Lesson 511 – Update on Charlie – our indoor chicken

This morning I let Charlie out of her cage in order to get some photos (I write on the 3rd floor and she’s only allowed out of her cage when someone is with her on the first floor.) She’s grown quite a bit and if she had a few sisters, I might be inclined to move her out to the henhouse. But because she’s by herself and I’m a little concerned about pecking and because even though this weekend was GORGEOUS – I know we’ll be getting more snow, Charlie continues to live in our house. (Let’s face it, it’s also beyond neat to have a chicken living in the house, Charlie is a never ending source of droll stories making Marc and I *very* popular party guests.)

Charlie is a funny little bird. She loves to be comforted but, like a temperamental cat, it has to be on her terms. She’s not too keen on us picking her up but when we’re watching TV or reading in the room, she has to be near us (mostly me) either sidling over to tuck under my neck or curled up in my lap. She particularly likes it when I wear Swarovski crystal dangling earrings which lets her play the ever popular game “what else can I do to get Wendy’s attention?”

Accepted as one of the family (just one who peeps all the time), it’s not unusual to walk by the TV room and hear an exasperated “Charlie, will you please keep quiet, I can’t hear.” Even the dog (once Charlie got taller then he is) has accepted Charlie as just another family member. Often you’ll find them curled up next to each other or sharing each other’s water bowls. And speaking of water, I’m not sure how it got started but we have a red shiny water bottle from which Charlie likes to have her night-time nip. All we do is shake the bottle and she comes running over for a capful of water. If you didn’t think this chicken was spectacular before, her water drinking ability will absolutely win you over.

“That chicken is never going to make it out to the hen house”, a visiting friend recently remarked when she saw Charlie follow me out to the kitchen. If it weren’t for the (lack of) house training part, I’d be inclined to agree and while there are local bets being placed on whether Charlie makes it out to our coop or not, there’s just something about stepping in a fresh pile of hen poop that makes you want to say, “soon, soon enough.”

I’ve included some before and after shots for you to see Charlie’s progress. A friend of mine is going to be getting me another maran hen so that when we do move Charlie out (and we will, we will) she will have a buddy on which to rely.

Charlie's feet when we got her.

Charlie's feet now, weird center toenail but otherwise beautiful.

Such a big chick

Pretty soon, we'll have to move to a wine bottle.

Pippin and Charlie.

Whose a good puppy-dog?

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3 Comments

Filed under Backyard Chickens, Charlie, chicken care, Chicks

3 responses to “Lesson 511 – Update on Charlie – our indoor chicken

  1. Hey sis–good grief that little chick is definitely a teenager now! What amazing growth. Our cockatiel became a “dog in a bird’s body” as exclaimed by one of Steven’s friends, and was very helpful as a watch-bird. She always knew when someone was approaching the house and would warn us all. More than once we had to get a ladder to get her down from the top of a window or other high perch when she accidentally flew up and didn’t know how to let go and fly away. No doubt you will soon be at a crossroad to let your odd-duck chicken bond with other chickens or remain the household pet. My bets are on the household pet. By the way, there is such a thing as housebreaking a bird. Best to you!

  2. Jenn

    Aww…. She’s such a cutie! What a blessed little chicken! <3 <3 <3

  3. My wife has become almost as much of a chicken fanatic as you are, but she is also quite a “neat-freak.” There are two chicks in a mini-pen upstairs at the moment (it is almost time for me to feed them their baby-chick lunch or I will be sleeping on the cold, cold ground of the chicken run tonight), but they stay in their pen. There is no way a chicken is going to walk around in our house.

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