Everyone Should Have a One-Legged Chicken

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No, I’m serious. I really think someone should start a business producing one-legged chickens and selling them as pet yard chickens. How exactly you would humanely get the chickens to only have one leg I haven’t figured out yet. Ours was a rescue. We call her ‘Chick-a-henny’. (Real original, I know. I must confess I also have a tendency to call our other animals by such names as Cow-ey, Calf-ey, Goosy, Piggy, etc.)

When Chick-a-henny was a youngster, she had the misfortune of being in a shelter raided by a raccoon. Miraculously she survived, but the coon ended up with one of her legs. This happened to many of my chickens before I began staking dogs out with them. Most of the other ones didn’t survive.

Well, Chick-a-henny stayed with the rest of her sisters while they were growing out in the pasture pens, hopping around and getting what food and water she could.  She didn’t grow as fast as they did, however. And when I began finding eggs in the pen and it was time for the ladies to graduate into the egg wagon, I realized that this little one-legged hen wasn’t going to be able to walk up into the wagon. So I brought her home and put her in our yard, which is a beautiful collage of veggies, flowers, lawn, and herbs planted by my wife.

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Since then, Chick-a-henny has proved to be the best yard chicken I have ever had. Most free-range chickens that have had access to our yard wreak havoc on the mulch and plants with their scratching. Not so with this chicken, however. Try standing on one leg and scratching the ground with it. It won’t work. With only one leg Chick-a-henny does very little damage to anything. She can hop around fine, but she doesn’t go far. And she really doesn’t eat many of the plants. Which is surprising because we only really feed her table scraps. I’ll go out some mornings with a leftover pancake or something and call her, “Here Chick-chick-chick-a-henny!” From under some bush I will hear some rustling and out she’ll come; hopping along sideways as fast as she can toward me.

Sometimes, if we leave the door open she will hop right in (after which we shoo her right out). And often, when one of the dogs is bothering her, she will hop over and stand behind us for protection. She also has a much sweeter temperament than our other voracious hens.

So here are a few reasons I believe you should have your own one-legged chicken:
-No scratching of mulch or grass.
-Doesn’t wander far.
-Easy to catch
-Eats less because it doesn’t burn as much energy.
-Sweet, submissive temperament (at least that’s the case with ours)
-Amusing to guests (“Is that a one-legged chicken!”)

I guess one spiritual lesson you could draw from this is the fact that God uses the trials and hardships in our lives for his Glory and our good. He even took the fact that this chicken lost her leg, and used it to bless my family. So I thank the Lord for our one-legged chicken.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

15 thoughts on “Everyone Should Have a One-Legged Chicken

    • I have a gen thatist a foot this spring , I just checked her out today and believe it or not, she’s actually growing a new foot! Yes a new foot! She brikevor injured it in the spring and the foot fell off at the joint so she’s been hobbling on the stump all summer and today I noticed a new foot starting to grow! Is this normal? If not it’s still cool that Cartwright will have a new foot in the spring possibly. She’s still a good layer and queen of my roost. Oofdah!

  1. The story of your chick-a-henny made us think of our sweet golden comet hen named July. She was completely blind in one eye and nearly so in the other. Yet she had the sweetest temperament, though she was despised and picked on (literally) by all the other hens. Every day she laid an egg, while the others rarely did. She would follow at our heels while we weeded in the garden, never eating any produce, but devouring all the ‘bad’ grubs and insects. We’d call her name and point to a bug, which she would obediently eat. She often stood by the side door of the house, waiting for us to come out. Her greatest desire seemed to follow us intently. She’d hop in our laps, like a puppy, if we sat down. Raising chickens have made many biblical lessons come to life for our family. One we learned from watching July is that our infirmities serve to draw us closer in dependence on and obedience to our Master. July is gone, but not forgotten, nor the lessons. We miss her!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story! I went to the coop two days ago and something had gotten 3 of my chickens and two were missing one leg. One had to be euthanized but the other seems to be doing very well! She is eating, drinking and hopping around. Spent the entire day yesterday building a new coop and pasture pen, hopefully the eqivilent of a “chicken Fort Knox”! It is heartbreaking to have lost four hens but I’m believing with good care and prayer the fourth will recover living a good life with one leg! Your story has been encouraging and a blessing inspiring belief that it is possible!

