The crooked little hen is in trouble.
She just won’t listen.
First she was hanging out on the front porch.
And she wouldn’t leave.
She was stealing the dogs’ food instead of sitting with the other hens at lunch.
Then she found the back porch and she started stealing the cats’ food.
She got to where she wouldn’t leave the back porch, even at night. She moved in right next to the cat bowls and she wasn’t budging. Unless she could come in the house and BELIEVE ME, SHE TRIED. Every time I let the cats in and out, the crooked little hen tried to come in, too.
Now the crooked little hen is in detention.
I put her in the chicken house. She doesn’t like it. She has always yearned to be a free bird. This crooked little hen is about a year and a half old. She is from the first batch of chicks I incubated last year. She’s always had a crooked beak and she’s done pretty well in spite of her disability. She eats just fine and she’s quite popular with the boys. She hasn’t roosted at night in the chicken house in months, ever since I first started free-ranging. She’s been roosting on the goat pen gates with the other rebels. Until she decided she was a cat.
But now it’s time for her to take responsibility for her behavior and act like a hen. And stop trying to bust her way out every time I open the chicken house door to look for eggs.
In fact, she could lay an egg or two herself for once.
Right, crooked little hen?
This is tough love, lil missy! DO YOU HEAR ME, CROOKED LITTLE HEN?
She’s totally listening on the inside, don’t you think?


  1. Thunja says:

    how in the world do you keep the coons or other critters from going up on your porch and eating the cat food? I live inside the city limits of Orlando and could NEVER leave kitty food outside. The coons, opossums and rats come and have at it. not to mention the ants and the roaches.

  2. Julie Harward says:


  3. VaGirl2 says:

    She ain’t listen’.

  4. Callie says:

    Well, I think the little hen finds it much easier to pick up and eat the cat food because it is larger than chicken feed and that is why she is on the porch. Chickens with crooked beak should eat their feed out of a deep dish so they can fill up their beak. I think she is pretty smart to figure out a new food source that is easy for her to eat. Love your blog!

  5. Karen Anne says:

    I think Callie is right, it must be easier for her to eat the cat and dog food. Poor little hen.

  6. joanne says:

    poor little hen…I wonder why she touches my heart so?? Sounds like the porch is the place to be! How can she possibly be safe outside the chicken area….little sweetie.

  7. JoLinda says:

    I had a cockatiel who had a beak problem. We would take a Dremel and file down her beak because it would grow so much. Use a towel to cover her face and nares so you don’t get dust in them. As long as you don’t file off too much it doesn’t hurt them. It enabled her to eat and drink better than ever. If you don’t want to do that you could use dog clippers and just nip a little off at a time.

    It seems like a lot of work but when you love them you do what you can.

  8. lisab says:

    AAAAAAAWW!!!!!!! She loves you all and wants to be close to you :happyflower:

  9. Mia says:

    that was a funny post – I laughed all the way through. Hope to have myself some chickens when I get down there to the “holler” in a few years… Better tell the crooked little hen that there’s wild things out there in them thar hill and she better stay where she’s told! hehehe

  10. CindyP says:

    Awww….you always seem to have problems with animals taking on other’s personalities!!! :sheep: :woof: :chicken: πŸ™‚

  11. Diane says:

    Poor little hen. I am sad she had to go back to the hen house.

  12. carol says:

    Okay, this is a city slicker talking but why can’t she just live on the back porch with the cats. They don’t seem to mind and she feels comfortable there and everything….mabye the other hens give her a hard time in the henhouse or maybe she feels inadequate there because of her disability. The cats don’t realize she’s different, other than on a species basis, so maybe she feels that she fits in there.
    See…this is why I am not a farmer! I’d have Crooked Little Hen sleeping under my bed!

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      I don’t want the crooked little hen living on the back porch for a couple of reasons, but a big one is that she’s not safe back there by herself. Chickens are safest when they’re with other chickens, not by themselves. If she’s not going to roost at night in the chicken house, she needs to roost on the goat pen gates with the other chickens and the goats and Poky. Predators stay away from a group of animals like that. I’m afraid she’ll get nabbed on the back porch by herself. And since she quit roosting on the goat pen gates, she’s best off in the chicken house.

  13. Johanna says:

    The question is “who’s in charge here?” and I think we all know the answer has the initials C.L.H.!!!

  14. Valerie says:

    Hilarious post. When she turned her back to you initially I thought she was in a time-out. But then when she was waddling up to go inside the hen house it was if she was saying “Talk to the fluffy chicken butt”. Chicken detention indeed!

