Monday, March 25, 2013

Marilyn 'The Blind Chick'

I know you're all on pins and needles waiting for the latest Marilyn Monroe update.  If you remember, she is the chick we got who is blind.  Well,  we've got good news and bad news.
First the good news:  She's eating!  Woo Hoo!  And she is now eating like she's been starving for a few days.  Oh, wait... she has been....
But, the bad news is HOW she's eating.  I finally got her to eat this morning by making a mash of the chick feed and warm water, holding her in my hand and essentially shoving her face into it.  She was looking pretty peaked this morning so this was literally going to be do or die.  And she ate a little.  Amazingly enough after eating, she was scratching around and pecking the floor, which she had never done before.  But, I put her near the food and she still couldn't find it.

The solution:  I'm feeding her in a box.  Yup, I've got a small box (actually the one we brought the chicks home in) with a small container of mash in it. I put her in the box and she pecks around until she finds the food.  By putting her in a small box her chances of finding the food are greater and without the wood shavings in the bottom she isn't picking up non-edibles all the time.  But it's really kind of sad to watch because she often 'loses' the food dish and then pecks around the bottom of the box until she finds it again.  She also is so small that she isn't holding her body temperature well and gets cold quickly.  So feeding her is a chore of putting her in the box for a few minutes, putting her back in with the others so she can warm up under the brooder lamp and repeating the cycle a few times.
At least she is getting quicker at finding the food dish in the box the more times we do this.  Of course, I wonder what I'm getting myself into.  Just what I need, a high maintenance, special needs chicken.  But, at least this is giving her a fighting chance to figure out how to fend for herself.

Yeah... I'm sure there are many people who will tell me I should have just culled her or let her die.  But she is awfully sweet.


  1. I would do the same thing....she may be attached to your for a long time..
    Wish our weather would make up its mind...
    wishing you a fantastic successful gardening year...Lisa

    1. I also wish the weather would decide to be spring. At least the latest round of snow is melting already.
      I do feel bad that I have to go back to work tomorrow so the feeding cycles will fall to my hubby. He says he's willing to do it. Sometimes I really, really love that guy!

  2. Hi Judy.

    If it is any consolation I would not have killed her, either. I would be doing just what you are doing :-)

    I view it as giving a living creature a fighting chance :-)

    If all else fails she could live in a small pen where she could find her food and might be a terrific broody hen or a really good egg layer?

    And sometime just being awfully sweet s enough - after all, we keep pets who may have no other purpose but to be sweet and make us feel happy :-)

    I like what you are doing for her, anyway :-)

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I was reading about other people who have blind hens and yes, they have them in a separate pen and they seem to do pretty well.
      And she is one of our Ameraucanas so should lay some lovely shade of egg when she matures. At least she is eating now so she has a chance.

      And thanks for the vote of confidence.

  3. Me too, I would do the same thing. I think "disabled" animals can do amazingly well, she just might need some extra help to get started. Good for you!

    1. She seems to be perking up since she got started eating. But she's still behind the other chicks. Hopefully she'll continue to eat and grow.

  4. Oh! I'm so glad you are giving her a chance! She may be a little slow to get started but she may also become your favorite AND be the best layer you've ever had. Bless her heart. I'm glad she is doing better!! Keep up the good work. God loves those who help those that are needy....debbie

  5. I'd be doing the same thing....she deserves that chance, at least in my world she does. I can well imagine she might be on the small side and continue to need help, but she should adapt fairly quickly to the food dish and finding it, unless she has other brain issues that aren't showing up yet. I hope she continues to thrive! I think animals with compromised sensory issues learn to make up for their weaknesses in other ways. She may end up surprising you!


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