Derperella, the (weird) Faverolles, & Friends



Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
Western NY
My Coop
My Coop
I have been posting about Derperella in my personal journal since the day she hatched, and have received a lot of comments on her, so I thought I would share here!

Even though I present these in a story format, and embellish with the "thoughts" of the chicken (which we cannot truly know of course!), these are all true stories! They actually happened.

Derperella, the Weird Salmon Faverolles
(All content copyright
2011 - 2012 Jennifer Miller)

The tiny Salmon Faverolles chick doesn't remember much of those first days. Truly, it's hard to say if she remembers much of any days, but lets not discredit her too much yet. Let's get to know her first.

Those first days were confusing. It was May 9th, 2011 though the chick didn't have a concept of May or June or numbers or any of that. There was the whole hatching business, which was possibly the hardest thing she'd ever had to do up to that point (before that it was mostly a lot of lazy cells dividing and embryo nonsense that didn't require much effort). Then the dark box for forever....

When the chicks arrived, they were all bright, cheery and ready to eat and drink. Except one. One little Faverolles chick was squished under the other 7, and was colder than the rest. Her eye was crusted over and glued shut. The little chick was not doing well and her age and size were so tender and new that there wasn't much hope.


Still, the Big Hands scooped her up and warmed her, and gently opened her gooey eye. Food and drink were offered (while the other chicks ate until their crops were so big that they kept tumbling over) but the little chick did not want them. Hours later, after trying time and again, the person attached to the Big Hands offered sugar water in an eyedropper. The Faverolles chick drank one drop before tucking her head back and sleeping deeply. Nature is unbiased, and this little chick was not meant to make it, it seemed. It was with a heavy heart but a brain full of stubbornness that the person kept after the chick day and night for the first two days, trying everything but only able to get the chick to drink a little sugar water now and then.

The little chick's eye would crust over, regularly, every few hours. The Big Hands person cleaned it off again every few hours.

On day three, the chick decided that she'd become bored with sugar water, and much to the Big Hand person's relief, began to beg and look for food in earnest. Her eye was starting to stay open and she seemed a little more perky, if not wobbly and disjointed. Her person started offering gooey food on the tip of the eyedropper, and the chick found this to be pleasing for the first time. However, while all the other chicks were eating on their own (with great gusto!), the little Faverolles would only try to eat from the eyedropper. Her person thought she'd be clever (when will people learn?!) and move the eyedropper ever closer to the food source, but that didn't work. The Faverolles chick would have none of that food. The only food she wanted was if it was stuck to an eyedropper.

Eventually though, like most chicks, impatience got the better of the Faverolles chick. She couldn't be bothered to wait for her person and the eyedropper so many times a day! And so, even though it would please her person, the Faverolles started eating and drinking on her own after seven days.


And lo, did she immediately get a crop impaction.

The food wouldn't go down; she was hungry but couldn't eat any more. Life wasn't fair-- and so when life is not fair it is time to peep as loudly as possible. Then a little more loudly than that. This is a very special type of peep, the kind that makes your eardrums shimmer. After eight hours of waiting, the chick's person was in despair. The chick was in denial (and was hungry). There was a lot of peeping. And so, the chick got some olive oil and a lot of strange massages. The Faverolles chick was not entirely sure how she felt about this-- really, after all, the point was that she was hungry and so all this rubbing seemed very silly. But... hmm. Hands are warm, and.. and it sort of does feel good. Maybe a nap would be in order.

When she woke, she felt much better; her crop was empty and her gizzard was full. Very satisfying. Obviously, this called for another nap.

When she woke, the Faverolles chick felt wonderful, and hungry. And so she ate, and ate, and felt wonderful.

And her crop impacted again.

“Hey,” said Nature. “Really. This chick isn't meant to make it.”

“Hey,” said the chick's person. “Much respect, but I gotta try.”

And so the first three weeks of the chick's life were a struggle, nearly every day revealing a different problem. After the crop stopped impacting, the little Faverolles started spinning circles and developed Wry Neck. After a lot more intensive care and some careful supplements, that cleared up only to have several other non-contagious ailments pop up. The chick's person stubbornly worked through them, and as time wore on it was clear that either the chick's genetics, bad development in the egg, poor nutrition the first days of life, or a combo thereof had addled the brain of the poor little chick. She was.. well, frankly, she was... derpy . Once it became clear that she actually might survive, her humans named her Derperella.

