The Ugly Little Chicken
A Love Story

Cheez Whiz1

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. They ignore 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. I was just disappointed with her.

So when a friend lost one of their chickens to a fox I agreed to give him one of my chickens.  I knew immediately it was going to be Cheez Whiz.  I felt bad, but if I was going to part with one of my hens 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 brown egg laying Rhode Island Reds, I certainly wasn’t going to turn them away.  Cute little day old fluffballs that they were.

So I counted the days until my friend would pack Cheez Whiz into a cardboard box and take her away.  Boring, ugly chicken.

And then I got a phone call.  He didn’t need an extra chicken anymore.  He went out and bought himself a whole fleet of Ameraucanas!

I was devastated.  He was getting the chickens I 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.

Cheeze Whiz Egg Final

And she’s been doing it ever since.




  1. Laura says:

    Ode to a hen…I think I might cry.

  2. Pati says:

    What..?? Really? Ok I got shivers. That is unbelievable.
    Awesome Karen! Certainly is a lesson in life. Wow

    • Karen says:

      I know. I was shocked. Completely and totally shocked. I literally started shaking. You see, I’ve never picked out my own pet. (I consider my chickens to be pets) My pets have always been strays or ones people were giving away. So when I got my chickens in the teensiest way I was disappointed that I didn’t get to pick them out myself. And then this happened. Again … shocking. ~ karen

  3. Marti says:

    Karen, are you saying she lays lots of eggs or that she lays green ones for you? Either way, very glad that the plain little hen has proven herself to you.

    This burst of sentimentality is kinda shocking for you, girl. Watch yourself!

    • Karen says:

      Marti – LOL. Yes she lays green/blue eggs. And you’d best go back and read some more posts. I’ve written a few sentimental/heartfelt posts. Lucky is the first one that comes to mind! Poor little Lucky. Probably would’ve laid purple eggs. ~ k

  4. Julie says:

    Well as a chicken person, of all of a year and a half, I saw where this was going. I have looked at every chicken picture on the net! My husband went out and got a dozen straight run from TSC so I had to identify them. We kept 2 of the 12 and then went to a real hatchery to get 4 more. What a great story though, I even cried at the end.

  5. Jenn says:

    Squeeee!!!! That’s so egg-citing!!

    • Karen says:

      Jenn – I know!! Have you ever heard of such a thing? I mean, these hens are Rhode Island Reds. They look it, they act it … but apparently there’s some Ameraucana somewhere in her! ~ k

      • Lita says:

        That’s amazing. I’ve never heard of that happening before.

        I live in Austin Texas and lost my two ameracuanas to the insane heat (they are acclimated to cold, but with their teeny combs, don’t handle the heat as well).

        I MISS my girls and my blue eggs.

        Rhode Islanders are so tough, and now you have one that lays easter eggs! That’s really wild.

  6. Jaclyn says:

    Heart warming story! 🙂

  7. Shauna says:

    I almost cried…. but i did get the wine open so that my be part of the reason!! But isn’t that just perfect!! Never judge a book by it’s cover… Worth the wait, Thanks Karen!

  8. JennaLis says:

    Her eggs must be your absolute favourites.

  9. Wendy says:

    Great story – enjoy your eggs!

  10. Laureen says:


    Very touching. Truth is that small rose comb and that big Eagle like beak look just like my one blue/green laying Ameraucana (the other 3 lay pink eggs which are not as exciting as the blue). Now you can say you have a Red Blooded Ameraucana. May God continue to bless you.


    • Laureen says:

      On a side note. I was looking at your older blogs and little Lucky appeared to have had the tell tale Ameraucana eyeliner and racing stripes that all of mine had.

