Tag Archives: indoor chicken

Lesson 1508 – Charlie – our family chicken



I have been sitting on this one for many months. It happened during our Border-to-border walk this summer and I knew I had to put it on the backburner until we finished, otherwise I would lose it.

Some chickens mean more than others.

And then it was too painful to retrieve it so I just let it sit and sit unattended.  But it’s time to confront this head on.

My beautiful, beautiful Black Copper Maran, Charlie died. She had been ill for a while. Something was affecting her nervous system and she had difficulty walking. She’d list to one side, fall down, and then we’d have to pick her up and set her on her feet again. One day she’d be okay, the next day she’d have her “drunk dance” back.

As she continued with her declining health, we tried a few things. I gave her physical therapy (a towel sling while she worked her legs.) We made sure that she always had food and water nearby so that she wouldn’t have to go far. I picked her up at the end of the day to place her in the safety of the coop each night.

One night, when I was away on a walk, she finally laid down and died. Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

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?


Filed under Backyard Chickens, Charlie, chicken care, Chicks