My condolences…

September 22, 2011

For the last fours years our back yard has been graced with the lovely clucking of our chickens. Four years,  nineteen ladies in two batches, more eggs than we could use and many, many laughs at their antics and escapades have enriched our lives in more ways than I can share. Both Rudie and I learned about ourselves and responsibility as we cared for our ladies – keeping them warm in the winter, defrosting water in inclement weather, helping them keep cool in the summer and just loving them.

In the last few days we have lost all last five hens to some predator. The coop remains untouched – we really don’t now how it got in but one day two were dead and today, the last three. Whatever has gotten them is a nasty, vicious creature. I was able to handle the first two deaths but today’s massacre just sent my hormone ridden self over the top.

This last weekend, after the first losses, we decided to get six new chicks to up the egg production.  In the last few months our ladies had been ending their egg production years and we wanted to keep a few for pets – we had started to get attached to them. After a brief trip to the feed store (and many phone calls to see which feed store might have chicks in mid September!) we came home with three Barred Rocks and three Rhode Island Reds. Our days have been filled with a little boy asking to see baby chicks and to hold baby chicks. My favorite is his attempts to get them to eat (they don’t need much help!) and wanting to blow bubbles for their amusement.

I will never forget this first batch of hens – my back door step will be empty until the new babies are ready to take their place in the coop.


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