  11. Dee says:

    The old saying don’t judge a book by it’s cover seems to fit here…. I could never hate any chicken, or dislike them for how they look!! I had a sad lil chicken who was plucked bald by mean hens… i made her my pet, she thrived under my protection from her bullies until one day the rooster came up and started calling to her… he coaxed her out to him and cooed to her as he pecked the ground…. soon he had her roaming the yard skittishly with him, then one day i watched as the mean bigger hens began to gang up on her and try to pluck her…. he came along and goosed them all on the butts, from then on she was his main squeeze and no longer needed me to protect her, i felt like i had raised a child to let her go…. i was proud of her and sad to lose my pet.
    i love chickens!!!

    • Karen says:

      Dee – More than her looks it was her personality. Little Cheez Whiz was just dull. Yes. Animals can be dull. Just the way a lot of people are dull. Until you find out they can speak 12 languages while riding a unicycle made out of razor blades. ~ karen

  12. Michelle says:

    She worked overtime so she could stay with you 🙂

  13. Claire says:

    Another example of how we are not supposed to be judging by appearances!

  14. Sue says:

    You got a BLUE egg! Omg! I can hardly contain myself! I will be going chicken hunting some cool, dark night! I want an easteregger!! You lucky duck!…or should I say chicken! Good old Cheez Whiz! Wait till David hears! I think his are all turning out to be roosters! …..does that mean he’ll have blue soup! CONGRATS! I am so eggcited! xo

  15. Katy says:

    I suspect your girlies are actually a RIR hybrid (called Warrens or ISA Browns or Gingernut Rangers here in the UK) they are a cross between a RIR and a light sussex and are a sex-linked ‘breed’ (i.e. they look different as chicks so you *should* only get girls. (that’s why your boy was white (light sussex colouring). As such it seems that a green egg layer cock snuck in there for a while (or he wasn’t pure light Sussex and had a recessive gene from a green egg layer in HIS heritage.

    Rhodies are much darker red…

    Either way your ladies are gorgeous!

    • Karen says:

      Katy – My one RIR is actually very dark. That’s the one we call Walnut. 🙂 I contacted the guy we got the chicks from when I first got them and he told me they’re RIRs, but that wayyyy back somewhere … a grandmother or something … there was an Ameraucana on the farm. I don’t think they’re ISA browns for some reason. I have no idea why … I just don’t, LOL. ~ karen

  16. AnnW says:

    Well I guess her name should be Blue Cheese. You are getting to be our own little Canadian Martha Stewart. You know that she has many kinds of chickens that lay many different colors of eggs. Way back when she had the paint line at Kmart she had some Araucana Blue and Green paints. Named after the eggs!

  17. Shauna Rudy says:

    I must be up too late, because I’m a little verklempt. I look forward to seeing what you do with those beautiful shells, once you’ve induced a migraine blowing the eggs out.

    On a completely unrelated note, I spent an embarrassing amount of time today searching your site every way I could think of, vainly trying to find the post where you mentioned a coffee from Costco that you love. I need a less expensive coffee than my Peets, but I fear I’ll end up drinking multiple 5lbs bags of bad coffee in the search. Can you help a girl out? Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      HI Shauna – I have a feeling I might have mentioned that that on Twitter or Facebook as opposed to a post. I’m not sure! Anyhow, the coffee is Costco brand coffee, “Kirkland Brand”. They have 2 roasts, I prefer the darker one but I like strong coffee. ~ karen!

  18. Jamieson says:

    I was hoping she wove the basket. Then she’d really be paying her keep!

  19. Karen J says:

    Perhaps she deserves a name change?
    Something more noble then Cheez Whiz.

  20. Robin says:

    Giving me goose bumps (chicken skin to you). That’s just a little bit… um, crazy, out-there – you know what I mean. It’s actually awesome in its very spookiness. Cheez Whiz! What a wonderful little chook!

  21. mary c says:

    I gasped. I wept. I felt the Universe deliver a messsage for all of us. Excellent, excellent story.
    Good girl Cheez Whiz.

  22. Brenda says:

    Just when you think you have ‘seen it all’..I am speechless. I thought you were kiddin’ us. Wow !!

  23. Cindy Marlow says:

    What an awesome take on the ugly duckling story. I love it!

