So I traveled to a farm in the suburb of Herne Hill for inspiration. I saw no hen that took my fancy and no doubt frustrated from my indecision, the owner went to a shed and came back with an armful of 1 to 2 month old chicks. Cue the thunderbolt. Amongst all these little girls was one tiny chick - absolutely filthy. Unnaturally brown from head to claw.
She had clearly been kept in pretty dreadful conditions. Aside from being smothered in chicken poo, she had large patches of skin visible from being attacked and having her feathers ripped out. Her bottom and neck were mostly bare and raspberry pink and her tail feathers were shredded to ugly ribbons. This was an indication that the Herne Hill chicken keeper was housing birds in very overcrowded conditions - leading to feather pulling and also trampling.
I knew it, she was my new baby. That's my girl, I want that one. My other half tried his best to reason with me about how pretty the other girls were, how unclean she was - knowing my rescuing nature was in top gear. 5 minutes later we were in the car, $15 lighter and one dirty bird on my lap. After 10 minutes she was named - Mya.
Within the hour she was under the laundry tap - puppy shampoo, warm water, towel, hair dyer - scissors for the parts that would not wash away.
This is the only photo I have of her as a really young girl - note the colour change.
This little girl changed my world.