Thursday, April 15, 2010
Lost and Found Chicken
I drive on Rt. 23 almost every day, and almost every day I see a big huge "Tyson" semi tractor trailer truck headed east with a full load of caged chickens or headed west with a full load of empty cages. This morning I didn't any "Tyson" trucks but I caught, out of the corner of my eye, sight of one lone chicken standing in the empty parking lot at "Joe's Famous Wings and Wieners," which is right along Rt. 23. Hmmmm... what to do? So, I pulled into the parking lot and got out of the van. "Hello chicken." I said. She let me get within two arm's lengths of her, so I squatted down and talked to her for a while. I asked her if she fell off the truck. She looked at me with one blue-grey eye and then turned her head to look at me out of the other blue-grey eye. She bobbed her head a little bit. But the answer was unclear. I noticed that the logo on "Joe's Famous" sign was a chicken, so she sorta looked like a mascot standing there. But just too random and lonely to draw any attention. When I got closer to her, she flapped a bit and I could see that she was missing a lot of feathers under one wing and her feet were spread wide to stand up under the weight of herself. Very plump chicken. When she walked, it took a lot of effort. So, she eventually plunked down and sat on the pavement when I walked away to talk to a guy at the fire station next door. I pointed out the chicken. He called a lady who lives close by and happens to be an animal rescue person who already has 8 chickens in her back yard as pets. Within 5 minutes, she arrived in a little car, got out with a tall plastic laundry basket in tow, and picked up the stray carefully around the body and plopped her into the basket. She asked the chicken, "Do you like that?" No answer. No struggle. I talked with this lady for a few minutes because who could pass up that opportunity? I mentioned that this chicken seemed to have a hard time walking and bearing her own weight. She said, "Yes, she's probably never walked around outside of a chicken house before." The kind woman said she'll introduce this new chicken slowly to the other chickens, one of which she's had for 10 years. Wow. Who knew? What a great ending to my latest bird finding. It just reminded me how happy I am to buy healthy free-range pasture-fed chickens raised right here in Lancaster.