Neighbors band together to save drowning chickens during recent flooding

Chicken Rescue
Posted at 5:58 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 08:13:47-04

PEGRAM, Tenn. (WTVF) — When it comes to flooding along the Harpeth River, you might say David Taylor has been henpecked by Mother Nature. "It almost broke my heart, but you survive," said Taylor.

After rebuilding from the last one-thousand-year flood in 2010, he assumed he was one and done. "I figured we had another 90 years, or 85 years anyway," he said.

Saturday, the Taylor family was taking on water from two different sides. As the Harpeth River was rising in his back yard, is front yard was surging with water running off a nearby hillside. They say at one point, the current on his driveway was six to eight inches deep. "You walk out in it, you can’t stand up the water pressure is so hard, it pushed you over," said Taylor.

That torrent of water flooded David's basement and his next-door neighbor Britney Ruegsegger's guest house. "It was at least over my boots when we were trying to get all of the furniture out as fast as we could because it came in so quickly," said Ruegsegger.

But the real trouble came in a game of chicken. And the river was winning. "They were sitting on the roof, and the water was still rising," said Taylor.

Before too long, the whole flock would likely drown. David wasn't healthy enough to go retrieve his hens himself. Enter, his new favorite neighbor. "Oh my gosh it was so cold,' said Britney.

"She went into the water up to her neck right here and started rescuing one by one chicken," said Taylor. "Then our other neighbor saw us out doing it so he came over there and said I’ll help too."

One by one, they picked up a chicken and put it on a pool float. Those they were able to save were clinging to life. "Honestly it was a miracle because I’m not kidding you, gasping for air, on death’s door, I thought we were going to lose them," said Britney.

Taylor wrapped them in towels and put them under heat lamps. A little nurture despite Mother Nature seemed to do the trick. "All of a sudden they all just -- bop -- shot up and started walking around and squawking. I said -- well they deserve to live," said Taylor.

In case you're wondering, despite all the cleanup that still lies ahead, David, Britney and the flock don't plan on flying their coop, or their neighborhood, anytime soon.

"We became family, very quickly," said Britney.

"We all try to help each other, you know. What’s her problem is my problem and my problem is her problem," said David.

Britney has set up a GoFundMe account to help her afford repairs to her guest house and basement. If you feel led to donate, you can do so here.