This little chick: Saturday as a little chick.
Photo by AMANDA TEMPLE This little chick: Saturday as a little chick.

When this little chicken crossed the road it got a whole lot more than it bargained for.

Last summer, photographer Amanda Temple was leaving the Lionfish tournament when she came across a fluffy yellow chick hurt and abandoned in the middle of the road.

“It’s quite ironic that I’d been at an event promoting the eradication of invasive species and there I am rescuing an abandoned feral chicken,” Ms Temple recalls.

She named the chick Saturday and took the little ball of fluff home where she rigged up a heater in her closet.

“I didn’t think she would make it through the night,” she says. “She ended up sleeping for 13 hours.

“When I had originally seen her in the road she looked about the size of an egg so she can’t have been more than two days old.”

Ms Temple believes Saturday fell off an embankment and was abandoned by her mother, who wouldn’t have wanted to lead her other babies into the road to attempt a rescue.

Saturday made it through the night and now, over 16 months later, the little chick has grown into a full size bantam and has wormed her way into Ms Temple’s heart.

“It’s special and different having her as a pet,” she says. “It’s not something that you can just go and pick up in the wild – there’s something really special and different about wild animals.”

It took about three days for Saturday to settle in, but she now recognizes Ms Temple as her “mother” and follows her around everywhere.

“She follows me around, sits on my lap and comes when she is called. She sits by my feet at dinner parties and we curl up on the couch and watch movies. It’s cute.

“I feel a responsibility for her –– this is her home and this is all she knows.”

Ms Temple has been known to rush home to ensure the lights are on before it gets dark.

“Chickens can’t see in the dark so I’m usually telling people I have to get home so I can turn the lights on for Saturday!”

Saturday eats chicken food but also gets a mixture of nuts, seeds and, her favourite, blueberries. And, as she’s able to move about freely at her home and in the garden, she’s also known to catch caterpillars and moths.

While Saturday has certainly reaped the rewards of living the life of a treasured pet, she also provides Ms Temple with eggs.

“She’s laid 131 eggs since Boxing Day. It’s amazing how different they taste and the yolks are incredibly yellow.

“She eats whatever she wants and she only weighs about a pound and a half so we have to wonder what are we doing to our chickens.”

Saturday is now about 16 inches from beak to tail and eight inches tall. Ms Temple built a little coop for her but she won’t have anything to do with it. Instead, she sleeps in a big box in the closet.

“It’s amazing how quickly she changes. When she was teeny, teeny weeny she made this little beep, beep noise and now her voice has broken and she makes many different noises –– clucks and squeaks and lots of chatter,” Ms Temple says. During this phone interview, I could hear Saturday softly chattering away as she was sitting on the back of Ms Temple’s chair.

“It’s been fascinating getting to know her and novel learning about her,” Ms Temple says.