He hatched in a muslin-lined cake tin balanced on a pile of books under a house lamp, and now Marvin the chicken has inspired his human "mum", celebrity cook Nadia Lim, to pen a children's book in his name.
The 13-week-old chicken is the inspiration for Lim's first children's book, Marvellous Marvin, which tells the story of his arrival on the Arrowtown farm Lim shares with her husband and two young sons, and the adventures the mischievous chicken has got up to since.
The book, illustrated by Fifi Colston and published by Scholastic New Zealand, launches on December 1.
Lim, a bestselling author, television personality and winner of the 2011 series of MasterChef New Zealand, had always wanted to write a kid's book but an offer to do so by Scholastic had to wait until she felt she had a story worth telling.
Then came Marvin.
It was a close call - Marvin's first-time mum, Tūī, had absconded her duties just before snow was forecast, prompting Lim to rescue four eggs and set up a makeshift incubator using a cake tin and lamp.
"My husband said I was dreaming but two-and-a-half days later one hatched. It was so exciting, just because we had so little expectation."
Naming the sole chick to hatch Marvin, Lim was quickly in love.
For the first 10 days she set her alarm to go off two or three times a night, so she could change the hot water bottle keeping Marvin warm.
"It was like having a newborn. And in the daytime, he'd hang out with me in the glasshouse."
Marvin now lives outside and has gained a degree of acceptance from the other hens - but hasn't forgotten his roots.
"Yes, he comes inside the house. He's very naughty … and you can't toilet train a chicken."
And Lim says the only kitchen Marvin - who she now suspects is female - will be going near is her own, during his cheeky visits back home.
"He will be protected from everyone and everything."
Her author proceeds from the book will be donated to no-kill animal shelter HUHA and food education charity Garden to Table, Lim said.
But she also wrote the book to show its target audience of 3-7-year-olds that happy surprises are always possible.
"Magic does happen sometimes."