Perfect came to us in September of 2017 right before we opened to the public for the very first time here in Missouri. Her story is similar to that of many others like her. Perfect lived in a backyard and was kept for her eggs. When she stopped laying eggs the man who owned her was going to eat her. Then a miracle happened: A coworker of his convinced the man to give Perfect and her sisters to us instead. Perfect and her sisters days were filled with delicious organic treats, sun bathing in the yard, exploring every inch of the barn, and more love then Perfect would know what to do with.
Perfect was full of life! Once we were out in the goat yard with the flock on a beautiful sunny day. Perfect had been close to her sisters but was on a mission of her own. She was scratching around in the grass and then all of a sudden her head popped up with something in her beak! She quickly glanced back at her flock to see if they noticed and then took off running while still holding on to her prize! Well that was enough to alert the rest of the flock and they all ran after her trying to take the treat from her. They chased her around for a few moments but with a few diversion tactics, Perfect was able to get far enough away from her flock to swallow her prize whole! She was always one of the first ones to find hidden treasures in the grass.
She was a very clever girl. We have a refrigerator out in the barn that we stock with organic produce for all the animals. We go out there in the evening after their dinner and we pass out bed time snacks. Perfect was well aware of what was in the fridge and she knew just how to get it! She would creep up behind us and as we opened the door she would hop in and help herself to the first thing she could find, usually kale! We would gently scoop her up out of the refrigerator and ask her to please wait her turn. We would toss out blueberries or seeds for the whole flock. But Perfect would wait her turn, just as we asked. She would stand at our feet and wait for us to put her snack down in front of her and of course, we did! She taught the other chickens to wait at our feet also. So then we would have four chickens trying to break into the fridge!
Perfect was such a busy girl out in the barnyard. It wasn’t uncommon to have to go looking for her when it was time to come in for the night. She would often be on the far side of the yard in the trees still scratching around in the leaves. Almost like a little kid who didn’t realize the streetlights came on and it was time to go home. She brought so much joy to our lives and we are so honored to have gotten to love this amazing little chicken.
Sadly, hens are genetically engineered to lay eggs earlier than they are meant to and lay more eggs than is natural. This leads to reproductive issues when they are full grown. Our avian experts refer to female chickens as “walking time bombs” as they either get egg bound, peritonitis, develop cancer, or their uteri rupture, and need surgery. Perfect got peritonitis and given her age our veterinarian wanted to put her down. But we asked the vet to give her a chance surgically. Perfect passed away a few days after surgery from complications, but we are grateful that we tried to save her. We would have done anything for her!
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