Thus begins Derperella's story.

More to come shortly!

Partridge Rock Chick "Whoa. What's wrong with your cheeks?"
Derperella: "Derrrr!"

This thread has grown far beyond what I ever would have expected! Thank you all!
For your reading and reference, pipdzipdnreadytogo has assembled a list of the "Derpiest" posts! Thanks, pipzip!

Table of Contents list updated through 7/17/2012:

Page 1, Post 1 - Derperella's First Days
Page 1, Post 4 - Derp Growing Up / Derp and the Q-Tip
Page 1, Post 7 - Derp the 'Defective' Pullet
Page 2, Post 12 - Hurrrr??
Page 4, Post 32 - Derp's Interactions with Friends (Honk-honka-cluck!)
Page 6, Post 52 - Derperella Growing into a Real Chicken
Page 8, Post 77 - Derp Learns to Dustbathe / Derp in Another Universe
Page 11, Post 102 - Derperella and Friends Begin Supervised Free-Range
Page 14, Post 133 - A Mini-Update About Cranky Pullets
Page 15, Post 142 - The Finished Graphic for Derp Shirts!
Page 16, Post 160 - Derp Shirt Info
Page 17, Post 169 - Derperella's Glamor Photos / Link to buy Derp shirts
Page 18, Post 179 - Other link to buy Derp shirts
Page 20, Post 191 - Derp's Thoughts on Chairs
Page 21, Post 208 - Where Did Derp Come From?
Page 23, Post 225 - Life Is Good
Page 25, Post 249 - Derp on the ATV
Page 27, Post 264 - Derp's Strange Display
Page 32, Post 317 - Coho
Page 34, Post 334 - Derp's Many Exciting Quirks
Page 37, Post 368 - Derp's First Egg!!
Page 38, Post 371 - Derp's First Egg--The Story!
Page 40, Post 394 - Grill Goes Missing! / I FOUND IT!
Page 41, Post 406 - A Painting of Coho
Page 44, Post 431 - A Post About Chickadee
Page 50, Post 497 - A Mini-Update About the First Snow
Page 51, Post 508 - A Lot About Snowy Weather / Derp Broke a Nail
Page 53, Post 526 - A Mini-Update About Derp Perching Outside One Night
Page 56, Post 551 - Coho Playing Angry Birds
Page 60, Post 591 - Some Videos to Tide Over the Fans
Page 62, Post 617 - Time to Re-home Gullincambe...
Page 64, Post 638 - Goin' Round The Rooster
Page 66, Post 652 - Derp and Friends get BOSS
Page 66, Post 653 - Gullincambe Spots a Hawk
Page 67, Post 669 - Derp and Coho on the Outdoor Roost
Page 70, Post 691 - Just Derpin' Along
Page 73, Post 722 - A Mini-Update About Gullincambe and a Planned Chicken Garden
Page 78, Post 773 - A Mini-Update About Derp's Beard
Page 80, Post 791 - A Derpy Easter Post
Page 83, Post 823 - Derperella, Ham Dispenser
Page 92, Post 914 - The Fud Lady has a Grumpy Day
Page 96, Post 957 - BYC Masterpiece Classics Presents: Derperella and Juliet (Courtesy of ChirpyChick)
Page 98, Post 971 - BYC Classical Masterpieces! (Courtesy of Pele)
Page 100, Post 999 - A Mini-Update About Derp Regrowing Feathers and New Easter-Egger Chicks
Page 110, Post 1095 - The Fud Lady's Art Show Gallery
Page 111-121 - That Awful Time when The Fud Lady was Too Busy to be On Much
Page 122, Post 1214 - A Picture of Easter-Egger Chicks--With Derp in the Background!
Page 123, Post 1225 - An Update About Gardens, Panic Pants, Paintings, and Slow-Cooking in the Heat
Page 123, Post 1227 - A Painting of Lorp
Page 124, Post 1231 - Derp and her Invisible Chickies
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Now I'm going to have to subscribe.

Person writes so very well...

... I want' more of Derps story!!!!

