The Ugly Little Chicken
A Love Story

The Ugly Little Chicken. A Love Story.


This is the story of my ugly little hen.

A hen so dull and boring we didn’t even bother to name her.

Her nose is really too big and her comb is really too small.

She’s so invisible the other chickens don’t even pick on her.

The little hen that almost doesn’t even exist.

Someone suggested we name her Cheez Whiz, since Cheez Whiz adds personality.  We were desperate.  So she was named.

Cheez Whiz now had a name, but still no zing.  No expression, no cute chicken characteristics.  No personality.

I didn’t hate Cheez Whiz. There was no reason to hate her. She was just there. She was so dull there wasn’t even anything to hate.

So when a friend lost one of his chickens to a fox I agreed to give him one of my hens.  I knew immediately it was going to be Cheez Whiz.  I felt bad, but if I was going to part with one of my flock it was going to be her.

I wanted to make room for an Ameraucana you see.  They’re the chickens that I’ve always wanted.  They’re one of only a few breeds of chickens that lay blue and green eggs.

But … on Easter morning when my boyfriend surprised me up with a box full of  day old Rhode Island Red fluffballs I certainly wasn’t going to turn them away.  Even if they would only lay brown eggs.

So I counted the days until my friend would pack boring, ugly chicken Cheez Whiz into a cardboard box and take her away.  Then I could buy a blue egg laying chicken.  .

I got a phone call.  My friend didn’t need an extra chicken anymore.  He went out and bought himself a whole flock … of blue egg laying Ameraucanas.

I was devastated.  He was getting the chickens I always wanted, and I was once again stuck with Cheez Whiz.  The dull little hen.

Then one day when she was around 4 months old,  Cheez Whiz slowly and clumsily made her way into the nesting box for the first time.

The other chickens stood at the door and squawked at her a bit, but she ignored them and went about her business.

Eventually the others left her alone.

It was at exactly that moment I learned a life lesson.

Because on that day, my boring little chicken … the rose-combed Rhode Island Red named Cheez Whiz … did this for me.



That day I couldn’t even get excited over her blue egg.  I couldn’t jump for joy or laugh with surprise.  All I could manage was to pick Cheez Whiz up and say I’m sorry.

She had a good life Cheez Whiz.  She died yesterday.  She was the last of my original flock.  I found her alone, outside in the run on the cold ground, her body still warm. I suspect she died instantly of a heart attack. I had only been out feeding her an afternoon snack about an hour earlier.

I picked her body up and held her against me and for the last time said to her, I’m sorry.

The Ugly Little Chicken<br data-lazy-src=


  1. Jane Hunter says:

    That made me cry a little bit!
    I keep a few chooks and they all have their distinct personalities.
    When I had to have 10 year old matriarch Big Betty pts, I cried a lot.
    When Psycho Sue was killed by a dog, I cried as she had survived two other neighbourhood dog attacks.
    I cherish their little clucks and coos and find their expressions hilarious.
    They still run away from me like I’m a giant monster straight after running up to me cos they love me and know I feed them and talk to them. Cheers to Cheez Wizz, a loved little hen xx

  2. Jan says:

    July 6, 2019
    Just read about a new book “Beautiful Chickens “ by Christie Aschwanden that sounds like a great gift for yourself
    Also just heard about a website by Kate Richards @drinkingwithchickens and which sounds like it would entertain you
    Always enjoy your blog; the variety of topics and ALWAYS learn things
    Thank you
    ps: when you paid off your mortgage 🎉🎊 you I think made reference to taking good care of your money. I’d love to have you blog about sound money policies that work for you – not just frugality but growing a nest egg
    Again, thanks J

  3. Denise says:

    what a great story. rest in peace, Cheese Whiz.

  4. Colleen D Cailes says:

    Karen I feel your loss. I also started with a small flock in Seattle and brought them all home in 2015 when I returned to the Motherland, Canada. I rarely tell people how much I paid to bring them home with medical exams and paperwork to document they were free from the avain flu. Lets just say it was more than my mortgage payment. But I was determined to bring them and not to let them end up in someone’s soup pot. So now as of April 12th I have one left, Bella. She is a beautiful light Brahma and comes to me to get snuggles when I go out to the coop. Now I have several new chickens but the first batch is always so special. Beyonce, Huli Huli, Tinkerbell, Marsala and Caramel Crumb are all gone now. Beyonce was my very special girl like your Cuddles. Bella seems to be going strong although moves a little slower I know that I will have to say goodbye to her at some point. Love your posts. I think we would have a good laugh over some funny chicken stories if we lived in the same province. Keep up the humour!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Colleen. Yeah, my newer chickens just aren’t the same. Maybe because they’re purebreds and not the mutts my first flock was. :/ Sorry about Beyonce. GREAT chicken name though, lol. ~ karen!

  5. Katrina says:

    Aww, R.I.P. little Cheez Whiz! I remember back when you got them and this whole crazy train started. What a ride!

  6. Jacquie Gariano says:

    Great story….loved it. When I was a very little child we had RIR’s on my granddad’s farm and my job was to gather the eggs. Needless to say, I didn’t do a very good job. They tried to peck me and I always backed off. My grandmother just brushed them aside and got the eggs. My folks had chickens for a while in Grass Valley, Ca. but we also had eagles in the area and lost a lot to them. Nature’s cycle, I guess. I did love the Cheese Wize story, teared up at the end. sometimes we don’t know what we have till we loose it.

  7. Jan Preston says:

    I just read about sweet ol’ Cheeze Whiz. I’m so sorry. That would make me sad for days.

  8. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    Oh Karen…I am so sorry for the loss of your little feathered family member…I am catching up on my emails…and totally missed this….Cheese Whiz was a special gal!…you will miss her and I will miss the occasional sweet/funny story…stay warm!

  9. Chartrice says:

    I knew when I saw this I didn’t want to read it because I was going to cry…and cry I did. Only a chicken mother can feel the heartbreak of losing one of her girls. I lost one of my Marans yesterday to a hawk, saw it happen and there was nothing I could do. Living in the country we can only protect them so much. We give them the best we can and in turn they bless us with poop and eggs. Always loved the name Cheese Whiz, may she rest in peace.

  10. Tammy S says:

    I am so sorry!
    Ironically on the same day (Jan 14) I found my parrot of almost 32 years, Gomez, dead at the bottom of her cage. She was never sick and showed no signs of any problems. I never mentally planned for her passing since she was supposed to probably out-live me – so it has been really tough.
    I have no sage words of wisdom, but I understand the love…

    • Karen says:

      Oh noooooo. That makes me so sad. Really. 32 years. You’re just so shocked and heartbroken when you find them laying there, wondering if they were scared or wanted you. They weren’t and they didn’t. But still it’s our automatic reaction. :( So sorry about Gomez. ~ karen!

  11. Julie says:

    I have been reading your blog for a long time but have never commented until now. I am so sorry for your loss and also for how many of your readers obviously didn’t read the entire post. Cheez Whiz turned out to be a remarkable chicken and I’ll miss seeing her name in the continuing chicken saga.

  12. Vikki says:

    don’—but AMMMMMM! How many of us can say, like Cheez Whiz, we did our best.

  13. Nancy says:

    RIP Cheez Whiz.

  14. Sharon says:

    Aww sweet chickie. I know I only have two from my original flock and I know that day will come. Life is always full of surprises.

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