Chickens Health Issues Stories from Our Nest

The Story of Dolly our Bald Chicken

Dolly has no head feathers.  She has been bald above the eyes for a while now.  It all started in the spring, when she had one of her broody bouts; mind you she goes broody about every three weeks.  That is just how Dolly is.  It is a vicious cycle.  Two days ago, I noticed that Dolly’s head feathers were finally returning again. Beautiful dark pin feathers were filling in the bald vacancies.  They were about a half an inch long.  Was she finally going to have some poofy Silkie feathers?  Alas it wasn’t meant to be.

I walked out to the coop this morning and opened up the door, out they all popped one by one except for Dolly.  Just like clockwork, as her feathers begin to return, so does the broodiness.  There she was sitting upon two tiny Silkie eggs in the far right nesting box.  Her tiny head was plucked clean in the center.  Some of the pin feathers were missing. Over the next few days, the rest will be pecked clean when she refuses to give up her favorite box to an impatient chicken ready to lay an egg.

I don’t think that her head feathers will ever return, unless I separate her out from the others.  It is a sad price to pay for vanity if you ask me.  She is happy.  She is healthy.  She loves her family and she loves being broody.  She doesn’t have a mirror to glance into nor does she need one.  She is Dolly, no matter if she is donning head feathers or not and she is beautiful.   She is beautiful in so many ways.

Dolly has the most gentle soul that I have ever met.  She loves to snuggle.  She loves to love and be loved.  She is sweet to everyone in the flock.  She never takes the lead and she never minds giving way to the others.  She is compassionate to other chickens when they are not feeling well and she loves to share a dust bath with Oyster Cracker everyday in the late morning.  Often, I will peek out the window to spy on them to find her resting her chin on Oyster Cracker’s wing, both completely boneless in dust bath heaven.

Feathers or no feathers, it does not matter in the world of chickens.  Whether you are covered in dirt, walking around with a messy bottom everyday, or haven fallen victim to dreaded lice and mites, you are still part of the flock, accepted for who you are.

Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest

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