Shelburne Falls boy teaches pet chicken to sled; video goes viral

  • STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ.

  • Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Teddy Nugget steadies herself with her wings as she slides through the banked curve sledding course in Shelburne Falls on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Teddy Nugget and owner Luke Read, 11, in Shelburne Falls on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Teddy Nugget, the pet chicken of Luke Read, 11, slides downhill on a sledding course in Shelburne Falls on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 3/3/2021 5:19:14 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — You will still likely never see a pig fly, but go on Twitter and you can see a chicken sledding.

Luke Read, 11, was bummed out when plans to go sledding with friends fell through, so he figured he would go have fun with one of his other pals instead.

“He decided, if you can’t go with your human friends, you might as well go sledding with your best friend that lives with you,” Luke’s mother, Angelina, said of Teddy Nugget, one of the family’s pet chickens.

Luke’s father, Clint, shot a video of Teddy Nugget gliding down a hill, clucking with delight the entire way, and sent it to Lindsay Marqusee, who works with Clint at Prospect Meadow Farm in Hatfield, where the family got the chicken and three others.

Marqusee posted the video on Twitter on Feb. 18 and it went viral, accumulating 200,000 views and appearing in at least 1 million timelines by 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. The video has also appeared on various social media platforms and news sites around the world.

“I wasn’t expecting it to take off the way it did,” Marqusee said. “I said, ‘OK, this is adorable. I think I should post it to Twitter.’”

Marqusee’s Twitter display name is “Lindsay and the Goats #BLM,” and the handle is @LMarqusee.

Teddy Nugget, named after rock musician Ted Nugent, is a Barred Plymouth Rock hen and has been with the family since early May.

“Chickens are more than chickens,” Luke said. “I’ve discovered that me and her have become friends and we like to hang out with each other. She’ll hop on me and kind of stay on me.”

Angelina Read said most chickens avoid snow, but Teddy Nugget took right to sledding. The bird even appears to steer herself along the sled track and is always anxious for more.

Angelina, who works as a kindergarten teacher in Halifax, Vermont, said her family adopted a couple of chickens declared abandoned outside her school two years ago. However, one of them died unexpectedly shortly thereafter, leaving Luke heartbroken. Angelina and Clint promised Luke the family could get new ones.

“Teddy, from the get-go, was very different. The other chickens were always together and Teddy was always by herself,” she said. So, Luke decided to take Teddy under his wing and soon learned the hen was calmed by being placed in a doggie playpen.

“Their bond grew from there, to the point where she is very much like a dog and she will follow him around,” Angelina said.

She also said Teddy sits on Luke’s head and perches on his arm like a falcon.

Luke has become so fond of chickens he dreams of starting a chicken rescue to help more birds have better lives. He also hopes to start a GoFundMe page to get the project off the ground.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.




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