We got a phone call out of the blue from Hervé at the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary saying Carrie, one of their former employees, rescued a tiny Belgian D'Uccle chicken in the woods up in Phoenicia. She was covered in lice, terrified, and was in need of a forever home... Could we could take her? We said, "Probably not, they're so tiny, and she won't really fit in our full sized flock..." and then they sent a picture..
We were immediately in love, and got in the car to drive to Carrie's place to see her. She was so scared, running around the fenced in garden, trying to hide from us and so hard to catch! She is FAST! We eventually caught her, and obviously decided to take her right then and there on the spot, because She. Is. Perfect.
The Belgian D'Uccle is a fancy bantam (tiny) chicken with feathered feet, and the most common ones are called Mille Fleur, which means "a thousand flowers" in French.
The consensus was that Little was dumped, as she was found on a small island in the Esopus, and there are no wild d'uccles anywhere. People often dump chickens in the woods when they get too old, stop laying, or the last of their flock. They think it's more kind to release them to the wild rather than to euthanize them, and are often ashamed when they can no longer care for them. This is awful for the chickens who are nearly always killed by a predator - and luckily Carrie got to Bitty before it was too late.
Based on her coloring she is an older hen - they're very orange when young, but get whiter as they age. There's no way she'd been in the woods for a really long time, as she wouldn't have survived the previous winter, and being covered in lice, this poor little hen would have been killed if she was out much longer. She was just terrified after being out in the wild, and it was obvious she wasn't accustomed to it.
Carrie cleaned her up and deloused her, and we took her home and the rest is history. She and I bonded very quickly, and now Bitty (or Little) and I spend time together every day. She would hang out with me all day if she could, and truth be told - that sounds like heaven to me!
She has brought such an enormous amount of love, and you can tell that she's so grateful/happy to be here. She now runs our indoor flock - including the rooster, and has my heart completely. She LOVES morning cuddles during wake-up coffee time, hanging out on my shoulder, sleeping with her beak in my mouth, and is my little shadow walking around outside as everything seems to scare her, and sometimes you can't see her on the carpet.
So incredibly grateful for every day she's still with us! Meet Little Itty Bitty!