Hand-knit coat arrives too late to save beloved chicken
TWISTY the chicken was always a little bit different.
So-named for her thick and tightly coiled feathers, the Silkie X was the smallest and quirkiest of her siblings to emerge from incubation.
Warwick resident Lynda Arazie received the eggs via Australia Post, carefully packaged from a farm in New South Wales.
"She wasn't your average pet," Mrs Arazie said.
"She stuck out from the rest."
But what made Twisty special also made her incredibly vulnerable.
One day, as Lynda watched the chickens scratching in their pen, she noticed Twisty was behaving differently.
"Her feathers were so brittle they'd break, and you could see her skin through her coat," Mrs Arazie said.
"She started sitting a lot, and it seemed like the cold was starting to get to her."
The chickens were beloved family pets, some of which enjoyed a good cuddle, so Mrs Arazie was determined to find a solution for the odd bird's insulation problem.
To her surprise, a chicken enthusiast in England had launched a business to combat Twisty's exact issue, knitting coats for cold chickens across the world.
"I was trying to find answers online, to see what could be done to keep chickens warm," she said.
"There wasn't anything around here for it, but I guess chickens get a lot colder in England!"
The shopkeeper knitted a beautiful, bright blue jumper, with clouds, a shining sun, and Twisty's name embroidered on the back.
It would have been perfect but tragically, it arrived too late.
Twisty abruptly stopped eating her food and had to be rushed to the local veterinarian.
"I take all my chickens to the vet, they each have their file there," Mrs Arazie said.
"The vet probably thinks I'm an idiot."
There was sadly nothing that could be done for Twisty.
"It was sad, I cried," Mrs Arazie said.
"Chickens can be fickle, sometimes they just don't make it, for seemingly no reason at all, while others we've had for a whole six years.
"They're probably not a good pet if, like me, you get cut up over a pet when they get sick and pass away."
The demands of chicken life were ultimately too much for the family, who have since passed their peep on to a local wildlife carer.
The chicken coat, unused, remains for sale on Facebook Marketplace.