How kindness changed the world for one chicken
"That day was unusual because it was the day I’d given up. I think we all had. I stared down at the floor where I was standing uncomfortably, my breathing laboured from the stench of the urine and excrement I’d been living in for weeks, the putrid wetness which now crept up my legs and body. Thousands upon thousands of us arrived here only weeks ago, tiny fluffy baby chickens full of life, discovering our space and each other and wondering what life had in store. People had come in occasionally during that time, but they ignored us. We tried not to get trodden on by large boots as they rushed through our shed. None of us knew that we were chickens destined only to be killed.
One day, when my breast was now swollen and heavy, too heavy for me to move easily on my weak, six week old spindly legs, the large steel doors were opened amongst a rush of noise. We panicked. We tried to take flight, flapped our wings to escape, but we were unable to move far in the crush. Rushed hands snatched us by our wings, legs, necks, whatever they could grab, and pushed us into plastic crates, dirty white feathers and our cries filling the air. Bulging crates full of terrorised birds were loaded onto the semi trailer.
No one noticed that I was caught precariously by one wing, half on, and half off, the truck. As I wriggled my wing to try to loosen it, I felt a sharp stab of searing pain throughout my body. Frightened by the unknown noises and light around me, my eyes widened with fear. My body slammed against the truck as it started gathering speed. Overcome with sheer dread, as the truck turned, the crates settled a little and suddenly I was flying through the air, landing onto a hard, hot surface. This was surely the end.
I huddled there, stunned, unable to move, from shock, fear and bewilderment. The surface was hot and dry, and cars whizzed past me, nobody seemed to care enough to stop. I closed my eyes as I awaited my fate. After a few minutes, I opened my eyes and looked up, seeing a glimpse of a vivid blue. And then, two of the gentlest hands reached down for me, and ever so carefully lifted me onto a warm and soft blanket from the hard road.
I’d met kindness for the first time.
As we travelled, I heard soft cooing sounds and the words “hang in there baby” over and over as the car hummed underneath me. The sounds, the warmth, the softness and hum made my body start to relax and I gazed into the sunlight - something I’d never seen. It felt warm and life-giving and sparkled in my eyes. Whilst I listened, more curious now, gentle hands lifted me, bandaged my broken wing, and fed me cool drops of water. I felt fear dissipate as tender hands placed me on a soft and clean bed of straw, and I feasted on some cool crisp lettuce. Nearby, I could see happy white and plump chickens with vivid crimson combs on their heads clucking contentedly. As the afternoon farm air gently settled and prepared for the evening, I felt hope for the first time since I’d been that tiny fluffy baby. So this was life. Exhausted but optimistic, I closed my eyes to the comforting sounds of chickens who had also been lucky enough to meet those kind humans who value all life and understand that I, too, have emotions, experience pain and joy and have my own purpose for my life. " Muffin
Although now he has sadly passed, Muffin thrived for eight months at Farm Animal Rescue after falling from that truck. If his story remains hidden, there will be no change. Right now, farm animals need your help to help others see inside their world. Donate now to help FAR rescue more animals - and bring their stories to the world.