  24. Bev says:

    I love your little chicken laying those pretty eggs. I always pick the ugliest dog when we adopt because I think otherwise they would never get a home.

  25. magali says:

    LOVE IT!

  26. Deb says:

    That is one of the most precious stories I’ve ever read. I bet Cheez Whiz looks so much different to you now! There’s a soral to this mory…(Archie Campbell)….:-)….never judge a book by it’s cover!!!

  27. Nicole says:

    Just goes to show you. It really is what’s inside that counts. That’s a beautiful colour. I’d love to paint a room in that colour.

  28. Brigid says:

    Shut the front door! That is freakin awesome! Sometimes i think pets know deep down what would please us the most and they try harder than any human to make it so. Way to go Lil’ Cheezy!!!

  29. pve says:

    Now if there is ever a golden egg, well then cheese whizz’s goose might be cooked.
    what a heartfelt story.

  30. The chicken that said…I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN….and then DID IT. Gotta love it now 🙂

  31. Jillian says:

    Awesome story! Isn’t it funny how what we want shows up in the most unexpected ways…

  32. marilyn says:

    that reminds me of my mom , she would always say that everyone had something great, every fat girl had beautiful but she has such a pretty face! so ya see even in the animal kingdom everyone has something great. green eggs who’d a thought!

  33. Maria says:

    How cool. Personality plus on the inside. She is just an introvert 🙂 her face is a bit fluffy on the sides in this pic in an ameraucana way.

  34. beauty is therefore only skin deep…we’ve had many cheez whiz’s around here….

  35. Jen says:

    Awww. I was feeling really bad for Cheez Whiz and now I’m not. Great story!

  36. Karen says:

    Hi Steph – Perhaps you’re new around here. I’ve spent months saving fish that have their guts spilling out of them, raised monarch butterflies to increase their population, took in an 8 toed stray cat that was living on my front porch in the middle of winter among other things. I had her spayed, checked over, got her shots …. at a point when I really couldn’t afford to. Anyhow … the point is, I think you might be missing the point of this story. ~ karen

    • Steph says:

      I am kinda new; been reading since…you started building the coop? Maybe a little before? I’ll take your word for it; I read your posts pre-coffee so I was probably just grouchy. 🙂

  37. carin says:

    I love this! LOVE it. My god, it’s like universal life lessons through CheezWhiz. Prooves that everyone IS special, especially the ‘special’ ones we’d never guess are special…

    I hope you launch a line of CheezWhiz products. I, for one, would happily put her gorgeous face on my backpack!

  38. Jen A says:

    That egg deserves a spot, UN-bronzed, on your mantel. Thanks Cheez Whiz.

  39. JennyA says:

    That’ll do, Cheez Whiz. That’ll do.

    I’m a little teary about plain, dull little Cheez Whiz, who turned out to lay the beautiful egg.

  40. paula says:

    awww, great story. i love it!!!

  41. Laurie says:

    i can’t believe I am crying in my office over an ugly chicken.

  42. Ashley says:

    This made my day. Nice work, CW.

  43. Lisa says:

    Just had to let you know this is my new favorite blog. I’ve always had a thing for chickens, since we had them when I was a little kid. If I keep reading this, I might just have to get some chickens.

  44. Sharmila says:

    Hi Karen,
    I have been reading your blog for a while and fell in LOVE with you CHICKEN COOP, Chicken Stories, your funny jokes and everything in between. This was the most amazing story from your entire blog I loved the most…it almost made me cry…

  45. Chris says:

    I’m so happy for you and for Cheez Whiz. You’re probably too young to remember this, but Seasme Street used to have a song about how one of these things was not like the other, one of these things just didn’t belong and usually, the thing that didn’t belong turned out to be something you wanted.


  46. Tess says:

    Some of us bloom differently.

  47. Aimee says:

    Way to go Cheez Whiz!

  48. Sara says:

    If only you could get a pig to give you some green ham…

  49. pat says:

    Awwww. That is the best story ever.

