Jennifer Jabs at The Farm in Sequim holds a young hen who was headed to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah last week. The no-kill facility helps animals with physical impairments live out their lives. 
Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Jennifer Jabs at The Farm in Sequim holds a young hen who was headed to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah last week. The no-kill facility helps animals with physical impairments live out their lives. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

New horizons for chick

Sequim farm animal with disability headed to Utah preserve

Why did the chicken cross one-third of the country?

A small, unnamed hen from Sequim is getting a new home hundreds of miles away thanks to a serendipitous family connection.

Jennifer Jabs co-owns The Farm in Sequim off Sequim-Dungeness Way, where she helps raise hundreds of chickens for eggs.

In a recent batch of 120 chicks purchased in October 2020, Jabs was busy picking up the youngsters to help them wet their beaks in water when she noticed one had her feet balled up. The chick seemed to hobble a bit, and the farmer noticed the chick seemed to be walking on its knuckles.

“We’ve raised probably over 2,000 chickens or more (and) this is the first time we’ve had this situation … no idea why,” Jabs said.

Jabs said last week that with so many of them she doesn’t name her chickens, and that she hadn’t named this particular chick beyond “Little One.”

Jabs applied a small splint to help the chick straighten outs its toes.

“It definitely gets around and can fly when (she) tries to move fast,” Jabs said, “(but she) can’t keep balanced very well.”

Knowing that would not be a long-term solution, Jabs said more than likely the chick would wind up being butchered … if not for fortuitous family connections. Jabs’ partner once interned at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a massive facility in Kanab, Utah, and her brother Jeff now works on staff there.

Jeff Jabs happened to be delivering some animals in the area, including a couple of rabbits to Portland, Ore., and was available to make a side trip to Sequim to pick up the disabled chick.

“All the animals (at Best Friends) are guaranteed a home there for their lives,” Jabs said.

After a 19-hour ride with Jeff, “Little One” will be initially be fostered in a kind of quarantine before heading to the Kanab facility.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary bills itself as a the “home-between-homes” for about 1,600 rescued dogs and cats, horses, birds, rabbits, potbellied pigs, farm animals and assorted wildlife. The facility was featured in headlines and stories after in 2007 it accepted dozens of dogs rescued from a dog fighting compound on the property of former NFL star Michael Vick.

Jabs said she was happy to not have to butcher a chicken prematurely.

“For me, I don’t get attached to the chickens, (but there’s) still a sense of, when butchering them, to thank them for what (they’ve) done,” she said. “It’s still hard, but needs to be done.

“It’s nice to know I don’t have to do that,” Jabs said.

“She’ll have a very, very happy life.”

Born with a disfigured legs, this young hen at The Farm in Sequim is about half the size of coop mates. Submitted photo

Born with a disfigured legs, this young hen at The Farm in Sequim is about half the size of coop mates. Submitted photo

More in Life

tsr
Exhibit, events explore creativity of Esther Barrows Webster

In time for Women’s History Month, the North Olympic History Center is… Continue reading

x
Peninsula College hosts virtual exhibit of Manzanar photography

The Peninsula College PUB Gallery of Art is featuring a digital exhibition… Continue reading

x
Nature photographer, Mosaic members bring art to Sequim gallery

An award-winning photographer with an eye for storytelling through nature and a… Continue reading

x
Meet award-winning youth lit author on Zoom

Meet award-winning author Roshani Chokshi for a conversation about her career at… Continue reading

x
PHOTO: Art in the Park

The Sequim Prairie Garden Club welcomes the community to visit Pioneer Memorial… Continue reading

Parenting In Focus: Teen brains really are different

The first years of a child’s life are certainly critical because of… Continue reading

Virtual event offers financial help for people with special needs

Clallam County Parent to Parent is hosting a free virtual “Financial Futures,… Continue reading

x
Olympic Peninsula Academy students lead drive for new school sign

Apropos for a school with an otter for its mascot, students at… Continue reading

x
DAR chapter members say thanks for promoting patriotism

The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution last week… Continue reading

Most Read