You have to imagine that my life is pretty boring in order to see why I might get excited about a chicken in the front yard. You can tell she is a hen from her tail feathers, and she does not crow, so that is a giveaway. I don’t know where she came from, but my guess is someone wanted to raise chickens in the city, and got bored with it, and just let the chickens go. Anyway, she started hanging around the house a few weeks ago, and roosting in a nearby tree. I figured she would wonder off in a few days, or her owner would come find her, but she is still here.
The weather this winter has been really cold, subzero on a few nights. I don’t know how she withstood the cold temperature, but she did. I felt sad for her, and gave her some bread. Since then, she has been fed everyday: bread crumbs, whole kernel corn, red beets, carrots, crackers, noodles, salad. She just gobbles them down; she does not seem to like rice. In the last week, she has moved up onto the front porch as her new roost, and sleeps under a patio chair. Every morning she is there waiting for her breakfast. I have not seen any eggs, so I don’t think she is laying. When it warms up, I will have to get the hose out and wash the chicken poop off the porch. I imagine there will be quiet a bit of poop by the time spring arrives.
So, I guess she is our chicken now. I hope nothing happens to her, but you know how people are, and the all loose dogs. I took a picture of her. Do you think she is pretty?
UPDATE: April 20, 2014 (Easter Sunday).
Today is Easter Sunday, the Lilacs are blooming, and daffodils and tulips are in bloom all around the neighborhood, and Chicky Chicky is still in the front yard. She does not come up on the front porch as much as she did during the winter; I think she is now staying under a big forsythia bush in the backyard. The bush has long branches that hang down to the ground, and now that the bush has bloomed and is putting on new leaves, it makes a nice place for her to hide and be safe.
But in the mornings, there she is, bright and early, in the front yard waiting for her breakfast. Each morning I take out a plate of corn and whatever leftovers I might have. I have discovered that she also really likes canned peaches and cooked potatoes, along with her daily slice of bread. She also likes macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, and crackers, but is not as keen to carrots, green peppers, grapes, lettuce and apples. She will not touch peas or celery. When I bring her plate, she comes a running, clucking and talking, and gobbles down the corn first. After she eats, she wipes her beak on on the grass, and then hangs out in the front yard for a while in the morning. She does not act scared of us anymore; she just lays there watching whatever is happing in the yard, ignoring our coming and goings. Later, she wonders off to do whatever Chicky Chickens do with their day.
I have gotten into the habit of picking up a can of whole kernel corn for Chicky Chicky whenever I go to the store. One day while we were away at the store, some unknown stranger dropped of a big bag of straw for Chicky Chicky. We have no idea who brought it! [Turns out it was the neighbor lady on the corner. And later she also brought some chicken food.] We put some straw on the porch for her to lay on, but she seems to prefer the leaves in the yard under the lilac bush; she lays there in the shade.
I took some new pictures of Chicky Chicky, notice that she is getting fat! She is a pretty Chicky Chicky.
Chicky Chicky in the sunlight
FINAL UPDATE: May 11, 2014 (Mother’s Day).
Chicky Chicky is gone. I waited a few days to update this post, hoping that Chicky Chicky was ok, and was just hiding out for a while, but it’s been four days now, and she has not returned. I am afraid she is gone. R.I.P. Chicky Chicky. Let me explain.
This happened last Thursday. It was raining, and Chicky Chicky was hold up under a bush, but she was still all wet. She came to the front door for her usual afternoon snack of a piece of bread, which she would eat out of your hands. She wondered over to the side of the yard, and was minding her own business, when here comes the dog.
I saw it run through the yard, around the car, and then it spotted Chicky Chicky, and went for her. I was looking out the front door. The last thing I saw was a terrified Chicky Chicky running around the house. I yelled a dog was chasing Chicky Chicky, and David (mother’s husband) ran out and went after the dog. He caught the dog; of course if was some neighbor’s Pit Bull that got loose. David went off to find who the dog belonged too; he never found out, and finally had to let the dog go. The dog had a harness on it, but no tags; it had gotten away from someone. Animal Control was already closed for the day.
I did not see the attack. David said he saw feathers flying. I went around the house to see if I could find Chicky Chicky, and see if she was ok, but she was gone. I looked all around for her. I did not find a body, or any blood, or feathers. I figured she might be ok, and was just hiding in the bushes, and would come out later. I called and called for her, but she never responded. Usually she would call back when I called to her. This time, nothing.
There is this great big bush in the back yard. This thing is so big, you cant see underneath it because of all the branches hanging on the ground. She would stay up under that bush. I think she was roosting under there at night, and might even have had a nest in there. My guess is that she crawled up under there and died. I am sad that Chicky Chicky is gone.
It is possible that Chicky Chicky is still alive, and fled the yard for a safer place, but here she had food and water, and a place to roost. It’s possible. I will let you know if she returns.
Sometimes, people surprise me. The man on the corner told David that he would get him a new chicken. David is 76, and has dementia. He had gotten rather attached to Chicky Chicky. He would go out everyday and call for her: “Chicky Chickeey,” and feed her bread. We will see if anything comes from the neighbor’s offer. I am doubtful. David still has the straw and chicken food that the other neighbor lady brought. If a new Chicken come to live with us, I will let you know, and post some new pictures.