She's gotta be three months old now!
And so, it seemed that despite her body (Genetics? Development? Nutition?) working against her, Derperella was surviving. And she was growing... boy was she ever growing! That is a chick's job, though: Grow big, eat deep, lotsa peep, and sleep, sleep, sleep. (And deposit ever larger gifts, generously given by the Butt Fluff, into the Big Hands of the Big Hand person.)

Though, Derperella was starting to learn what the other chicks had figured out long before. The Big Hands person did have nice, big, warm hands, this is true. Great for naps, by the way. But they also had food! Derp soon figured that it was also the Food Lady. Soon the Food Lady started bringing small treats of oatmeal mixed with chick grower mash in a spoon, and Derperella was no longer having her past adversion to eating. She was eating with the best of them! Goo and food flying everywhere. Especially into her cheek fuzz.

Oh, right! The cheek fuzz. This is important. For, you see, as many of you know, Salmon Favorelles have glorious cheek floof (muffs) and a beard that would make a female dwarf boil with envy. Derperella had very enthusiastic cheek fuzz. It was so enthusiastic that it was constantly gluing itself into her eyes and catching every bit of gooey food that came within a three foot radius of Derp. The Food Lady trimmed them back, gingerly, but Derp managed to get them in her eyes anyhow. Sometimes life is a mystery that way. With Derperella, it's usually a mystery.

Derperella grew and grew. At first, she and her 'sister', Coho, the only other Salmon Faverolles in the group, looked nearly identical. But anyone that watched the chicks for more than a moment could tell the two apart simply by their actions.

Coho, a fair chick by anyone's measure, would do all the normal chick things. She ate with the group, fell asleep when they did, responded to the other chick's body language.

Derperella, however, stared into space, stared into space, stared int- LAUNCHED INTO THE AIR, bounced off of the brooder wall, --now it's time to eat! ... Stared into space...

Derperella (front, face-planted into the carpet) and Coho (back)


One time, the Food Lady was cleaning a small wound on one of the other rambunctious chicks. The other chick had scratched her foot when she was out running around and the Food Lady was using a cotton swab to doctor it up, and once she was done, she placed the cotton swab up high out of the reach of curious chicks.

The Food Lady was temporarily distracted while talking to The Food Lady's Sister (whom also sometimes had Food), when the Food Lady's sister said, “Hmm. I don't like the way that's sticking out of her mouth.”

Confused, the Food Lady wondered what on earth that could mean... and turned to look at the chicks.

Peeping excitedly, and running at top speed in circles around the room, was Derperella. She had managed to swallow half of the cotton swab, presumably before one end hit the bottom of her crop. The other end was sticking out of her beak at exactly the angle that one would expect. Unable to swallow it further, the obvious solution was to peep the excited “I has FOOD” peep and run around at mach speeds.

Sadly, no photos of this event were recorded. I was able to do a sketch of what transpired, however (you are on your own for imagining the excited peeps):

Instead of trying to snatch the cotton swab away from Derp as they would with any normal food item, the other chicks watched her, and seemed baffled.
Who could blame them, really?

Shaking her head with disbelief, the Food Lady delicately pulled the cotton swab out of Derperella's mouth (throat... crop...) and checked on the little insane chick. Derp fluffed her fluff happily, her cheek fluff poking her eyes, and acted like none of it ever happened.
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Derperella's life growing up as a 'defective' pullet was no less adventurous. As she continued to grow, it became more and more clear to her people that nothing about her was going to be normal.

Even her feathers were coming in the 'wrong' colors! While her people had no great ambitions about her quality, it was no less amusing that poor Derp couldn't even grow normal Salmon Faverolles colors.

Much more disturbing was the fact that Derp's entire skull seemed to be slightly askew. Yes... as she grew it was more and more clear that her face was indeed twisted to one side.


Soon, the other pullets were reaching an age where the terrible pecking order was starting to be laid out.
Surely this deformed, runty and mentally handicapped chicken would be as low on the list as one could get! Her people were actually quite scared the other chickens would sense something wrong with her and beat the tar out of poor Derp.

But... no!
Derperella actually simply didn't seem to care about things like pecking orders. She mistook chest bumping for saying hello, and would affectionately preen the other chicken's face. When they'd peck her so say "I'm boss of you!", Derp would sit there and stare into space. Their disciplines had no effect on her! And so it was that Derp was not only high on the totem pole... she seemed to be outside of it entirely.


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