Is someone missing their contraband chicken?


I was sitting in the living room late yesterday afternoon talking to my sister-in-law on the phone, when I saw a large dark object fly past the front window in a cackling blur. At first, I thought another wild turkey had shown up and had crash landed in the front garden.

With phone in hand, I went outside to investigate. I heard clucking from under the rosemary hedge where it is too small to fit a turkey. Then it dawned on me that the clucking was not a turkey... it was a chicken!

That was a surprise! It is against county zoning ordinance laws to keep chickens where we live (we've talked directly with the county about it hoping we could have our own backyard chicken. No dice.). So we've never seen a stray chicken wandering around before.

The chicken hung around until dusk--wandering between the back and front gardens clucking along the side yard that connects both. The living room windows that overlook the side yard were open so we could enjoy the cool May night air. We could hear her clucking as she repeatedly passed underneath. The cats were quite entertained. The clucking finally stopped right before sundown, so I figured she had wandered home to wherever she came from to roost.

I was wrong...


Today, I came downstairs to hear more clucking and ba-gawking out in the back garden. I didn't get a chance to get a photo of her yesterday, so I went and got my camera and headed out the back door to see if I could get a shot or two of her.

Well, just as I stepped out onto the deck and started to round the corner of the house, I witnessed one of the neighborhood cats lunging at the chicken at the base of the deck stairs. Said chicken promptly took flight and headed straight for my head! Luckily, she veered at the last minute and landed a few feet in front of me on the deck railing next to the hot tub.

Always striving to be the consummate photographer, I remained unruffled and started squeezing off shots of the chicken while I had the chance. She was in perfect view with great light. How could I not?

She continued to cluck and ba-gawk at me. It wasn't happy ba-gawking either. She was royally ticked off at the audacity of that cat (who is barely bigger than the chicken) and the nerve of this woman to take pictures of her with her feathers ruffled.

You know the old adage, "Madder than a wet hen"? Well, I think I caught the look that goes along with that saying...


Talk about giving someone the "skunk eye". Boy, if looks could kill!

Fortunately, our garden is a backyard wildlife habitat full of plenty of water and bugs for her to eat while she hangs around. Now if she could only poop in the dirt and fertilize it instead of pooping on the flagstones that don't need fertilizer. Beggars can't be choosers I suppose.

Because of the county ordinances prohibiting the keeping of chickens, I can't really go up and down the the street with leaflets saying "FOUND: One lost chicken who's extremely ticked off right now"-- although I'm really tempted. Oh, you have no idea how tempted I am.

CHICKEN UPDATE (May 25th)
The chicken is still here. It wandered down the street for a while yesterday, but it came back again *sigh*. It disappears at a little before sundown somewhere in the bushes. I don't know how it's surviving every night since we have many predators here (raccoons, skunks, opossums and grey foxes). 

I decided to try and figure out what kind of chicken it is. I found only one breed on www.BackYardChickens.com that evenly remotely looks like it--the Euskal Oiloa: Marraduna Basque. Apparently, this breed loves free ranging (ya' think?). It is considered a rare Spanish breed. Of course something like this would show up here instead of a regular run-of-the-mill chicken. If anyone knows more about this breed, please tell me if I'm off base in concluding this is what it is. I don't have any new photos of the chicken because it's camera shy. It does look more healthy just since these photos were taken. It must be finding some really good eats here.
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3 comments:

  1. This is so cool! What great shots of a seriously PO'd chicken. It's not every day that one has a stray chicken turn up in the yard.

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  2. Oh that is too cute...maybe she will stay.

    Why on earth can't you have chickens...did you know that they can even keep them in Vancouver, and that's a huge city.

    South surrey, Surrey, even up here we can have chickens...

    Jen

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  3. Oh, I love it!! You're sooo right about that look. :) I do concur madam that you have captured the "madder than a wet hen" sentiment perfectly. She has every right you know...I say keep her.

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