Advice on getting a friend for blind hen :)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by heatherincolor, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. heatherincolor

    heatherincolor Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2014
    So I recently got a blind hen. Her story is on my chicken blog if anybody is bored: unlikelychickenfriend.wordpress.com
    She has been free ranging with my other hens and I just don't think I will feel safe letting her live in their coop- mostly because there is a very steep ramp and she has a tendency to fall off things :)
    I have a smaller coop that should work well for her, but I think she needs a friend to help her find food and water and all my hens are much bigger than she is (she's a RIR bantam). So here is my question: What should I look for in a seeing eye chicken? I have read she should be smaller and younger if possible, but what about breed? Are there any super sweet bantam breeds that would be nice to my blind girl?
    And of course any experience in getting a blind chicken friend is greatly appreciated :)
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    There is absolutely no way to guarantee that any chicken will be a good friend to her. No matter the breed, age, gender, they're all individuals with their own preferences... Personally I wouldn't try to remove her from a flock that already tolerates her, I'd just try to 'blind chook proof' the cage and ramp with some bannisters/barriers (lol), or retrain her to sleep in a lower place by putting her there every night for a week or so until she bonded to that roosting location. But, who knows, you may find a way to make your plan work.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. heatherincolor

    heatherincolor Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2014
    Thank you for the reply. That brings up another question though...
    The blind hen has not been living with the other girls, they have just been free ranging together. For the most part they ignore her, but one of the lower ranking hens has pecked and jumped at her twice. Does the fact that they ignore her in the yard mean they would ignore her in the coop too? I just assumed that moving her in with them would cause them to pick on her and i didn't want to put her in danger. I'm very new to keeping chickens so I'm figuring it out as I go :)
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    That's a good point, even a chook that's tolerated in the yard can be attacked if it's forced to share the same cage. If they ignore her in the yard, that's really good, but since one of them is attacking her I wouldn't put her in the same cage. Personally I would probably be rid of the bully, since all bullies do is degrade every other bird's quality of life, if they're able to... Removing the victim solves nothing, since the bully will sooner or later find or make another victim, it's what they do... I don't have bully issues with my flock because I culled out all bullies early on, highly recommend that for quality of life for all chooks.

    Asides from that, I don't know, you could experiment with separating her with a friend, but there's always the chance that whatever bird you choose for her may object to being locked up with a disabled bird.

    Best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014

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