More than nine billion chickens are killed each year in the United States for food, but most people never know how amazing these birds are. Chickens are highly social, emotional, and intelligent animals. They can solve complex problems and have their own language with more than 30 calls, each with a different meaning. Mother hens even begin to teach these calls to their babies while they’re still in their eggs (kind of like when human mommies and daddies sing to their own babies when they’re still in the womb).  Overall, chickens are pretty incredible birds – take Clyde, the rooster, for example.

From Scared Rooster to Resident Lap Chicken

Clyde was found wandering the streets of  New York City, ill and dehydrated, when a kind rescuer brought him to Woodstock Farm Sanctuary for care. Sanctuary volunteers said that they believe Clyde had escaped from a city slaughterhouse near the block where he was found. His comb, which chickens use to regulate their body temperature, had been severed, suggesting that he was likely kept in callous conditions.


Despite the cruelty Clyde likely faced in his previous life, this little survivor continues to remind visitors that kindness and love are the keys to a happy life. Because he is too small to be introduced to any of the sanctuary’s flocks, Clyde has become the sanctuary’s medical building ambassador, senior caregiver Dawnell Kilbourne said – curling up in the arms of any human who visits, just like a lap dog! Well, lap chicken. 

Finding the perfect seat on the farm.


And enjoying a treat along with it.


As medical station ambassador, I declare more snuggles for all. 


Excuse me kitten, please make room on that lap. 


Cuddle session scheduled at noon, sir.

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More kisses, please.

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Clyde’s ability to trust and love is incredible considering how poorly he had been treated in his past. This affectionate rooster is just another reminder that we should all see at animals for the individuals they are, and that these sensitive beings should be treated with the same kindness that we would treat our very own lap dogs.

All image source: Woodstock Farm Sanctuary