When an unusually small chicken with a twisted spine was rescued by a vet tech in North Carolina, her rescuer wasn’t sure she’d be able to safely make friends.
However, fate had a different plan and within days the vet tech believed she may have found the right home for her.
Little did they know, this little chicken could make friends with just about anyone.
Keep reading to hear about this chicken’s journey and all of the friends she made along the way!
A Special Pair
The chicken in question, Butterscotch, was born with a twisted spine and grew to be much smaller than any other chicken.
At just under a year old, rescuers realized that she was too small to be around bigger chickens that may bully her.
But, the vet tech who rescued her wasn’t sure where the right place for her would be.
Then one day, staff from Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge came into the vet office to have one of their chickens, Warren, checked out.
Warren was born with twisted legs.
His previous caregivers wanted Warren to have the best care possible, so they surrendered him to Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge.
Rescuers took one look at these special needs chickens and wondered if they would be the perfect pair of friends.
So, they set up a meet and greet between Butterscotch and Warren.
Best Friends Forever
“Butterscotch and Warren bonded right away,” said Lenore Braford, Founder and Animal Care Director of Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge.
According to Lenore, chickens are very social animals and become very bonded with others.
In fact, Lenore told us, chickens can remember up to 100 faces at one time.
“Chickens really know and remember friends even when they’ve been gone a long time at the vet or are recovering from some kind of event. Many months later they will welcome them back into the flock,” said Lenore.
So, Butterscotch made her very first friend of many, and her and Warren would remain besties for a long time.
Duck, Duck, Chicken
While the friendship between Butterscotch and Warren grew, the Refuge happened to take in their first duck, Xavier.
With no other ducks at the refuge, Xavier needed a special friend, or two special friends.
Perhaps Xavier didn’t know he was a duck and not a chicken, or he just didn’t care if they were different. He loved Butterscotch and Warren.
“Xavier really fell head over heels for the little chickens and he seemed to take on a caregiver role with them,” said Lenore. “They would snuggle at night, and it was really, really special.”
Eventually, Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge began to house more ducks.
It was time for Xavier to move out to the duck house where he could swim in the pond with the other ducks.
A Tough Goodbye
Shortly after saying goodbye to Xavier, Butterscotch had to say goodbye to Warren as well.
Because of his birth defects, Warren had a number of issues. This led to him sadly passing away due to organ failure.
Staff at the Refuge were heartbroken, not only due to Warren’s passing, but also because Butterscotch was now lonely.
For the first time since Butterscotch had arrived at the refuge, she was without her friends.
But it wouldn’t be long before Butterscotch would win the heart of another companion.
You’ve Got a Friend in Me
As Lenore and other staff at the Refuge began looking for a new friend for Butterscotch, a specific resident came to mind.
Madeline the chicken was being picked on by other chickens. She was small and timid and couldn’t compete with the bigger chickens for food.
“We thought maybe Madeline and Butterscotch could be a good match. And so we made the introduction,” said Lenore.
Madeline was scared when she first met Butterscotch. So scared that she jumped on Lenore’s shoulder to perch and hide from little Butterscotch.
“But once she realized Butterscotch was so small and friendly, they became best friends,” said Lenore.
Butterscotch eventually settled into the Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge aviary alongside her closest friends – chickens Madeline, Ophelia and Percy.
The aviary is a protected area for birds with special needs.
Though small in size, Butterscotch is the boss lady of the aviary.
She is in charge of the flock, including Percy the rooster, and she doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do, including caregivers.
Butterscotch and her aviary friends sleep in the warm, protected clinic each night.
So, every morning and every evening each chicken is placed into a carrier for safe transport to and from the aviary.
“Butterscotch insists on walking in the crate herself and doing it herself. She is just very independent and likes to do what she likes to do,” said Lenore.
When not doing boss chicken stuff, Butterscotch takes the time to admire herself.
She likes to look at herself in the aviary mirror, typically used for animals to talk to the ‘friend’ in the reflection.
Butterscotch, of course, already has all the friends she could want.
The Perfect Place
Although Butterscotch was born with a twisted spine, her birth defect has not caused any physical hardships.
Butterscotch can move normally, jump, perch, and do all of the things chickens love to do.
However, because of her small size, Butterscotch wouldn’t be able to do the things she loves, or to love and be loved by a typical flock of chickens.
It takes a special place and caregivers like Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge to give animals like Butterscotch and all her friends the perfect life.
In Loving Memory
Since hearing Butterscotch’s heartwarming story from Lenore, we have learned that Butterscotch has sadly since passed away.
Our hearts go out to every person and resident at the Refuge. We know they will miss her.
While we are sad to hear of her passing, we know that the years she had were made full by the caring friends around her. You can read the Refuge’s words in memory of Butterscotch here.
If you’d like learn more about how you can help Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge, click here.
Be sure to follow them on Instagram to witness their incredible rescue work.