Rosie is a beautiful chicken. She is my only chicken that lays medium brown eggs. The rest of them are either cream or a pinkish brown color. Rosie’s eggs are a rich medium brown and they are sometimes speckled with dark brown spots. She is the second biggest chicken after Ellis so her eggs are also a bit more pointy and oval shaped than the smaller rounder eggs of the smaller chickens. I would never give Rosie up. She lays beautiful eggs and she’s a sweet chicken. She hates being picked up but she loves sitting in my lap and cuddling. That stems from Daisy beating up any chicken that her mama picks up besides her. She got the message and wants no piece of Daisy’s jealous wrath.
Rosie is my one chicken with crooked feet. It can be a genetic defect passed down through an affected chicken’s chicks. It can also occur if a chick stays in the egg too long while trying to claw its way out during hatching. The third way a chicken can end up with crooked feet is to stand on a smooth untextured surface during its early days. I was not there for the first days of these chickens’ lives and i never met Rosie’s mother or saw the floor surface at the hatchery so i have no idea which of these reasons is responsible for Rosie’s crooked feet. All i know is that they haven’t slowed her down for a second. Rosie does everything my other chickens can do. She is the second in command after Daisy and she gets a good portion of the food as well. When i realized her feet were crooked people told me to get rid of her. Take her back to the feed store and get another. I would never do that. You don’t throw something away just because it’s a little different. I was always glad that Rosie was one of the chicks the clerk in the store picked up and put in my cardboard box that day, because i knew i would keep her. I wouldn’t throw her away just because her feet were shaped a little differently. This was the body God gave her. She didn’t ask for crooked feet, but this was what she was working with. If she could walk and run and get her fair share of food, if it didn’t slow her down any, who was i to take her life away after she’d made a go of it and had a healthy relatively normal life?
The one downside to Rosie’s crooked feet that had to be addressed regularly was that her nails did not make regular contact with the ground since she was technically walking on the sides of her toes. Her nails grew and were never naturally trimmed down. This meant that i needed to catch her, take her in the house, and clip her nails with a dog nail clipper periodically. Last time i did it i got her quick and she bled for a while. I had to hold paper towel on her nail and apply pressure for a long time to stop the bleeding and she could not go back in the pen until there was no more red on her because the other chickens would have attacked her nail due to the red pigment. It was quite the ordeal to keep Rosie in the house. She didnt want to stay there and she was done with the whole paper towel thing. She had enough of the whole situation pretty quick. I felt incredibly guilty that i hurt her. So i decided next time her nails needed clipped i’d offer the guys at the feed store down the road a couple dollars to clip her nails.
Rosie’s nails had grown pretty long and were beginning to curve in an arc. It was time. They had to be trimmed. I tried to put her in the pet taxi i used to transport her a year ago and quickly realized she was way too big for it. There was no container she would fit in besides the dog crate and i felt that was overkill for a quick trip down the road. So i grabbed my wallet and tucked Rosie under my arm like a football. I got behind the wheel of the car and set Rosie on my lap. I took off my work shirt and threw it in the back seat (i had a shirt on underneath), anticipating she would poop on me at some point. As i drove down the road with Rosie on my lap i used one hand to stroke her feathers and the other hand to move the steering wheel. Rosie made cooing noises and rested her beak against my elbow. She rode very nicely on my lap all the way to the feed store just enjoying the attention and petting. When i parked at the feed store i tucked Rosie under my arm once more and walked her into the store. I asked if i could pay the guy behind the counter to clip Rosie’s nails with the dog trimmers and told him about her crooked feet. The clerk agreed. He had me hold Rosie on the porch and he clipped her nails one by one. He did a fantastic job and didnt get the quick once. He refused to take any money for it so i said i’d buy a bag of chicken scratch while i was there. Rosie was feeling pretty good with her nails trimmed all pretty. She enjoyed the ride home immensely. She sat on my lap and cooed while i stroked her feathers with one hand and drove with the other. She seemed to really enjoy the one on one time with mama away from the jealousy of her sister Daisy. When we got home i returned her to the pen and the ordeal was over. Her nails were trimmed and she was back with the flock.