Bald Chicken Who Could Barely Stand Looks So Different Now
She's so fluffy and sleeps with her new dad every single night 💗
The first thing that hit them was the smell. Then, by the glow of flashlights, they noticed the birds.
Geoff Regier reached down and scooped up one frail hen. Up to a moment ago, the nearly featherless bird had been drowning in a pit of manure on the floor of the chicken coop.
“She was covered in feces and severely dehydrated,” Regier told The Dodo. “Her nails were overgrown and her feet calloused from having spent her entire life standing on the wire floor of a battery cage.”
“She was so weak and emaciated that it was a struggle for her just to maintain her balance and stay upright,” he added.
Regier and a few other rescuers were saving chickens from a farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. It was clear to Regier that the naked little hen, later named Penny, had no future if they left her behind.
Next to her was what’s known as a jelly egg — an egg laid without a shell. “She was so calcium depleted from the intense egg production that her body didn’t have the calcium to produce a shell for the egg," Regier said. "At a little more than a year old, she had reached the end of her useful life to the egg industry.”
Regier immediately rushed Penny and a few other sickly hens to the vet. Penny was put on a regimen of antibiotics, deworming medication and vitamin and calcium supplements. Regier tried to clean her the best he could, but Penny was too weak to endure a full bath.
After a few days of rest in a heated sunroom, Penny began to regain her strength. But life at the farm had left her terrified of people. Regier did his best to win her trust — and as Penny’s feathers began to grow in, her personality blossomed as well.
“Penny went from being fearful to tolerant to preferring my company,” he said.
One year later, and Penny is unrecognizable from the bald hen found neck-deep in muck. But it’s not just her appearance that’s changed.
Penny is obsessed with her dad and insists on following him wherever he goes. She even demands to share his bed, instead of sleeping in a coop like the other rescued chickens.
“When I go to bed, she follows me to bed and sleeps there now,” Regier said. “Every morning at around 7:30, she starts peeping to let me know she’s ready to go outside. I’ll get up and she’ll follow me out of the bedroom to the front door, which I open to let her outside.”
Penny spends her days in the yard, socializing with the other hens, sunbathing and scratching in the dirt for bugs. But when her dad’s around, Penny is never far behind.
“If I call her name, she comes running. If I’m working in the yard, she’s right there next to me,” Regier said. “Every evening before the sun sets, Penny comes around to the front of the house and starts clucking to let me know she’s ready to come inside. She will sit next to me on the couch while I work on my laptop or watch TV. When I go to bed she follows.”
“Penny still gets nervous around new people,” he added, “but she is gaining confidence all the time.”