The Blind Chicken

Some of you know about our Blind Chicken but for those of you that don’t, let me give you a little background.

The Blind Chicken

We have a six year old Americana  (OK, she’s really an Easter Egger) chicken.  About 3 years ago I was in the chicken yard and noticed she was staying close under my feet.  Something wasn’t quite right, she ran into a wall and was clearly surprised it was there.  I called Mike out to watch her run into things and sure enough her eyes were cloudy and she appeared to be only able to see shadows.  From that day on we called her ‘The Blind Chicken’.  We’re not real big on naming our chickens around here.  It goes back to when the girls were small.  Each Spring I would order 25 chicks.  The girls would coo and cuddle these fluffy little chicks and name one, maybe two.  Inevitably a few days later that would be the chick that died.  Dumpling had a crying fit one day on the way to school and wouldn’t calm down until we promised to bury and hold a proper funeral for this dead chick.  Everyone agreed, no more names….

Mike:  Hold on, we aren’t that strict.  It seems like after we have a chicken for about a year it takes on a personality and suddenly they have a name.

Molly:  That’s true.  We’ve had Red, Big Red, Little Red, the White Chicken, the Polish Who Looks Like a Monk (pecking incident), the Naked Chickens 1 & 2, Wormy, the list does go on.

When the Blind chicken went blind we were surprised at how much the other chickens watched out for her.  She was the oldest (we think she’s about 6) and had been quite aggressive.  She was at the top of the pecking order for a long time.  She’s quite docile now and rolls with things.  Chickens come and go at our house but the Blind Chicken has made it through several raccoon attacks (she keeps her head down), kept the Naked Chicken warm and alive two winters ago, puts up with all the changes in the coop and proved to be a fantastic grandmother this past summer.

Our latest coop change hasn’t fared her well.  We have three coops with adjoining yards.

The Chicken Yard

The main coop can house about 65 chickens.  It also contains the brooder with it’s own private yard for raising chicks.  In Spring and Summer it becomes the nursery coop.  The older broody hens sit on fertilized eggs and raise their hatchlings there.  The Blind Chicken got moved into the nursery after a rooster (his name was Stew and I don’t mean Stuart) pecked her really hard on the head.  The rest of the chickens and ducks spent the Summer in yard 2 & 3.  A few weeks ago a raccoon started coming around.   One morning around 5 am we heard a commotion.  We ran out and chased the damn thing up a tree.  He/she hadn’t gotten any hens yet.  I made sure the summer coop was battened down even tighter than ever but the little bastard returned the next night and somehow got two of them (a Rhode Island Red and an Americana).  Now they all sleep in the main coop which seems to be predator proof for the time being (you never know when those raccoons are going to figure out how to use a chain saw to break in.)

The Blind Chicken

The Blind Chicken got a Band-Aid for her boo-boo. It made her look like a flying nun.

The problem is that since last Spring there’s a new chicken in town who thinks she’s all that!  She’s actually one of the chicks that the Blind Chicken help raise.  As they got old enough we put them in with the older chickens where they had to establish their place in the pecking order (yes it’s literally I’m more important & I get to peck on you).  When we consolidated the flocks together this chicken along with one or two others started pecking the Blind Chicken which not only freaks her out but causes her harm!

To keep her safe I’ve moved her into the brooder by herself.  It’s spacious and has its own private yard.  I feel bad for her though.  She’s used to being with other chickens.  Mike’s Dad and Step-Mom came to visit.  They live in California and have one chicken.  Her name is Daisy.  She’s about as old as the Blind Chicken and doesn’t lay eggs any more.  Cat, my step-mother-in-law, offered the Blind Chicken a retirement package we couldn’t refuse.  She’s going to get to live out her days by the ocean in San Diego and keep Daisy company.  In December Mike and I will drive her out to her new home.  It sounds like a good option and I figure if Daisy pecks her I can always make her a little jacket…

Chicken Jackets

No, this is not my chicken... but I love her outfit!

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11 Comments

  1. Posted November 3, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    When we lost our chickens to a bobcat, we were all sad, and so glad that our sole remainder went to a happy home with you!  Love this post and am envious, this cold morning, that the blind chicken is going to a warm home!

    • Posted November 3, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      I was feeling jealous of her this morning too as I was scraping frost off the windshield.

    • Posted November 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      One of my girlfriends thought I was joking when I told her the Blind Chicken was going to a chicken retirement seaside community.  When she realized I wasn’t she burst our laughing and than her next comment was, ‘I want to go!’.

  2. Posted November 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised the Blind Chicken can preen and eat with that cross-bill! I have a soft spot for my chickens, too. Maybe too much of a soft spot. I had one at the vet for nearly three weeks due to some sort of crop impaction issue. That was her second trip to the vet. First one was just a couple weeks earlier so she could get her wing sewn up; she had gotten herself stuck under the fence and ripped it up quite badly. My friends joke about my million dollar chicken; she hasn’t cost me that much, but the bills have been pretty substantial.

    • Posted November 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      I KNOW!  Sometimes that cross-bill can get that way when they are just a few days old and something (like another chick) causes the bill to twist.  She prefers to eat sitting on top of the feeder and digging into the entire thing.
      I do admire your devotion but I’m one not to take my chickens the vet.  Years ago a chicken got an egg stuck the vet tech suggested I take her in for an Xray.  I went for the warm bath method-much cheaper!

  3. Natalie
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Love the video and music. It’s Club Chic-ken! Bye Blind Chicken!

  4. 101 Centavos
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry to see the Blind Chicken leave the blog, but happy that she’s going to be pensioned off to a nice retirement spot. She deserves it.

    • Posted November 9, 2011 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      We really need to get a web cam set up in her new home.  Too evasive?

  5. Amy
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    This article was so sweet. I have a blind chicken named Gold dust, who was the foster mother of three chicks this year. Her “babys” are very protective over her. We also keep her in a brooder box, which is like a five star hotel for a chicken. Right now i’m in the process of building something that will help free range chickens that have lost their sight, or broken a leg. Thanks for the help!

  6. Victoria
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    You are doing a great job keeping this hen. I also have chickens. I saw your blind one and I would trim her beak, making sure it won’t split, little by little. I did it to one of my hens. For some reason the upper part grow longer then the lower. I would also trim her nails. Because she is not scratching the ground, they overgrown.

4 Trackbacks

  1. By Here Duckie Duckie - mikeandmollyshouse.com on November 10, 2011 at 10:00 am

    […] not lay eggs anymore but she has endeared herself with us and we’re even going so far as to drive her to a retirement home 1,000 miles away this winter.  (Might want to take some notes there meat […]

  2. By Turkey - mikeandmollyshouse.com on November 23, 2011 at 5:56 am

    […]  Turkeys have a reputation of being mean and I don’t like keeping mean animals around that may or may not jump on […]

  3. By On the Radio - Mike and Molly's House on December 20, 2011 at 6:41 am

    […] On other fronts we are taking off for the open road!  The kids are off at their other parents for the holidays so we will be packing up the car and taking the Blind Chicken off to her retirement home in San Diego! […]

  4. […] with us might we suggest you catch up by reading a little background on the Blind Chicken…go here and […]

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