hero!

    On the topic of her bizarre behavior since she's returned from the wild, I've seen behavior changes after a chicken has been exposed to a traumatic experience. Being lost and deprived of her flock for a month is the same as a human being put in isolation for many months and deprived of human contact. They now have determined that isolation of that sort constitutes the worst form of torture for a human.

    Since Zoe is a flock animal, being alone for many weeks would be as serious a trauma for her. Whether there's a logical reason behind her crazy maneuvering, it no doubt has trauma as its cause. I'm sure Zoe will be fine now that she's back with her flock, but she may have a permanent personality change because of her long separation.
  5. FreeChicken!

    FreeChicken! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2010
    Okay, thanks! Now that she's back in the flock and has taught some hens to stay away from her (she's very feisty for her size!), she prefers to be alone. My two roosters, when I let them out to graze, like to wander in different directions. The hens usually follow one or the other. But Zoe always wanders off on her own until I find her and shoo her back towards Pip's flock. She seems to have become independent, but she's slowly starting to work herself into the pecking order.
    Also, it's really cold up here. I opened the coop door to feed the chickens and they came out for a bit. Zoe and my RIR roo, Pip, were cold and sat down on the ground. After minute, Pip went back to the coop, but Zoe stayed, shivering. So I picked her up, wrapped her in my blanket, and carried her around. It was so cute!
    It's odd that she's so friendly towards people. I guess she missed us. Lol.
    She no longer does that crazy running anymore, so I guess she's gotten over her trauma. Yay for Zoe!

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