I know naming a chicken “Nugget” is wrong, but my children apparently have a warped sense of humor. They are good kids with big hearts who happen to love all of the birds on our farm. We have over 50 chickens of various breeds, ranging from Buttercups to Silkies, and everything in-between. We also have a bunch of ducks. One of the ducks is named “Gracie”, and she is blind. She needs extra care from the kids, which they do willingly.
Nugget is a pretty special chick. We’re still not sure whether Nugget is a he or a she, as the chick is only about 8 weeks old. It was hatched in our straw loft after one of our Americauna hens flew up there and laid a whopping 27 eggs. We had no idea that she had done this until we were cleaning out the pens and were getting new straw for them. My husband promptly put up a chicken wire coop in the loft to protect the hen from barn cats and to prevent the chicks, after hatching, from falling 10 feet to the floor below.
21 days later, the chicks began to hatch. 10 were hatched altogether, but one couldn’t stand up and get under the hen to stay warm. My son found Nugget floundering near the hen, unable to stand and chirping loudly. Nature can be so cruel.
We brought Nugget in the house and put it in an incubator. 3 days later it was finally able to stand on its own. We put a little Webkin cardinal in the incubator and Nugget cozied up to it, cuddling under one of its fluffy stuffed wings.
In the meantime, an order of 25 chicks arrived from a local hatchery and we placed Nugget in with them. Now it was part of a little community of chicks. The children hand-fed the chicks and gave them ‘Happy Hen Treats’.
Our neighbors look on, shaking their heads, as we run a no-kill farm. It doesn’t matter if the animal isn’t producing anything. Our chickens are hand-raised and cared for until they die of old age. We aren’t going to get rich selling eggs, but the experience the kids are having seems well worth it.
Despite the chick’s name, Nugget will live out his or her life on our farm, hand fed and getting lots of hugs. What a life for a chicken!