Behold Ginger One Eye, the newest addition to my massive flock of four chickens. I got her when I had to give friends at The Lyons Farmette my young hen-turned-rooster, Louis. Louis was a fine bird, but local chicken laws forbid roosters and Louis had to go.
Betsy, owner at The Farmette, asked if I wanted to take one of their hens in Louis’ stead. Bumpina — as she was affectionately called because her left blind eye bumps out from the side of her head — was overwhelmed in the flock of 80 hens at The Farmette. Betsy and I both agreed that a mostly-blind Bumpina would be much better off in my wee flock where I could keep an eye on her. So, Bumpina made her way home with me.
Now, I am the first to admit that my hens get some odd names. Louis’ full name is “Louis The Man.” Another chicken is named “Prison Break” for its propensity to make a mad dash for the gate whenever I open it. And two hens are both named “One of The Twins” simply because I can’t tell them apart.
Bumpina’s name quickly changed when I told my friends that “I got a chicken with one eye.” They would say, “How’s the chicken?” And I’d reply, “You mean the one with One Eye?” It stuck. Admittedly, this name creeped my neighbor out a tad, as she is much more sane than I. We decided One Eye needed a first name that was a bit more genteel for everyone else to use who wasn’t abnormal like me, and Ginger popped into my head as an appropriately dichotomous foil to “One Eye.” Think of her like a character in a Quentin Tarantino film.
Ginger One Eye has a wonderful personality and she is without a doubt my favorite hen, though Phyllis is right up there. Ginger One Eye’s blindness gives her a certain quirky edge that makes her hard to resist. Whether it’s because she can’t see me or because she really likes me I can’t tell. And sometimes it’s just better not to know these things so we can delude ourselves that it’s the later. But whenever I walk into the run, she walks slowly up to me and lays on top of one of my feet…like she’s trying to hatch me. I do have to watch out when I take care of things in the run, so as not to step on her gentle self.
Ginger One Eye and my dog, River, also have a special relationship. They bonded immediately through the run fence, and as Ginger had a propensity for escaping the run early on, she and River carried their friendship even further over the fence line. While One Eye has seemed to stop her forays into the wild world away from the coop, she always walks right to River when River plants herself next to the fence run. In fact, River will whine for Ginger One Eye to come to her if she doesn’t do so on her own. It’s quite sweet, and indeed puts life into perspective after a trying day.