Pet of The Week
by Nicola Depuis
Chickera, Pecky And Jeffie
Meet Chickera, Pecky and Jeffie, the first chickens we’ve had on Pet of the Week. You may have guessed it but Chickera was named after singer Shakira, Pecky is a reference to the Beyonce lyrics ‘Becky with the good hair’, and Jeffie? ‘Well, that was my son’s choice’, says mom Deirdre Kenny, also known as Dee. These three chickens were adopted by Deirdre and her family from the Little Hill Animal Rescue & Sanctuary in Kildare. They are ex-commercial chickens which means that until they were rescued by the Little Hill Animal Rescue & Sanctuary, they would have spent their entire lives in tiny cages, never seeing the outside world. This, even though we now know chickens are emotionally complex beings who feel many emotions including happiness and fear. We also know now that chickens, like human mothers, talk to their babies in the womb. ‘
They had hardly any feathers when we first got them from being in such tiny cages all day and they were so scared,’ says Dee. ‘There’s such a difference in them now though. They’re full of confidence. They remind me of toddlers just wanting to follow you everywhere and everything is brand new to them. They’re the easiest pets we’ve ever had.’ Chickera, Pecky and Jeffie now live in Carrigaline with Dee, Dave, their children, an 11-year-old black Labrador called Pepper, a cat called Podge and two fish – Megatron and Sparkle – who live in the pond.
‘The pond being the bath we took out and sank in the garden,’ adds Dee with a laugh. Asked how all the animals get on with each other, Dee says it’s like ‘West Side Story with the two gangs! You’ve got besties Pepper and Podge on the one side and the chickens on the other side. Poor Pepper and Podge are scared of the chickens because when we first got them Podge tried to pounce on them and he got pecked. And Pepper, being a Labrador, tried to eat their food and also got pecked. Most people would worry about the safety of the chickens but we have to worry about the other two! The chickens are the sweetest little girls who love oats and grapes. All the animals get on with each other. I think they all follow Pepper’s lead because she’s such a sweet soul. The chickens love nothing better than sneaking into her bed when the door is open! They’re all such a big part of our family.’ Dee adds that loving and watching the chickens has brought her immeasurable happiness. ‘I find them so inspirational. After everything they’ve been through, watching them recover fills me with hope.’
The Little Hill Animal Rescue & Sanctuary are currently looking for homes for ex-battery chickens. If you think you could help, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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