Wednesday, April 16, 2008

There's something about Dot

This is a post about my girl, Dot.
Dot. Dotty, The Dotster, she is my 6-week-old White-Crested Black Polish chick.

While my other eleven chicks have become tame, friendly and interact with me, Dot has remained aloof, and, well, seemingly a bit...challenged. Her best friend is the wall. Any wall. She can, and will, stand facing a wall for extended periods of time. If given a choice between my hand, holding tasty treats, or the wall, she will choose the wall every time. I try not to take it personally and choose, instead, to believe she is perhaps merely shy. But I do worry frequently that there's something not quite right about her.

Often, for no apparent reason, Dot will suddenly cease her wall-staring and run, in a rather twitchy fashion, all around the brooder box, jumping over, bumping into, and careening around her fellow box-mates, only to come to a halt...facing another wall.

I feel sorry for the poor thing - she's definitely the odd girl out, yet she is as capable as the rest of my chicks. If she wants to, she can fly to the edge of the brooder box and perch. If the urge strikes her, she can run over, shove her way in between the others, and peck -quite hard, I might add - at my hand holding some whole grain oatmeal. But mostly, she doesn't want to and the urge doesn't strike. I guess she isn't limited, she's just different.

If I put myself in Dot's feathers, I can only imagine the pressure a chick like her must feel. The poor dear is growing an head of feathers resembling Albert Einstein's hair on a bad day. And imagine being the chick that all the visitors to the chick room laugh and point at. Consider for a moment what it's like to have protrusions growing from your head that all the other, cooler chicks want to peck and poke at.

It's not easy being Dot. But I think she's an amazing chicken. Her quirky personality adds a great deal to the overall flock ambiance. I would miss her if she weren't here. I hope she learns to become more comfortable in her own skin. I really hope she'll consider liking me. We could have a lot of fun.

Poking around on the Internet, as I like to do, I've found positives and negatives about Dot's breed.
A positive spin:
"It's rumored that the Polish crest requires extra care and maintenance and can obscure this chicken’s ability to see, however Polish kept in backyard conditions with just a few other coopmates and a secure roosting house tend to do fine. In severely muddy conditions the crest may need washing or drying.

Polish are a friendly breed suitable as pets and bred mostly for their stunning ornamentation."

A negative spin:
"Their large crests are against them, hindering their vision and causing them to become listless, inactive, and suspicious in their natures. Extra care must be given them to be fairly successful in raising them, and their houses and coops must be kept absolutely dry - the least water in their crests is likely to result fatally to them."

I'll let you know how it works out.


  1. Oh, I feel so bad for her. I sure hope she grows out of the wall staring. It's kind of freaky.

  2. It cracked me up that her crest might require extra maintenance. Maybe she will warm up to you and you can do her -do...girl time. Ha! ha!

  3. You and Dot crack me up! Those photos of her are fantastic.She really does look like she is related to Einstein. You know, he was "a little different" too...

  4. Oh, poor Dot. But she is just so cute. I hope she'll warm up to you someday.

  5. Maybe she's transfixed with the single thought (said in a whisper) "I think there's something on my HEAD..."

    Aww, I'm rooting for Dot!

  6. My dear, kind, loving, don't-hold-back husband said, "Did you SEE that chicken? She's embarrassed!"

    I think she's cute. Never mind what he thinks. I think she's so highly intelligent she's formulating her escape while staring at the wall. I think she thinks you'll take her out to check on her and she'll make her break then.

  7. The poor thing. I've done my share of wall staring in my time (but not the running and pecking thing, that would have been odd...), and I turned out OK. :)

    I'm not any kind of chicken expert, but I figure as long as she's eating and moving about, she can't be too far gone. :)

  8. Well Danni,
    I think you have your hands full with Dot, but I bet she'll be well worth it. Yes she's different but her differences lead to learning. Look at the education you're getting already!! And you should keep a little journal...which you are...and I think this may all end up in a good book someday! I'll be waiting for the first publication of "On the Way to Critter Farm" staring Dot...queen of the Roost!!
    pecks and ruffs to all!

  9. Isn't there one oddball in every group! Great pics Danni!

  10. You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.
    Albert Einstein

    Hmmmm....I still think they're Einstein Chickens!

  11. Beauty does come at a cost, doesn't it.

  12. It's a shame too--she's such a beauty. Some chickens, no matter how hard you try, are just not "people chickens".
    If you plan on keeping her, start trimming that crest of feathers now---get her used to the idea while she's still young.
    It's funny that her name is Dot (although I know why)---the only other Dot I know is a movie character. Geena Davis played Dottie in "A League of Their Own" and was a self assured, firecracker.

  13. I had to think "I grow listless and inactive when my crest (hair) is out of control too." Who can blame her; maybe a color & highlight will perk her up.

  14. I think Dot's beautiful!! She's just playing hard to get, she knows what it is to be a REAL woman. Ha Ha!!

  15. I love Dot. So does Grayson. She's just eccentric is all!

  16. Dot is beautiful. We have raised the golden and silver Polish before(and have new ones now) and their crest did fine without any vision problems. So I am hoping Dot will do just fine too.
    Great pictures.

  17. I was thinking more about Dot last night (yes, you have me thinking about your chickens in my spare time!)and I think she looks like a cross between Albert Einstein and Phyllis Diller! Now, there's a unique combination....

  18. Beauty vs. Brains, well she is beautiful.

  19. Don't faint when you see my name here Danni, I think I finally have figured out how to comment on your blog, (of course I have to thank my dh for that). Dot is so beautiful, my son asked me when he saw her picture how you got her feathers on her head that way, lol. I hope he doesn't try that on any of our non Polish breeds! She may be your special needs girl and thank goodness she found a kind loving owner in you. One cool thing about Polish girls is they lay white eggs if I am correct. So you are going to have the most beautiful array of brown, green and white eggs, I am jealous!!!

  20. Hey there, Tina. . . er, I mean, Farm Girl.

    Dot reminds me of some girls I went to high school with: big hair, cutesy-cutsey features, and not much upstairs. Maybe she'll be homecoming queen.

  21. Felix Adler wrote, "[People (or chickens)] may be said to resemble not the bricks of which a house is built, but the pieces of a picture puzzle, each differing in shape, but matching the rest, and thus bringing out the picture." Okay, Felix didn't put in the part about the chickens, but it works.

  22. Hey Danni. Annie had twins! A girl and a boy. I didn't know if you had check my site, but I just had to let you know. Annie is such a good mother too. and I was worried. I am a proud Grandgoatma!(You don't need to post this) I just wanted to let you know about Annie. Proud Grandgoatma syndrome.

  23. LOL, that chook (aussie slang for chicken) just kills me, it's so hilariously cute!



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