Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chicken Chat...

I have been so busy with new baby I haven't talked much about my chickens, or lack thereof. I don't really understand why I have had such a hard time with this. I can't find anyone else who has experienced this problem. Most people have to kill their chickens to get them to die.

 I used to get lots of questions from people about what they should do with their chickens. I was starting to get a name for myself.  People now ask what not to do.

The thing is, those birds have a palace back there. Fresh water, good food, comfy beds... But it doesn't matter. They still die. I recently took one of the sick chickens to see Dr. Berry. He was so puzzled. He told me in all his years as a vet, he has never seen the likes of it. He said that if one got sick, then they would generally all get sick. Not me, I have one die every six weeks. No matter what. I haven't mentioned Chick Magnet 2 because, well, he died. I found him laying by the feeding dish. I just can't get a Chick Magnet 3 until I figure this thing out. I suggested we do testing on the sick bird to see what was going on. He said he could rule out ten or fifteen things, and it could still be a dozens other reasons why they are sick. The only option would be to send a live bird off to be tested for $600. We both agreed that "knowing" wasn't worth that much. So I brought my hen home and she died shortly after. We have three left out of twenty. None of them were laying eggs until the other day. I swear they overheard me talking about doing them in. They all three started laying. But who wants to eat eggs from future sick chickens!?

A few people have joked that we must have built the hen house on an ancient chicken burial ground.  Very funny, I would tell them. Now it sounds like the only logical solution. That must be it. There is just no reason why this should be happening. To think, I saved four chickens from the slaughter house, only to subject them to a slow death. I still have one of the original birds from two years ago. She is a trooper. She's going to be the last hen standing, I just know it. The sad thing is, they all have to go before I get new ones or the crazy cycle will just continue. Dr Berry said time should take care of everything. I don't have the heart to chop their sweet little heads off so he said he would take care of them for me nicely.

Before I left his office he told me to follow him out back because he wanted to show me something. When I got Chick Magnet 2 I also got a little stunt double in case I lost him. We had speaking engagements to attend, so I had to have a back up! I couldn't have two roosters so I gave one to Dr. Berry to raise for me. He said if my Chick Magnet died I could have that one. But evidently he is attached to him. And he doesn't want to send him to an early death. I rounded to corner and behind the building and there he was. He was so beautiful! And he lived alone behind a little fence with a dog house to retire in. But he was alive. And he looked happy. I was glad I had sent him there because I knew if I hadn't he would be in a little shallow grave in the woods behind our hen house.

So here is the plan. I depopulate by March. I let things sit until May, then get some laying hens. I cannot do the baby chick thing again. If I do, I have to wait for next fall to get eggs. I don't even want to know how many hundreds of dollars we have into this little venture. But I can't stop now.

If all goes well, by May, I can collect eggs. It really shouldn't be this difficult.....

1 comment:

  1. You're awesome! Your writing always puts a smile on my face even though I already know the story. :-)