It’s understandable that Mikayla Trafford jokes that the stray chicken that showed up in her barnyard this week escaped from a circus. When not eating or scratching at the ground, the tiny bantam hen spends her time swinging on a rope with an acrobatic style that would impress The Flying Wallendas.
“She showed up two days ago out of nowhere,” Trafford said on Thursday. “She had no fear of me and just walked up and started eating with my other chickens.”
Fearing her existing flock could become aggressive with the newcomer, Trafford said she put the hen in a cat crate the night it showed up. The next morning when she opened the crate door, the hen ran out and joined the others in their coop.
That’s when things got really interesting on the Poland farm.
“I have this rope hanging from two beams from the roof of the coop,” Trafford said. “Usually it’s pretty snug but she flew up and managed to fit herself between the rope and the coop ceiling and just started swinging.”
It’s one thing for a chicken to perch on a rope and then hang on until it stops moving. But Trafford said this chicken is making the rope swing non-stop all by herself.
“I just stood there staring at her when she first did this,” Trafford said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Trafford said she has asked people living near her if they know who the chicken may belong to, but so far her origins remain a mystery.
The chicken has quickly become a social media star.
“People are just loving her,” she said. “I thought it would be just a cute thing to post but people are thanking me for making their day and are calling her a chicken celebrity.”
Unless someone shows up to claim the acrobatic bantam, Trafford said she plans to keep her and let her join the two pigs, rabbit, three dogs and the barn cats already on her farm. The friendly hen has also taken to perching on Trafford’s arm.
Trafford has plans for the chicken who has already laid a few eggs at her new home.
“The town of New Gloucester is doing a ‘Pet Mayor of the Year’ contest,” Trafford said. “You pay five dollars and register your pet for a drawing to be the mayor. I think a swinging chicken would be a really good candidate for that because she clearly has talent.”
In the meantime, Trafford said she and her boyfriend plan to let the chicken hang out and keep swinging.
“She’s just a really happy chicken,” Trafford said. “We are definitely going to build her a better swing.”