For those that don't know, I was trying to raise chickens over the last couple months. We bought four chicks at the Waldo Flea Market when they were just a few days old. One died after having a strange thing with its legs that made it unable to walk, another mysteriously died while we were out of town on the Fourth of July weekend, and the final two disappeared out of their coop in the middle of the night early last week.
Needless to say, I've had it with raising chickens from birth. Our fortunes took a strange turn this afternoon right before we left for vacation, however. My wife Michelle called me when she was on her way home from work. She was right down the street, but wanted to let me know that there was a "rooster" running wild in front of someone's house down the street. I thought this pretty bizarre since there are no roosters allowed in city limits (only two hens per household). After she got home, she looked out the front door and noticed the bird was just one house down across the street. After making dinner, I decided to go have a look myself. By then, the chicken was at the house right across from us...and it wasn't a "rooster." This was a fully-grown, light brown hen. I tried to lead it across the street to our house initially with little luck. Then, I grabbed a long board that GRU had used as a concrete form when they had to dig in our driveway. This gave me enough leverage to scare the hen across into our yard. After chasing the bird briefly into our crazy neighbor's yard, I was finally able to get the hen into our backyard, where we have chicken feed, water, and a coop! I guided ol' Henrietta over to the feed and she promptly began pigging out. That should keep her! Once a chicken knows where there's food and water, it rarely leaves.
The only problem was later this evening when I went to find out where it was roosting. It was nowhere to be found. I think perhaps that it might have found a well-hidden place, maybe within the thick air potato vines along our back fence. Either way, I asked Pete to see if he sees any signs of her this weekend. We'll see if we still have this hen when we get home in 10 days. Interesting developments indeed.