  50. Marie says:

    I don’t know anything about chickens but maybe Cheez Whiz shows more of a typical Ameraucana personality? I think the other chickens know that she’s different on the inside and that’s why she doesn’t quite fit in with them. The egg is lovely!

  51. cristine says:

    I have to disagree with you Karen, I don’t find her in the least bit ugly. She’s a very noble & handsome hen. It might just be the photo… Wonderful photo by-the-bye. Great story. Cringe worthy name. Do the blue eggs taste differently?

  52. Donna Hollingsworth says:

    Your experience with Cheez Whiz reinforces the old adage “Never Judge a Book by its Cover”. She is a diamond in the rough and a precious little chicken!!!!

  53. Nancy says:

    Great story Karen…I love the fact that you give equal value to all living creatures and not just the human will work overtime to save animals that others might dismiss as not worth the effort or cost..Keep being the nice lady that you are and don’t be discouraged by a few people who don’t get your sense of humor as those of us who love to read your posts are very grateful for the daily laughs that you give us..and by the way..I finally got to try those “farm fresh eggs”..YUMMY..big difference..Hugs!

  54. Maggie says:

    That is a very heartwarming and wondrous story. I love Cheez Whiz…the hen.

  55. Jenn says:

    She is chicken, pared down to the essentials. Go CW!

  56. Ashlyn says:

    That’s such an AWESOME story!! It was meant to be!! 🙂

  57. David says:

    Awww! Great story! Yea, Cheez Whiz!

  58. Kristin says:

    If I admitted that this story made my eyes water and my nose sniffle a bit, would you recommend a trip to the looney bin?

  59. Abbey says:

    This has got to be the cutest story I’ve read in a long time. I’ve always wanted a little clutch of “Easter Eggers”, but I haven’t got a place for them, yet. One day, one day…

  60. Chau says:

    Cheeze Whiz rocks!

  61. Adorable. If all your eggs were that blue-green color, you wouldn’t appreciate their beauty nearly as much! They’d just be… regular. Now Cheez Whiz gives you eggs that POP against the brown ones! (Not that it matters once they are an omelet, but they sure look great in that basket!)

  62. Theresa Clarkson-Farrell says:

    The Little hen that could! lovely story.

  63. Kristy says:

    Is it weird this makes me wanna cry!?!

    (and also wanna say- never count your chickens before they hatch- umm what!?)

    Yaay for the underdog!! Or underchicken, as it is. 😉

  64. Karen says:

    OH my God. Yes. I’m an awful, terrible person who should probably be burned at the stake. I think you’re missing the point. ~ sincerely, Karen.

  65. Julie says:

    Oh my goodness, what an incredible, heartwarming story! We have one RIR and one Easter Egger, and once I got to the end of your tale, I looked at Cheez Whiz again, and now I can totally see the Easter Egger in her. Amazing!

  66. karenagain says:

    What a lovely post Karen. You know what’s weird? I painted my bathroom a month ago a repulsive shade of something that had a pretty name. It turned out the colour of Kraft Dinner or maybe Chees Whiz. It took about five coats of this stupid paint to cover the beige walls. Every time I go in the bathroom I get angry and need to take L-Theanine.

    Today I strutted into Canadian Tire and grabbed the first Debbie Travis paint chip that caught my eye. I DID NOT take the chip home and debate about it for two weeks like usual. I bought the paint, took it home and painted half the bathroom WITHOUT even taping. HA! Take that ugly orangy-yellow paint.

    Oh, the weird part is I’m re-painting it the same colour as that egg.

    And, I think that boring chicken has an interesting eye. She had a secret and was bursting to share it with you.

  67. That would explain the big beak and tiny comb. Hooray for Cheez Whiz!!! What a lucky mix up for you.

    • Karen says:

      Jennifer – Her comb is actually larger now. The picture is a bit old. She’s still a rose comb though. Tiny little comb. ~ k!

