No, I’m serious. I really think someone should start a business producing one-legged chickens and selling them as pet yard chickens. How exactly you would humanely get the chickens to only have one leg I haven’t figured out yet. Ours was a rescue. We call her ‘Chick-a-henny’. (Real original, I know. I must confess I also have a tendency to call our other animals by such names as Cow-ey, Calf-ey, Goosy, Piggy, etc.)
When Chick-a-henny was a youngster, she had the misfortune of being in a shelter raided by a raccoon. Miraculously she survived, but the coon ended up with one of her legs. This happened to many of my chickens before I began staking dogs out with them. Most of the other ones didn’t survive.
Well, Chick-a-henny stayed with the rest of her sisters while they were growing out in the pasture pens, hopping around and getting what food and water she could. She didn’t grow as fast as they did, however. And when I began finding eggs in the pen and it was time for the ladies to graduate into the egg wagon, I realized that this little one-legged hen wasn’t going to be able to walk up into the wagon. So I brought her home and put her in our yard, which is a beautiful collage of veggies, flowers, lawn, and herbs planted by my wife.
Since then, Chick-a-henny has proved to be the best yard chicken I have ever had. Most free-range chickens that have had access to our yard wreak havoc on the mulch and plants with their scratching. Not so with this chicken, however. Try standing on one leg and scratching the ground with it. It won’t work. With only one leg Chick-a-henny does very little damage to anything. She can hop around fine, but she doesn’t go far. And she really doesn’t eat many of the plants. Which is surprising because we only really feed her table scraps. I’ll go out some mornings with a leftover pancake or something and call her, “Here Chick-chick-chick-a-henny!” From under some bush I will hear some rustling and out she’ll come; hopping along sideways as fast as she can toward me.
Sometimes, if we leave the door open she will hop right in (after which we shoo her right out). And often, when one of the dogs is bothering her, she will hop over and stand behind us for protection. She also has a much sweeter temperament than our other voracious hens.
So here are a few reasons I believe you should have your own one-legged chicken:
-No scratching of mulch or grass.
-Doesn’t wander far.
-Easy to catch
-Eats less because it doesn’t burn as much energy.
-Sweet, submissive temperament (at least that’s the case with ours)
-Amusing to guests (“Is that a one-legged chicken!”)
I guess one spiritual lesson you could draw from this is the fact that God uses the trials and hardships in our lives for his Glory and our good. He even took the fact that this chicken lost her leg, and used it to bless my family. So I thank the Lord for our one-legged chicken.