Check out our video about Rosa and please give to the Rosa fund page!
Rosa is a tiny little red hen only a few months old who a kind young lady named Jessica found lying motionless off of the side of a busy city street, dangerously close to cars whizzing by her. She took Rosa home and contacted us for help. When I saw the photo Jessica sent of Rosa that day, I immediately thought she was dying since chickens often collapse on their side when they are about to die.
But, much to our surprise, Jessica reported to us the following day that she was doing better! She was walking around and eating. We asked Jessica to deliver Rosa to our avian vet to be examined. At the animal hospital Rosa was given blood and fecal tests which both reported no significant problems. However, the x-rays show a neck / spine deformity that could have resulted from a trauma, like being hit by a car, but revealed no broken bones.
She was also underweight. Our vet Dr. Pete Sakas, kept Rosa at the hospital 24 hours for observation. The next day we met a reporter and cameraman who was interested in covering Rosa’s rescue for an online and print feature in the Chicago Tribune, the city’s largest newspaper! The story covers the much needed yet overlooked perspective on the backyard chicken movement: the casualties like Rosa who are abandoned and neglected by their owners.
When we got Rosa home that same day, she seemed to have some balance issues and slept a lot, but was still eating well. The next day we let Rosa explore the yard, and this is when we realized that her handicap or disability would not stop her from doing all of the things chickens love to do, like dust bathing, chasing flying insects, foraging and exploring every nook and cranny of the yard! It was both heartwarming and reassuring to hear her happy chirps and see that whatever injury or condition she had was not preventing her from fully expressing herself as a chicken! If she was truly in pain and discomfort, she would not be so enthusiastically exploring the yard.
Nevertheless, Rosa will be a “special needs” case who will need to be monitored closely. Our hope is that she will grow out of this condition and flourish. But even if she doesn’t, it appears that she will learn to cope with it quite well.
Where do birds like Rosa come from? Rosa is a hen bred for egg laying. Learn all about chickens like her on our egg facts page.