An exciting development on the ol’ farm! My mom was on her way over yesterday and saw a dog standing over something in a field, something that was flopping around. So she got out of her car, saw the flopping thing was a battered chicken, and put it in her car (securely wrapped up in a towel). We don’t know where the chicken belongs, and all its tail and butt feathers had been plucked, which would have made it really hard for it to survive out in the winter weather.
Right now, he — it’s a rooster! — is living in the little auxiliary coop in our barn. It’s not much trouble to bring out extra water and food when I’m taking care of the hens, and this way he’s got somewhere sheltered to recover. Assuming he survives, I won’t be introducing Mister Chicken to the hens any time soon. He could be carrying something contagious. And I think he’d better be fully feathered before he goes outside and/or meets the ladies. I’m not sure what breed he is (hopefully when his tail grows in, that’ll help narrow it down), but he’s some sort of bantam. So he’s a smaller chicken, whereas my Buff Orpington hens are pretty darn big. Don’t want to give them any reason to think he’s weak and needs to be beat up!
So far, Mister Chicken seems to be doing alright. His plucked rear end looks sore, of course. But he doesn’t seem to be overly stressed or in shock (a real concern after an attack), and he’s walking around just fine. He didn’t touch the first dish of food we gave him, but I brought out treats this morning after I cooked them up for the hens, and he was interested in those. Nibbled some cooked pumpkin and was eyeing up the scrambled eggs when I left. Hopefully he’ll get a little bolder soon, so I can get a better photo!