A Nova Scotia business is happy to have its office chicken back after she flew the coop over the weekend.
Henrietta the “rogue chicken” had been living at Dalton Jodrey Plumbing & Heating in Pleasantville, N.S., since last summer after she showed up one day with a group of guinea hens who roam the neighbourhood.
“She just never went back with the guinea hens,” said office manager Michele Brewster. “She just kind of hangs in the yard.”
Henrietta has a coop set up in the company garage, where she stays at night with her babies. She spends her days wandering around the property and is quite fond of tomatoes, Brewster said.
While she may be a chicken by breed, Henrietta is not a chicken by nature. The bird has an appetite for adventure and has a habit of sneaking into vehicles when the driver isn’t looking.
“You have to watch because she’s been known to jump in a work van and go down the road before they realize that she’s in the van,” Brewster said.
“She’s a riot.”
The chicken isn’t scared of the loud work trucks — “I don’t know if she’s courageous or stupid,” Brewster said — and has had to be chased away from them in the past.
On Sunday, Dalton Jodrey Plumbing & Heating had a call for a septic tank pump-out. The worker arrived that morning to take the vacuum truck to go on the job.
“When he went to get out of the truck, he noticed she was tucked in under the cab,” Brewster said.
“So he took her out, scooched her in the barn, thought he scared her off enough to keep her in the barn, went to go do the job.”
Little did he know that the freedom-seeking fowl had managed to sneak back on the truck.
“Then, at the end of the day when they came to put the chickens in, the babies were there, but she was not,” Brewster said.
“We scoured the yard, the whole property — because sometimes she’ll disappear laying eggs, and she’ll sit on them, but she’ll always come back for dinner — and she didn’t come back.”
Everyone was “very upset,” she said, as the weather was extremely cold on Monday and Tuesday. However, they didn’t find any evidence that she had been plucked away by a hungry fox or eagle, so there was still hope.
After having no luck in their search, the business made a post on its Facebook page on Wednesday asking if anyone had seen Henrietta in the community located about 90 minutes from Halifax.
That’s when they found out that she had been rescued and taken to the wildlife rehabilitation centre Hope for Wildlife after she was spotted running around Bridgewater, a 10-minute drive away.
“She was in town, she must have jumped out of the truck by the intersection by the bridge in Bridgewater,” Brewster said.
They went to pick Henrietta up from the organization Wednesday evening and she is now safely back at home.
“We were just over the moon. … We were just beside ourselves without her,” said Brewster on Thursday.
“So that’s quite the excellent adventure. We haven’t seen her try to get in the truck today, but it’s early in the day.”
On Thursday morning, Henrietta was happily running around with the little ones, clucking away and digging holes.
“She’s probably pretty happy to be home, but I can’t imagine what goes through a chicken’s mind,” Brewster said.
While some at the business believe the incident might have put Henrietta off from future stowaway adventures, Brewster isn’t convinced.
“She’s almost like a little puppy — just loves to explore, very curious about everything,” she said.
“I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.”