  15. Lynn says:

    These little animals have such personalities, don’t they? People who don’t have chickens just don’t know. I didn’t used to know until I got chickens last year…

  16. Bonnie says:

    Tell her to march herself in that coop where she belongs or could be some critters supper. She is a day hen not a night owl.

  17. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    I know another reason you don’t want her on the porch :chicken: ! Stepping in chicken poop 3 times was enough for me to decide it was time for my rebel hen to go back with her sisters!

  18. B. Ruth says:

    Could you clip her beak somewhat like they do for hens to avoid hen pecking…(feather picking chickens)….at least just a little at a time so she can get her beak shut…
    We had a hen one time that had an abnormal short (upper only) beak…Looked like the hens that mass produced egg houses keep, you know clipped to the nub. To look at her you would think for sure she had been clipped but she was born that way….
    Unless it was a dietary thing..I would not want chicks from this sweet little hen…it could carry the cross-beak gene…and you could end up with a cross-beak flock…LOL

  19. debbie says:

    Does she, at least, get to stay with her new friends during the day?

  20. Joycee says:

    It’s hard finding the hole you are “pegged” for, and then accepting!

  21. Minna says:

    Animals just simply have a mind of their own. Some more than others. Believe me, I know. Last summer I looked after my brother’s dog for nearly a month and she drove me crazy! And I could actually see from her face when she decided to do something I wouldn’t like, like dash to my cousins’ summer cottage or swim around both lakes and the pond between and scare the wild ducks. :snoopy:

  22. claudia w says:

    She could come live with my chickens in the garage…I can’t bear to put them outside just yet, it’s too cold. (They are only a couple of months old) They would take her right in…

  23. IowaCowgirl says:

    “…and she’s quite popular with the boys..” ha.

  24. JOJO says:

    :snowman: :woof: :snowman:

    You are right to put her in with the other animals at night, she would be easy prey for wild animals. We have bird feeders and I see hawks watching from high in the trees during the day,we even had one sitting on our back porch railing a couple of weeks ago– one could easily swoop down on the porch and get her. I am happy she is where she is safe.
    Even if she comes back with a note from mama hen saying it is ok for her to be on the porch,——just say no!!

  25. Jayme aka The Coop Keeper says:

    Oh my! That hen is one hot mess isn’t she! I’m glad she can eat ok, cause when I look at her, I wonder how in the world she can. 20% of my chickens are disabled….lol…a raccoon chewed the feet of of one, and bit the head of one so that she seems that she’s had a stroke. But they are both tenacious survivors, and do quite well. You can learn alot from the henhouse can’t you?

  26. WvSky says:

    She has what’s known in the Parrot world as “scissors beak”. This is not good for her and should be repaired before it goes any further. You must be careful however since there are large nerves and blood vessels in the beak. She could bleed to death easily. My advice is to take her to a Vet willing to take her on as a charity case, or have her for dinner. :bugeyed:

  27. Dianna McBride says:

    Oh…I could never have her for dinner…could you, Suzanne? Poor Little Crooked Hen. I hope she didn’t hear that comment. I would love to have chickens. I lived in the same home with my grandparents when I was a child. My grandmother had chickens and my favorite time of day was going to the hen house with Grandma to gather the eggs. And just like Grandma, I loved talking to the chickens. But for right now at least, having chickens isn’t practical for us. Glad for the early childhood experience though…always!

  28. Cindy says:

    I busted up laughing while I read this, and the picture of the hen eating beside the cat is so funny. We have a cat here that thinks he’s a dog. If the dogs bark to go out, or because they hear a noise outside, the cat will yowl, too, and he’ll run to the door with the dogs. He loves dog food, and I have a time keeping him away from the dogs’ bowls, as some of them do not want to share. This entry, though, is just classic and is so funny.

  29. kerri says:

    The Crooked Little Hen has a mind of her own (albiet a chicken mind/bird brain) :chicken: πŸ™‚
    I hope she soon learns to toe the line and be a better behaved chicken so that she’s not in danger of becoming some critter’s dinner.
    Being a “parent” isn’t an easy job, is it? It’s so hard to convince them that we’re just looking out for their best interests πŸ˜‰
    Good luck with that!

  30. Betsy says:

    Awwww, she is just very independent. And smart! Inside is much better than outside, and handy food on the porch. Who can blame her?

  31. Rebecca says:

    Maybe the other hens make fun of her for her crooked beak! The cats just accept her for who she is and she loves it on the porch. You should let her stay!!!!

  32. vicki (stickhorsecowgirl) says:

    Sounds like she has an attitude! Do you suppose her eggs might taste a bit like Meow Mix? lol Vicki (Stickhorsecowgirl)

  33. The Retired One says:

    Too funny!
    She is just going through that adolescent stage where they are defiant.
    Wait until that first rooster breaks her heart and she comes running to you for a hug….you’ll get your “I said so’s” then!!!

