Friday, November 13, 2015

Meet Fuzzy Feet

"Hey, you wanna watch a movie or something?"

So if you keep animals, there's about 999 ways you can screw them up in the head, and one of them is to make them your companion to a point where they can't interact with others of their own species.  I think the only creatures it's OK to do this with are dogs, cats and birds -- house animals -- who could be reasonably transferred to another human's home if you were to suddenly pass or become unable to care for your pet, thereby allowing their role in the world to continue.

That doesn't always keep one dog, and then have to give him away but the only place that will take him is a home with four other dogs. Same with cats. But sometimes people take inappropriate animals and tame them to a point where they forget what they are, too. Like barnyard animals. 

Like....Fuzzy Feet. Fuzzy Feet was apparently a pet at a convalescent home and acted as part therapy bird and part lap pet. Fuzzy Feet wants nothing more than to live in your house and sit on your lap watching television (preferably Golden Girls). But yes, Fuzzy Feet is all chicken. Every clucking, pooping inch of her.

So when the convalescent hospital could no longer keep Fuzzy Feet (not sure why perhaps the relatives of the residents didn't feel a chicken was sanitary, which of course it may not have been) she came to the chicken house at the winery. Suddenly she was thrown in with a bunch of chickens who'd spent their whole lives being, well, chickens. 

She didn't know how to eat out of the feeder. She didn't know she was supposed to come in at night to the coop where it's safe. She didn't understand you could get caught in wire fences. Within a few days, she was dehydrated, starving and dirty.

So I got the call yesterday from work asking if I could please come and foster this chicken until a home is found. Of course I said yes.

Right now the plan is this: Fuzzy Feet will spend her nights inside with us in a rabbit cage we already had, because that is what she is used to. She loves this already, because I imagine its similar to what she had in the rest home. During the day, she will go out into the chick "condo" we have set up next to the regular run, where she can safely spend the day outdoors, seeing the sun, feeling the wind, and interacting with the other chickens in the run from behind the safety of a wire door with a tight enough weave (stainless hardware cloth) she can't get caught in it -- so not being in a position where they can pick on her or she can hurt herself.

I'm hoping, in time, to train her to be a chicken again, unless someone finds a person who wants a lap chicken who lives (eats, poops, etc.) inside and doesn't know she's a chicken. Until then, she'll live in two worlds, chicken by day and lap pet by night. Sigh. This is my life.

At my next dinner party: "Vegetarian lasagna with chicken on the side -- literally, on your side, just to your left."


  1. Oh she is a lucky girl! Haha at least she's pretty enough to demand this diva treatment! She and I are both distressed that Golden Girls won't be back on TV until January. So gracious of you to foster an animal in need!

    1. OH, but the Hallmark Christmas movies are pretty awesome...until you've seen them all (for me, that's usually by about Dec. 1st). Fuzzy Feet really is a pretty chicken, and not at all designed to be a regular barnyard hen. But at least if she stays here she'll eventually have the opportunity to live inside the 12' x 14' BIG chicken house if she so chooses, never sullying her feet in the dirt unless she wants to. Or she could surprise us and adapt completely (although I'd hate to see that white plumage covered in dust from dust-bathing haha).