Brown Egg Blue Egg
Sophie's Story
By Robin in Indiana
January 2007
I had recently lost my precious RIR hen, Beaker, and with a heart full of love and no chicken to give it to, began a quest to once again fill my home with the patter of chicken feet. My in-house coop, complete with radiant heat, fans, and full spectrum lights, was perfect for a special needs house chicken, so I concentrated my efforts to find a neglected, bruised, or broken bird. God must have been smiling upon me the day I found Sophie.
Sophie was a buff silkie hen, only six months old, but it was apparent that she'd lived a tough life in that short period of time. Due to an aggressive rooster, she was mostly blind in both eyes, with a few ratty feet feathers, and intense fear of noises. The morning she arrived, I tenderly placed her in the coop, and as she cautiously raised her scruffy little head, fell madly and completely in love.

Sophie with Bo On Her First Day
For a time, the poor dear stood unmoving under the warm lights with fresh aspen shavings at her feet. I don't think she'd ever felt something soft under her feet before. Although many of her feathers were askew or missing, I could see the hint of a golden red sheen and knew how beautiful she was meant to be. My heart broke when I imagined the life she must have endured.

It Didn't Take Long to Make Herself at Home!
Sophie had no idea where she was, who I was, or that food and water were nearby, but it only took a minute of me softly talking with her before she stretched out her neck and purred! Within the hour, she was cradled in my arms being petted, scratched, and held. She purred like a kitten, profuse and with joy, I realized I was quite possibly the first human who touched her with gentle respect and love.
Sophie hadn't arrived alone. Accompanying her on the journey was a frizzle cochin chick, another special needs bird named Belle who I later named Bo when he started crowing! Sophie, although very young, became a wonderful, patient mother, raising energetic Bo with quiet dignity. He pestered and bothered her constantly, but never did I see her peck him in annoyance.
The three of us were quite a team.

No matter what she was doing, if I called to Sophie, she would begin the long blind journey to find me. Sometimes it could take fifteen minutes for her to make it across the coop, but eventually her little feet stood proudly on mine as she waited to be held.

Sophie and Robin Giving Huggers
And hold her I did! Sophie would snuggle tightly in my arms, head tucked under my chin or over my right shoulder. Sometimes she couldn't get close enough ad she'd push into me with all of her might, purring all the while. While holding her, the world and all its troubles would disappear under the weight of her pure and overwhelming love for me, and I loved her just as fervently.

Her devotion to me was so complete that she would abandon her favorite food, wax worms, if I so much as whispered her name. To her, I was the most important thing in her universe.

Sophie the Alpha Hen with Olivia and Bo
Bo grew into a handsome young rooster and eventually became too aggressive for gentle little Sophie to manage. I decided to get another silkie hen, thinking she would be a companion to Sophie and mate to Bo.
Her name was Olivia and she and Sophie detested one another on sight. Olivia was strong and healthy and challenged Sophie for alpha chicken. As I contemplated a way to permanently separate the two, I almost fell over as my blind little Sophia became a warrior princess! Although half the time she couldn't see Olivia, Sophie battled with all her might until her rival gave in. Timid Sophie became alpha hen! I did my day to day work in the aviary, Sophie tucked into my side. We were inseparable, that tiny blind silkie and me. So when she started having egg problems, off to the vet we went. The doctor believed the problem was genetic, so after a barrage of tests, Sophie started getting shots to cease laying. For a while they seemed to work, but the urge to lay was strong, and the eggs started coming again. They were misshapen and bloody, and often got stuck for hours at a time. It took months, but slowly the stress of vet visits, shots, and problem eggs took their toll.

Sophie became lethargic.
To make matters worse, she started having problems with her legs and eventually became paralyzed. During the worst, I held her almost constantly, carrying her around with me all day long, seldom putting her down.

Sophie Sunbathing on Her Favorite Pillow
My husband made her a portable coop so she could sleep next to my bed, always nearby.

Through it all, she was a trooper. She never stopped being sweet, kind, and loving, no matter what she was going through. Even at her weakest, she never stopped purring with all her might, or giving hugs that made my heart melt. Her courageous spirit was inspiring, and I learned a lot from that little silkie. The vet claimed Sophie would never walk again, so imagine my surprise and delight when she struggled to her feet and started standing after five months of paralysis! She was truly a miracle. When her heart finally gave out, my dear girl was standing on her own two feet, a testament to her spirit and strength.

I don't think I've ever been closer to one of God's creatures as I was to Sophie. Our bond is still there, always with me, and sometimes I swear I can feel her warm little body curled in my arms.

Seven months later, I still miss her, talk to her, and think about her every day.

Sophie's Cousin Farrah!
Sophie's story has a happy ending. One of the things I regretted most after her passing was not hatching one of Sophie and Bo's eggs. So I started wondering if the wonderful woman who had first saved Sophie might still have one of her relatives.
It was a long shot, but I contacted her and was delighted to discover she had Sophie's cousin, Farrah! She was already mated to a handsome rooster and laying eggs, but in honor of Sophie, I was offered to give her a home.

After a long, excited trip to get her, I proudly lifted Farrah into my arms, marveling at how much she reminded me of Sophie. Farrah gave me an enquiring look before tucking herself into my right shoulder and starting to purr....

All is right with the world.

Brown Egg Blue Egg