Darcy Smith admits she’s always harbored a secret affinity for chickens, but it wasn’t until the retired police officer moved to the country that she realized the depth of her love affair.
It started with Funky Chicken, a scrawny little rooster she adopted from the Sacramento SPCA. “He was the sweetest chicken I’d ever met,” she insists. Darcy soon created a Facebook page for Funky, documenting his adventures, and fully smitten with the feathered creature, she found herself taking in more rescue birds.
Fortunately, her family shared her passion for helping animals, and together, they founded Funky Chicken Rescue. Today, the non-profit is home to more than 150 rescue chickens – along with a few rescued dogs, cats and horses. Darcy loves them all – but it’s her work with disabled chickens that has garnered the most attention. Blind chickens, cross-beak chickens and even chickens in wheelchairs live out their days on the idyllic 20-acre ranch.
Among her flock, you’ll even find survivors from California’s devastating Camp Fire. Their coop burned to the ground, but the chickens somehow made it out alive. “We call them our miracle chickens,” Darcy says.
Running a rescue is a lot of work, but Darcy says it’s worth every minute. “It’s a labor of love for animals, too many of which have been discarded by society,” she explains. “Chickens have their own personalities and they’re very smart. I just don’t think people realize how wonderful they are.”