  68. Judith says:

    This story reminds me of another one…… The Ugly Duckling! Always remember, Karen, still waters run deep. I love finding one of those green eggs when I buy a dozen from our local farm.

    Oh and I showed your chicken coop post to my carpenter husband. He was appropriately impressed!

  69. karenagain says:


    Maybe you answered this somewhere in the past. What do you do with those hens in the winter? Does it get super cold there like -35 for a few weeks?

    • Karen says:

      karenagain – It usually only gets that cold with the windchill. It does get pretty stinkin’ cold come January though. The chickens stay in the coop when it’s blizzardy outside. I’ll have a heat lamp in there for them, even though these chickens are very cold tolerant. Technically they can just be left in the coop in the cold so long as their water is thawed. I, however, want them to be as comfortable as possible, without changing the actual weather too much. I’ll also put a light in their run. They do apparently go out in the run throughout the winter. I’ll also put plastic up around the hardware cloth in their run. This will act as a wind break throughout the winter. Thanks to the people of Facebook for telling me about this little trick. And finally .. my lights will be on timers to make sure the hens have light for 14 – 15 hours a day. This will help ensure they continue to lay eggs throughout the winter. There ya go! ~ karen

  70. I might love her. Just from her simple photo. I am glad you kept her! 🙂

  71. Meg says:

    That. Is adorable. I’m in love!

  72. Sandy says:

    God, I almost adopted her on the spot! I was crying and just wanted to hug Cheez Whiz. The chicken, not the product…

  73. Stella says:

    That is a face only a mother could love… but what a basket of eggs! Well done Cheese Whiz!

  74. TracyMB says:

    Loved this story…. and even her close-up. Her egg is beeeeyouteeful! 🙂

  75. kelliblue says:

    That is awesome! Go Cheez Whiz! Tho perhaps you may have to tell folks she’s a “Whiz” at egg laying! 🙂

  76. Nathalie says:

    Morale of the story. Don’t judge a book by its cover. I do love her eyes though, very expressive.

    Don’t blue eggs taste just like white or yellow ones?

    • Karen says:

      Nathalie – They do taste just the same, they’re just special because most eggs or white or brown. To see the blue and green eggs in a bowl is remarkable! Very pretty. ~ karen

  77. Yay…Cheez Whiz. Its always the quiet under dog you have to look out for, because just when you aren’t expecting it they do something truly extroadinary. Great story…thanks for sharing.

  78. Crystal says:

    This is such a great story. Never judge a book (or chicken) by it’s cover (exterior). You gave me goose bumps reading this. I am happy you didn’t give up on Cheez Whiz because truly she brought you just what you always wanted but in a different form right?
    I hope you are having a wonderful week.
    Much Love,

  79. If I extrapolate from this story, do I have to lay a green egg before I’m appreciated?

  80. Linda says:

    OH! Poor sweet little Cheez Whiz. I think she is beautiful blue egg or not. Give her a little kiss for me. Go on now.

  81. Karen-
    You should write a short children’s story about Cheez Whiz and her egg!

  82. Mercy says:

    That was an amazing story. Made me think of the things in my life that I overlook or are dissapointed with. And, how special and usefull those things really are. Thanks so much for sharing.

  83. Amy says:

    Awe, what a wonderful present. Just makes you realize everyhen is important. LOL

  84. Fantastic story, beautifully told. Thanks for sharing!

  85. Rhiannon says:

    Aw, I love this story and the name. I have a hen named Cheeseball. 😉

  86. Eleni says:

    Your story reminded me of one of my son’s favorite books:

    Never underestimate a boring, little chicken 😉

    I love Cheez-Whiz…

  87. mercedes says:

    love the story! you should write a kids book with it!

  88. Pam says:

    Every chicken is special. <3 This was a lovely entry!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Pam! Cheez Whiz had turned out to be one of my favourites. Once she came out of her shell (so to speak, heh) she’s become a warm, cuddly chicken. She’ll actually jump up in my lap and have a sleep there. 🙂 ~ karen

  89. Sue says:

    I love reading your blog and stories! This one was so cute…it does sound like a book…..I kept picturing that old hen that Foghorn leghorn hangs around with…..yay for Cheez Whiz!

