Smarter than your average chicken

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by gritsar, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Lil'Bit is my 2+ year old half blind brahma hen. I've noticed recently that her vision seems to be getting worse, but she sticks close to my roo all day and does just fine. Each evening her crop is about the size of a tennis ball, so it's not like she's having trouble finding food.
    Lil'Bit's biggest obstacle has always been getting up on a roost at night. She just doesn't have any depth perception when the light is low. As a young pullet she developed the habit of waiting for me by the coop door in the evenings, knowing that I'll put her up on a roost when I go out there to lock them up. If for some reason I'm late, she gives up waiting and parks herself facing a corner of the coop, under the roosts.
    Last night I was late going out and Lil'Bit parked herself in her corner. When she heard me enter the coop she turned to come to me, but I moved towards the nestboxes instead so she stopped. When I noticed her just standing there I started calling to her. She'd walked a few steps towards me and then stop, cock her head to listen, make course corrections and then walk a few more steps. She zeroed in on my position using the sound of my voice and then leaped into my arms. The way she started chattering away I could tell she was proud of herself.
    Lil'Bit will always be special needs, but she's also one smart chicken. [​IMG]
     
  2. AJ666

    AJ666 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2010
    La Crosse, WI
    Oh how cute! [​IMG]
     
  3. awheel11

    awheel11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2010
    ahhhh [​IMG] I've got a blink chick and I hope she'll manage as well as Lil' Bit [​IMG]
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:They can absolutely do well. When you think about it, a chicken doesn't realize that they are handicapped. To them being different is normal; it's all they've ever known.
    Don't move their feeders, waterers, or other coop furnishings around unnecessarily. When Lil' Bit was small I took her aside once or twice a day and offered her a one-on-one feeding. She's slower to eat than the rest of the flock and giving her those feedings gave her the boost she needed to grow normally.
    I can't prove it but I'm certain my roo knows she's different and he makes allowances for her.
     
  5. awheel11

    awheel11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Thanks for the advice! She has one little chick friend that stays around her and kinda helps take care of her. Will she be able to live with the rest of the flock when she's old enough? The other ones free range most of the time. Or should I make a separate area for her and maybe her chick friend?
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:That's a decision that you'll have to make based on your particular set-up. Lil'Bit is part of my free range flock. Free ranging is all she's ever known. I used to stress about her alot because she had a tendency to get seperated alot from the main body of the flock. She would be so intent on what she was foraging for that she wouldn't notice when the rest of the flock moved on. Then I realized that when that would happen she would simply make her way back to the coop area and wait for them there; usually in the company of my other special needs hen Lilith. For the past year or so Lil'Bit has attached herself to my roo. She's always right by his side and rarely ever gets seperated. She's compensated.
     

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