  34. Linda says:

    Hi, Suzanne! I’m a “newby” to your blog and a fan. I think I learned about it through “The Pioneer Woman” blog. I really enjoy reading about your farm and family. One question, who or what is “52” ? Thanks, Linda

  35. wkf says:

    Catfood is chicken caviar! :hungry: She will always go back, you might as well just feed her with the cats and pray she doesn’t tell any of the other chickens. Or leave her in Chicken Purgatory. :chicken: Or move the catfood and have a herd of mad cats. :hissyfit: I had a rooster that figured out the cat door, frustrating on lots of levels. :wave: She has sideburns, does she lay colored eggs?

  36. catslady says:

    You are smarter than me – Besides my ferals/strays, I end up feeding possums, racoons, the occasional skunk and even wild birds (I really don’t mind but it does get expensive lol).

  37. Karen Anne says:

    Carol, Crooked Little Hen would be sleeping -on- my bed πŸ™‚

  38. Johanna says:

    Are you sure that the other hens aren’t picking on her? They are very sensitive to anything “different”. I had an elderly hen eaten by the others in my flock right in my barn just a few weeks ago. I got home from work and found just a carcass. (I put pictures on my blog, but they’re pretty gross.)

    She may have decided the food is really much better and easier to eat on the porch, and when she stays there she isn’t teased and pecked at. Maybe she doesn’t want to be so popular with the boys?

  39. Linda says:

    It looks as if the crooked little hen has an identity crisis. She either thinks she’s a dog or a cat, but certainly not a chicken. We have a dog with a personality disorder as well. Great photos!

  40. Barbee' says:

    Poor little hen needs braces. :chicken:

  41. mirela says:

    oh, the black sheep of your crowd! adorable!

  42. JOJO says:

    Suzanne–I just saw on weatherbug that it will be zero or below here tonight,I just to remind folks to think of their pets in weather like this, our baby lives inside so that is not a worry for us, we do however have a cat that comes up on our porch in cold weather, so I made a box with a blanket inside to keep it warm–at least I think it is a cat, what ever it is I dont want it to freeze.
    I am so happy that all your animals are well protected in bad weather.
    Thank you.


  43. Cranberry says:

    Poor lil’ gal, she’s handicapped, needs a little extra TLC! Let her inside, you guys would have fun! she could sample your recipes!

  44. Sasha says:

    It looks like you need to trim her beak. Beaks normally wear down on their own, but because hers is crooked it doesn’t and if it continues to grow she may have a harder and harder time of eating and will eventually starve. That could be why she’s spending so much time on the deck. TRIM THAT BEAK! Ask your vet how to do it, maybe they’ll do it for you!

  45. Crystal Thompson says:

    We once had a crooked little hen. That chicken was sooo spoiled! She too felt special. I chased her out several times. Chicken poop on the carpet is NOT nice! Plus, chickens are slow learners. They are not stupid! You HAVE to keep a strict routine and they WILL learn it after months of doing it. Oh, and just so you know, cat food has high protein and will calm your chickens down. Chicken grain is full of carbs and gives them lots of energy! We give our chickens cat food in the winter months only. Granted they stalk us when the grass is green begging for cat food! We tell them “NO, go eat some bugs!”

  46. Annie says:

    πŸ˜€ :wave: I love your posts!!! You are so funny! My chickens won’t eat anything but dog food! That’s premium $25 per 50# bag of dog food! I only have 7, though, so they don’t really eat that much. The guy at the feed mill says I’ve spoiled em, what do you think??? πŸ˜‰

  47. julie says:

    When I saw the picture of your crooked little hen – my first thought was that I must have her twin! I have a little banty hen that we call Cross-beak. She has a little trouble eating but has figured out that if she is nice to us…she gets to have a feed container all to herself. She eats and then goes back to the rest of the flock. It is funny when she flies and sits on my shoulder like a parrot whenever she sees the red food container in my hand.

  48. leneskate says:

    Thanks for the good laugh!! and Valerie siad it goo talk to the fluffy chicken BUTT!! πŸ˜†

  49. janice says:

    One of my chicks this spring had a crooked beak just like hers she only lived 4 months, but had more personality than any other bird, she followed me everywhere. it was sad the morning we found her. I just think she couldn’t get enough food. Your really lucky yours has survived

  50. Susan says:

    Suzanne, you have the most uncanny knack for telling great stories and the fabulous pictures to go along with this story about “Crooked Little Hen!”

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