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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