Lesson 556 – The transition of Charlie

Charlie is still living in our house but, (and some might consider this progress) we are slowly transitioning her to the hen house.

I blame Cincinnati for why we are starting to move her outdoors. After being away for a week and then coming home, I hadn’t realized just how much our house smells like a barn. Like a big, stinky, animal filled barn, and while I would love to blame it all on the kids (seriously? A dried up apple core by your computer?) I’m afraid that a lot of the blame goes to good ol’ Charlie.

Chickens in a well ventilated outdoor pen do not smell.

Chickens raised in a family living room do.

End of discussion.

What we’ve been trying for the last few days is to keep Charlie with the other hens during the day and then take her into the house at night so that she can get food and rest. I know, I know, this is exactly opposite of what some people say to do. I’ve been counseled by some to put Charlie in the hen house when all are roosting (after all a roosting bird is not a fighting bird) but I can’t do that just yet. At least not until the weather gets warmer, and the sun shines, and the planets are aligned, and …….

To those of you who don’t believe I will ever get this bird out of the house, don’t fret. It will happen.


One of my sons who is suffering from a chronic and severe health problem is scheduled to come home in about 2 weeks. He’s having problems walking and his general health has gone downhill (but to his credit, he is still passing all his college courses – a testament to his strength and courage.)

The plan is that when he gets home, he goes into Mommy ICU – rest, fluids, healthy foods, supplements, and plenty of positive thoughts. You can bet that this mama hen will be hovering over his nest for as long as he will let me.

In the meantime, until he gets here, I can take care of Charlie, our miraculous little chick who overcame so much. I can let her know that even though it’s time for her to go out, meet others, and explore this great world of ours, we will always be here for her, offering a tiny respite from what can sometimes be a very rough place in which to live.

She’s safe in the house


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Charlie, Personal, The kids

6 responses to “Lesson 556 – The transition of Charlie

  1. It will be interesting to see if Charlie socialises normally or if it takes a few altercations for her to find her way. It will be a great new adventure for her.

  2. lscheuer

    Wendy, I would definitely not sneak Charlie into the henhouse at night and leave her there.
    I think the best thing for Charlie is to fashion her a little pen next door to the hens, and let her spend days in their presence. I’d also put a practice-roost in her pen that’s similar to the one that the girls roost on at night.
    She needs to be socializing with them before she moves in with them, or she won’t stand a chance. Also, when the other ladies are out – and – about, maybe in the afternoon, I would put Charlie into the henhouse/coop alone a few times , so she can get comfortable in that space.
    You’ve got far more chicken-experience than I, but I just thought I’d put in my two cents. We all love Charlie so!!!

  3. Wendy, I’m with Lauren only I’d set up a the pen nearer to the house because it sounds like you need Charlie more than Charlie needs you just now.

    It’s hard when we have a pet that struggles. We get so attached and only want to see them happy and enjoying their life.

    I sure hope Charlie gets well soon.


  4. Perhaps you can make Charlie a little house with enclosure next to yours, maybe on the patio or porch? I’m thinking her social skills as a flock member are likely to be compromised by now. Charlie can be a special pet just the same, and the good news is your house won’t smell like a barn!

  5. Valerie

    Here’s a good article on mypetchicken.com that provides some advice on introducing chickens to an existing flock: http://www.mypetchicken.com/backyard-chickens/chicken-help/How-do-I-introduce-new-chickens-into-my-old-flock-H128.aspx?

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