  3. Today something got to my baby chicks and tore off the leg of one of them (devoured another) . Your story about your one legged chicken gave me hope so am nursing her along. Thanks!

  4. We have a one-legged chicken named “Uno” and she has been this way since she was a few weeks old. Her mom & siblings did not make it through an attack. Several peoplel suggested we put her down because she would not have a good life. She seems happy & we treat her very well. She hangs out with our 4 cats & they all get along. We have other chickens but they pick on her so we keep her away from them. She is a great house pet & I take her outside some during the day. Today she laid her first egg! I’m so proud of her. She is a joy to have around!

  5. Great story. I think we are all God’s one-legged chicken – He cares for us in spite of all our flaws, and if we are submissive to His Spirit, He will use our troubles to make us tender, compassionate, obedient and a benefit to His “yard”.

    • I have a rooster who has a severely infected leg. My vet has talked to me about putting him down and that amputating the leg and leaving him with only one would not be humane. I will talk again to my vet and share the stories here and perhaps I will have on said:

      I love your story! I have a rooster who has a severely infected leg (infection of the bone) that the vet says will continue to deteriorate. He has spoken to me about putting the rooster down as he does not believe in amputating the leg since a chicken with one leg will have not have a good quality of life. I will show him this article and tell him what my daughter said: ” I would rather have only one leg and be alive than dead.”

  6. Today, I found our lovely hen, Mia, is missing a leg from a preditor. She also has skin, feathers and maybe an outter eyelid missing as well. She is otherwise ok, but in pain and shock. I cleansed the wounds and treated them with antibiotic. I am feeding her electrolyte and antibiotic with a dropper. She is thirsty. Tomorrow, I will try soft food. She is inside our house in a box with clean bedding. I feel miserable. Is there anything else I can do for her? Your story, as well as the comments are heart lifting. Thank you so much for stories oF happy henny life with one leg.

  7. I have a chicken with one foot missing – she was caught in a branch and the foot turned purple then dropped off about two weeks later. She moulted heavily at the time, but continued to hop around the yard with an aluminium finger splint and padding over the end of her leg. After a few weeks , she kept taking the splint off, and now 6 months later, she fossicks in the yard with the other two chickens , has dirt baths and when fast travel is required, she flaps her wings to reach the treats first. She lays an egg a day and seems to be quite happy (if her chirrups are anything to go by. She is called Eileen….

  8. My rooster (Henry) recently got attacked by a dog and he had a big wound on his right side of the body. I cleaned it every day and now it is just a big scab that is getting smaller with each day. Whe the attack first happened, he could stand with both legs, but as the wound healed, I noticed that his right leg does not move at all. There is no broken bones and it is always warm to the touch, so blood circulation is still working. I am thinking he may have nerve damage to the leg or he cannot move it because the muscle hear his leg were damaged. I am just hoping that when the scab is finally healed that his leg will be able to move again. If there still is no movement in the leg once everything is healed, I think I will take him to the vet and get it amputated.

  9. Something got one of our full grown chickens last evening. The others were not phased. Sadly her left leg, thigh and part of her side were gone. She survived the day, but I mercifully had to put her down once we determined the extent of her injury. We have foxes and reported coyotes (I’ve not seen one yet). I have them in roomy well kept enclosure. Built it for the purpose of security after a fox ravaged the first enclosure last year. We let them range or did until today. They will have to remain inside from now on unless I am outside with them. Thank you for sharing your story.

  10. A pit bull slaughtered our 9 girls, and it tore me to pieces.
    I was looking at some new chicks when I accidentally clicked on Craiglist.
    I saw an add for a crippled chick needing a home.
    I called and no answer and I clicked on other cites.
    As I was calling a beep came on my phone.
    I answered and said, you are the person with the crippled hen,m and she said yes.
    I drove 100 miles to get her.
    I was wondering what to name her, and God kept saying Dorothy.
    The name I did not like because the only Dorothy I knew was from The Wizard of Oz.
    The name kept coming to me.
    My wife looked it up.
    The name in Greek is from two Greek words, Doron and Theos.

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