I went to the library bus and while I was in the parking lot, the manager of the liquor store popped outside and waved me down, asking me to come in the store before I left. What in the world, I wondered, could I be required in the liquor store for? Who knows, though, really. It’s a small town.
Well. It turned out to be about a chicken. There was a hen that had appeared some days ago and was living in the snow bank and brambles behind the liquor store. They were feeding and watering her, and she was spending nights 10′ up in a tree. (This was 3 weeks ago, when there was lots of snow and -15C nights).
Would I bring this chicken to a good home? First, we had to catch her. She was nervous and quick, and with the help of passersby herding, blocking, and diving in the snow after her, I caught her, and immediately stuffed her and her cold feet into my coat and zipped her in. (Chickens always love the coat treatment. Dark and warm – they calm right down(.
Yay, the chicken was rescued, and I was bringing a new girl home. I had one more stop to make.
I stopped in at the assisted living home, going inside with the chicken hidden in my coat, and just as I was turning to leave, the amusing novelty of being out in public with a concealed carry chicken got the best of me and I turned back, “Hey, you should see what I’ve got in my coat, haha!” I unzipped enough for her head to pop out, and they squealed, and gasped, “Oh, would you mind showing some of the residents?!”
Thus began a room to room progress of coat chicken show and tell, most of the sick and elderly residents petting her and grinning with delight. She was a gracious celebrity, quiet, mild, tolerant, poking her head out and “holding hands”.She’s drifting south in my jacket. Notice her little foot out gripping my hand.
After a much bigger day than most chickens have before noon, we got home. I put her in a chickery for isolation and acclimation.Immediately all the old chickens crowded around to inspect.
I put her in the coop at night, then back in the chickery for the day, then a few part days loose. She had a hard time at first so I’d put her back in her box for a break and a meal. It’s hard to find one’s place in a big flock. She’s small, a bantam something, the same size as a few teens, Very quick, high-stepping, nervy.
She’s integrated now! She rolls with clique #1, the pufflings and the top rooster – a surprise. She still hops into the open chickery, often in the morning, nostalgic-like. I used to stay in here.