by Elizabeth Jardina, Sunset researcher
There's no way to make this into a surprise, so here it is, right here at the beginning of this post. Meet Nugget.
Probably four or five weeks old in this photo. Red feathers, blue-green eyes. Looks like a Rhode Island Red or some kind of Rhodie mutt.
The bombshell: Nugget lives in the Honeydome now!
This is how it went down: Team Cluck matriarch (and Sunset food editor) Margo True got an email from Pat McCarty, who works in Sunset's entertainment kitchen. (She helps cook for events and parties held at Sunset.) A few weeks ago, Pat was at her vet's office with her cat when she met a scraggly chicken who was living there temporarily.
The chicken-who-would-be-ours had been brought in by one of the vet's clients after following the family home from McDonalds. She was so sweet and small, they couldn't bear to leave her there.
(It's home of the McNugget, people!)
The vet — who lacked a coop — was looking for a home for her new charge.
We stepped up.
(Right now, it's important that I say something: We're not in the chicken orphanage business. We can't possibly take any more chickens, no matter how improbably compelling their stories are. As it stands, we've got a full coop, and every time I think about the McDonalds story, it has bigger holes. What McDonalds, specifically? One I've ever been to? Who would drop their chicken off at a McDonalds? Did the family walk to the McDonalds? The questions, they remain. But the main point: We can't take any more chickens, so please don't ask.)
Of course, when we heard about the plight of the McNugget — I mean, Nugget — no one told us that she was a baby! Just barely feathered! Still cheeping and peeping!
And that's how we got our seventh chicken.
She — or let's get this out in the open, maybe he — is a tiny chicken and can't mix with the others. That doesn't mean she doesn't want to: If we accidentally don't latch the door to her isolation pen, Nugget gamely hops out into the yard where she's pecked by that dastardly Carmelita. When she gets bigger (and hopefully doesn't develop a huge comb and a cock-a-doodle-doo), we'll figure out a way to integrate her into the flock.
Until now, she's a little baby to cuddle and coo over. Happy spring!
Monday: An unexpected epilogue to the Honey saga.