Story time! This is our sweet chicken Allie's story.
In November 2017, when it was starting to get quite cold, Sophia at All Species Kinship (A.S.K.) received a call about a chicken that was dumped on the side of the road in Muskegon. Apparently this gentle, sweet hen had made her way to a family's house where a young girl had developed quite a bond with her. This child made a warm little house for the hen out of a big Tupperware container, but after a few weeks, her parents knew it was getting too cold for the chicken overnight. That's when they called A.S.K.
I saw a facebook post in which A.S.K. asked for a volunteer to drive to Muskegon and pick up this chicken, and then bring her back to A.S.K. in Battle Creek, to evaluate, treat back to health, and eventually either let her live in the sanctuary there at A.S.K. or re-home.
I volunteered to go get the chicken. I had a flexible day ahead and figured I could help in that small way! I drove my van up to Muskegon and absolutely melted upon meeting this sweet brownish grey, chicken. I loved her immediately. The human girl also melted me because she was very sad to say goodbye to her feathered friend, to whom she'd grown extremely close. Her mom was so compassionate, telling her daughter that they just couldn't keep the chicken warm all winter, and that she'd have a good life in a sanctuary. What a thoughtful mom and incredibly compassionate daughter.
The mom told me that this sweet hen spent her days pecking around near the house but also spent hours per day perched up on the outside window sill looking in the house window. HOURS per day, she would gaze in the window watching the humans and, as the mom put it, wishing she could be warm inside with them. Not up perched on a tree branch or in the woods behind their house, but on the window. The hen slept on that window sill. The first and last sights of the morning and night were gazing in the house at her favorite humans.
I'd had experience with many roosters and chickens in another sanctuary but this particular hen was very special to me right away. I didn't even want to put her in the crate to transport, but I did, for safety. I'd never seen such fluffy cheeks; I wished I could snuggle her on my lap all the way home!
I took this beautiful bird home, and learned that A.S.K. couldn't meet me to pick her up for a few days. My children and I made a little bathroom house for this gentle girl, carried her everywhere, and she did life with us inside the home for a few days, occasionally getting some closely supervised outside time in the yard with us. She was so peaceful, so humble, so loving. My third son grew particularly attached to her. This is where she slept.
My son did his schoolwork with her by our wood burning stove, and she sat peacefully in his arms for upwards of an hour at a time.
We called her Samatha at that time, and we loved having her with us in our home for a few days. We couldn't keep her inside because of our dogs and cats- my son and I both cried when she went to Sophia at All Species Kinship as planned. We knew she was in the BEST care with Sophia, but we missed her.
Almost two years later, things have come around full circle. At All Species Kinship, she was called Allie, perhaps because it was me (Allie?) who picked her up, perhaps they just thought she looked like an Allie. Sophia, at A.S.K. absolutely loved her. She is a very special individual. When I told Sophia that I was ready to take in some chickens and Sophia came to check my setup for safety and readiness, she brought "Allie," along with her best friends Ariella and Bosco over to our sanctuary, I couldn't believe how precious Allie was and how much my heart immediately remembered her. She still lets this little boy hold her with such ease, she is completely relaxed in his arms and mine. Here she is a few days after being reunited with one of her favorite humans.
Allie lives here now, and every day we have grateful hearts for being able to spend the rest of her life with her. She is happy, loved, and free from danger and neglect. She gets snuggled and carried, she gets space, she gets overhead protection from predators, trenched fencing under every inch of the perimeter, and has everything she needs.
Her protector, Bosco, is never far.
Allie also has the benefit of being free from the strain and health risk of an overactive reproductive system. Egg laying at the rate which they've been bred to do is extremely dangerous and hard on a hen's body. Allie receives a medical treatment to eliminate this temporarily. Every 4 months or so, she receives a treatment that temporarily halts the egg-laying functions of the reproductive system. Her joy and ease in life is a gift for us all!
Click here to donate to her medical care for continued reproductive system treatments!