  90. Laura says:

    LOVED this!!
    Please let me know when you publish your children’s book, AND the movie release date! ~ : )

  91. amy larson says:

    This would make a lovely childrens story—
    PS: I am just finding your blog, which is why I am so late commenting this!

  92. Gayla T says:

    Oh, a chicken story with a happy ending! I’ve been waiting for one of these for most of my life. Those are the gorge eggs Martha Stewarts chickens lay. She has a name for her coop and I have been sure that was what inspired her chickens to do such monumental things. Her coop is called Pala de poula, although not being a French speaker my spelling is probably off. What it means is Palace of the Poultry. Isn’t that inspriational if you are a chicken? I actually know a woman who makes wire cages for a living and I’ve watched her. It looks easy. If she wants the mesh to bend, she puts it under and bends it around a piece of a 2 X 4 that she is standing on and the whole piece bends evenly. She says that is her secret to success so I’m probably ruining her life by telling this. Now I know the name of the kind of chicken who lay the pretty eggs. I’m nearly there. We already have at least one chicken in the nieghborhood because I’ve heard it crow so it must not be illegal. Well, this area is a little edgy so being legal might not be a big criteria with the chicken owner. So maybe I better hurry and get some so they will be grandfathered in if they do make it illegal. Hmmm, maybe I’ll stop by the farm store while I’m out having my nails done.

  93. Linda J Howes says:

    What a lesson learned. I just read this post, following links from other posts, and I have to say it made me cry. I too am a chicken lover, have owned chickens at times, hope to again one day, and have learned many lessons from them. Hurray for Cheez Whiz, who totally expressed her personality.

  94. Brittani says:

    I’ve completely been won over now. I was almost there when I read about you (hating) building your coop, and then I got a little closer with each photo, but now I really do want my own coop… Poor Beau is going to kill me!

    • Karen says:

      Brittani – Good. Everyone needs their own coop. Your life isn’t complete until you’ve had chickens. BUT it is work and dirty and work. As long as you’re O.k. with that in exchange for chickens jumping in your lap and eggs coming out of their furry bums … you’re good. 🙂 ~ karen

      • Dani says:

        So true,my life was made complete when my nine girls came into my life,think they will end up in the backyard(buried)easy to get attached to them

  95. Dani says:

    What a sweet and wonderful chicken.I have nine girls myself and love them to death.They all have very different personalities,and bring joy and fun

    • Karen says:

      Dani – That very same sweet little chicken has turned into a nightmare, LOL! She’s growing spurs and *just* attacked my little Walnut. I just got in from enclosing her in her own pen and tending to her blood gushing comb. 🙁 I had her in the house for a while, LOL. I was afraid because it is sooooo cold out her blood would never dry and she’d end up getting frostbite from it being so wet. Uch. Cheez Whiz. What a brat! 🙂 ~ karen

  96. Jill says:

    Even after re-reading this I don’t know how many times, it still makes me all smiley and happy!

  97. I love an underdog, er, underchicken story. Go Cheez Whiz!

  98. Cheez Wizz did her bizz and made to go Gee Wizz!

  99. Cogaroo says:

    She’s not ugly at all…she’s cute, in a funny sort of way. 🙂 That’s such a sweet story, you never know what a chicken will do!

    • Karen says:

      Wanna know something funny? That little Cheez Whiz turned out to be a complete BULLY, lol! She’s getting a bit better, but I think she knows she lays special eggs and takes liberties by biting all the other chickens combs. Just goes to show ya … lol. ~ karen!

  100. Liz says:

    it’s a real life ugly duckling story! aww, love it 🙂 I never saw this post before. Loving being able to browse around!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)

  • About Karen

  • About Karen

  • My Latest Videos

The Art of Doing Stuff