Namui the chicken is missing and her owner is going to great lengths to bring her home. Credit: Courtesy of Jennifer Jones

One chicken owner in Bath does not care if or why her beloved bird may have crossed the road. All she wants is for the 3-year-old Cuckoo Maran hen to come home to her roost.

Jennifer Jones has been searching around her Front Street home for the chicken named Nemui since she last saw the hen on Monday. Since then Jones has plastered her neighborhood with posters of the missing hen and taken time off from work for an extensive ground search. She’s offering a $100 reward for information that results in the chicken’s live recovery or $50 for the location of identifiable remains.

While “missing” posters have long been a course of action for more traditional indoor pets, posting one for a chicken is a bit unusual. Going to these lengths for a chicken may seem like a bit much to some people, Jones said, but for her it’s no different than looking for a lost dog or cat.

Posters of the lost hen are up all over her Bath neighborhood. Credit: Courtesy of Jennifer Jones

Safe to say, Jones loves Nemui, whose name is the Japanese word for “sleeping heart” and who she co-parents with her landlady.

“I do love all my animals equally,” Jones said. “But Nemui just stood out — she has a little more brains than the other chickens.”

The maran is one of seven chickens in Jones’ flock and by all accounts, is the most spoiled. A factor that may have played into her disappearance.

Namui is a regular visitor to the inside of Jones’ house and last week got very accustomed to daily indoor visits while Jones was on February break from her job at Morse HIgh School.

“This particular chicken likes to lay her egg right on my bed,” Jones said. “If I put my hand under her at the right time, she will even lay the egg right on to my hand.”

When Jones had to go back to work this week. Namui threw something of a poultry tantrum, crying and flapping to be allowed inside.

“I tried to reason with her,” Jones said. “But she was not having it.”

When Jones came home later that day, Namui was nowhere to be found.

Cuckoo Marans are a heritage breed originating in France that lay deep chocolate-brown eggs. Namui is described as dark and light gray with a red comb, gray feet and legs.

“I don’t know if she wandered off or if she had made so much of a ruckus about wanting to come in that a predator heard and got her,” she said. “But there is no sign of a struggle or pile of feathers so it’s a mystery.”

And Jones is not about to give up, regardless of how it ends.

“Why not go to these lengths for a chicken?” she said. “I just want to know what happened to her and get some closure.”

Anyone who spots Nemui can call or text Jones at 207-798-9374.

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Julia Bayly

Julia Bayly is a reporter at the Bangor Daily News with a regular bi-weekly column. Julia has been a freelance travel writer/photographer since 2000.