About a week ago, driving my daughters to school, we saw a very funny sight. One lone chook was kicking up her heels (claws?) at our nearest crossroad. She was sprightly and bouncy and quick on her feet and was having a wonderful time foraging in the bushes. We all had a good chuckle and kept driving. I saw her in the afternoon again too, but as we were on our way to swimming lessons, couldn't stop to figure out where she had come from.
A couple of days went by and I hadn't seen her again. Everytime I went through the intersection (very rural, very tree laden), I kept my eyes peeled for a sign of her presence. I was concerned that a fox may have found her, and if by chance I did spot her was determined to hustle her up to the safety of our place.
A week, and then more went by, no sign of the funny chook. And then, on Sunday, I was basking in my day of Motherly Appreciation (napping on the couch), when I heard a soft knock on the door. Sneaking a peak and wondering who it could be, I answered the door in my disheveled, nap like state. It was a neighbour from across the way, enquiring if that chook was ours. "No, not ours, although we did see it once or twice." He seemed quite put out. As it turned out, he had stumbled across the chook while walking his dogs when they suddenly caught the scent and proceeded to attack the poor, lone chicken.
Not being a poultry keeper himself, and not knowing who it belonged to, he asked if we would like it, as he had seen we already kept some birds. "Uhhh.....ok", was the best I could manage, still waking up. Off he went home to retrieve the bird, returning in minutes walking back down the hill with it all tucked up under his arm, like a neat little package.
His dogs had certainly had a good go at it, removing some feathers from it's back, but otherwise it seemed in good health and not looking that old either. She appears to be an Isa Brown at point of lay, probably bought from our local chicken breeder. After thanking him (and by now fully awake), I put the very tame, very talkative bird into a seperate cage from our other birds, to give her a chance to recover from her little escapade.
She has been eating well and resting lots, so now comes the tricky part of how to introduce her to our other girls. I know it will be hard on her own, and am a bit concerned about how to go about it. One of our older girls is quite 'pecky' and I am worried that after the dog attack, our poor, new bird will revert back to being in a state of shock. I really didn't want to get another chook to help her settle in, if I can avoid it (we are pushing our perching space as it is!).
Ahh! The dilemmas of bird keeping! Any advice on how to help her infiltrate the flock gently, greatly appreciated.