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A: To get away from the Tyson plant

Burrrr. It's cold in Northern Arkansas today.

Earlier today I was driving along in my truck and what should I spy by the side of the road but a live white chicken. I was about a quarter of a mile from the local Tyson plant and they receive many truck loads of white chickens like him every day, so I'm guessing that this guy either fell off a truck or made a break for it while his truck was being unloaded. In any event, this chicken had probably never been outside before in his life and had no clue. I turned my truck around, pulled off to the side of the road, put my hazards on, and went to get the chicken. He saw me coming and made a token effort to get away, but chickens raised for Tyson in these parts aren't exactly free-rangers, and running skill was not something this guy had ever had the opportunity to perfect. I caught him with ease. He squawked for a few seconds, but once I had a good grip on him and pinned his wings against his body he calmed down and started making peeping noises like a little chick. I put him in the cab of my truck on the floor on the passeger's side and drove to my grandmother's house. He had trouble remaining upright when I stopped, accelerated, or turned, but aside from that, he seemed content to sit there and let fate do to him as it would.

When I got to my grandmother's house I said to her, "Come see what I brought you."

"It's not a pup, I hope."


I figured the chicken was a hen, but my grandmother pegged him for a rooster. He didn't have much of a comb, and he was smaller than all of my grandmother's red hens. I put him in her hen house where he sat motionless for a minute, and then he started pecking at the feed in the trough, and I left him to settle into his new home. You can only keep hens within the city limits, so if he recovers enough of his natural cocky nature and starts crowing, he'll get the axe, but even so, it will be a kinder end than he would have met at the Tyson plant, and he will have had at least a little time to live a life with what dignity a chicken in 21st century America can enjoy.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2004 07:25 pm (UTC)
Hurrah for you! I raised a liberated chicken truck rooster once, myself.

Why do they limit ownership of roosters, because they crow?
Jan. 5th, 2004 08:54 pm (UTC)
because they crow?
Jan. 6th, 2004 06:13 am (UTC)
Re: because they crow?
I suppose that's it's true, then, that a crowing hen never came to a good end ;-)
Jan. 6th, 2004 06:47 am (UTC)
a crowing hen never came to a good end
Not within the city limits of Berryville in recent years. When I visited my grandparents in my childhood, they did have roosters and lines of puff ball chicks trailing behind their mothers around the farm. The no-crowing rule is a recent development.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 5th, 2004 08:55 pm (UTC)
Jan. 5th, 2004 10:48 pm (UTC)
huzzah. Good for you, for having done that.

I rescued a soft shell turtle, in much the same way; plucked him out of the middle of a busy street, and took him back to the creek.

And the cat currently in my lap was a rescue that I kept.

Most loving cat I know, he is.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 6th, 2004 06:49 am (UTC)
You picked a good moment in which to peek in
I haven't been writing much recently. Mainly just posting links to stuff I've read on-line.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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