Grave of Mr. Chicken the Plastic-Legged Rooster
Another winter, another Midwest animal casualty. It was December, 1996. The victim was a rooster. He was left outside in a storm, and his two feet were frozen beyond repair. Fortunately for posterity, the rooster was befriended by a local vet, Tim England. Tim named him "Mr. Chicken"; and had a physical therapist make a pair of acrylic legs and feet for the rooster that fit snugly over his stumps.
Mr. Chicken became an instant feel-good celebrity. His story was told in Newsweek and in newspapers from South Africa to Hawaii. But only six months later, in June, 1997, Mr. Chicken was mauled to death, probably by a raccoon, as he tried to protect the chickens who shared his pen. He died with his plastic legs on, and that was the way that he was buried, in the animal hospital's flower garden, with a small headstone. "He was a famous little guy," Dr. England said.
Dr. England still has a file full of letters from people who wrote in to express sympathy for Mr. Chicken. One woman from South Africa even wrote a poem. But, he reports, "We have not had a special needs chicken since then."