LUTHER, Okla. – We’ve seen dogs in wheelchairs, but what about a chicken?
It may seem odd, extreme or even a bit funny to some, but an Oklahoma farm sanctuary said the story of how she got there points to a bigger problem.
Though the story is a bit unusual, so are the stories of most of the animals at Oliver and Friends Farm Rescue and Sanctuary.
You may remember Milo, the puppy born with upside down paws whose story spread across social media a few months ago. After a successful surgery, his story was shared around the world.
“We saved a puppy, and we were heroes,” Jennie Hays of Oliver and Friends Farm Rescue and Sanctuary, told KFOR. “We save a chicken, and maybe people think that we’re nuts. But that’s OK.”
Yes, it may be a bit odd, but Hays and her team are determined to save the bird named “Colorado.” It’s a name that comes with a story. That’s where Hays said the Cornish hen was rescued from a defunct factory farm.
“There were — I think it was 13,000 chickens that needed to find a place to go,” Hays said.
Oliver and Friends took in 25 very sick chickens with the help of a Colorado animal sanctuary named “Luvin Arms.”
Though it may be hard to believe, Colorado and her friends are only a few months old. They’re bred to be big.
“It’s all about production, so the faster they grow, the bigger they grow,” Hays said.
Colorado’s legs could no longer support her.
Hays considered euthanasia. That is, until her husband got on Google, saw a chicken in a wheelchair and started building.
“So, ever since she got the wheelchair, her sparkle’s back,” Hays said.
They are now focused on keeping all the chickens at a healthy weight through exercise and a diet of low fat feed and fresh greens — a chicken salad, if you will.
“We honestly believe here at Oliver and Friends that every animal deserves the chance to live their best life as pain-free as possible,” Hays said.
Hays said it’s not clear yet if the other birds will end up needing wheelchairs, too. They are hoping diet and exercise will keep them on their feet.