Sunday, 25 September 2011

Chicken of Fate

Sometimes I read about people finding a "Chicken of Fate".  This is a chicken who suddenly appears or is found abandoned.    

We've now had our own "Chicken of Fate", but it's made me quite angry on her behalf.

DH came home yesterday from seeing to the chickens at the allotment.   He told me we somehow had acquired an extra chicken.    Our allotment is surrounded by Heras fencing,  and there is electric fencing around that.  No way could a bird find it's own way in.

It was in the pen with the young dinner girls, and we guessed that either someone had found a chicken wandering around the allotment, assumed it was ours, and lobbed her in;  or someone had an unwanted chicken and had dumped it in with ours.  At this stage DH wasn't sure if it was a very young pullet or a young cockerel,  the bird was quite upright and he wasn't able to catch it to look.

Today I went down to have a look-see.  It looks to me like a very young hybrid pullet.   Enquiries are continuing, and rumours were circulating,  about where she had come from.     It sounds like our assumption that she had been dumped was correct and, apparently, she had been removed from her own flock because the others were picking on her.  I don't want to give any more details than that.

I can't tell you how angry this made me.   The poor pullet was being picked on, so they "saved" her by dumping her in with another load of chickens!  The stupid idiots that did this obviously have no idea about chicken keeping.    It's a damn good job they didn't lob her in with our breeding flock - they are all old matriarchs, and it's likely she would have been mortally injured.   

It's a damn good job they didn't lob her in with the 3 remaining young cockerels.  On the occasions a cockerel has got in amongst the breeding girls, he has caused a whole heap of trouble, treading everythig in sight and being really rough with it. Just in the few minutes on the loose with the Big Girls has resulted in torn combs and feather stripping.  The thought of 1 poor girl being trapped with 3 hormonal boys just doesn't bear thinking about - she is likely to have been mortally injured.  

Even in with the young girls isn't great.  They aren't chasing her, but they do peck her if she comes close.  We'll need to make sure she gets a chance to feed and drink.

What a stupid, stupid thing to do.   

And that's just thinking about it from the poor pullet's point of view. What about the potential risk she might pose to our flock?!   If we had been asked and had agreed to take her on (which we wouldn't have done as I don't agree iwth introducing one lone bird) we would have gone through a quarantine period and then gradual integration.      It's too late now. If there is any damage, it'll have been done.

It's a good job I'm not involved in finding out who did this. I'm not sure I could keep my self-control.


  1. I think sometimes people have good intentions "save chicken" but the wrong ideas about how to do this. I equate this person with the same type of person who ties a dog to an animal shelter gate, never realizing the shelter is closed all weekend.

  2. You're right Alexis, thank you. In my anger at how it could have ended up, I completely disregarded the whole "good intentions" motivation. Aparently we now know who did it, and the Other Chap is going to talk to him about it.

  3. It's a shame some people just don't think before they do things. I suppose buying a small cage for her would have been out of the question for them or just asking around to see if anyone wanted her?

  4. Perhaps they did have good intentions!

    It was definately wrong of them to do that though!