So the first livestock we bought for the farm were chickens. We bought some Rhode Island Reds and Golden Laced Wyandottes to be exact. And then we discovered that we were practically the definition of Newbies when it came to chickens. (Uh duh, we're newbies to this WHOLE farming thing!)
We started out with them in a 10x10 dog kennel, and wrapped the lower third of the chain link with additional chicken wire. We had a small coop, a feeder & waterer and thought we were good. And then the chickens started disappearing one by one. It wasn't until my fourth chicken was gone that we realized we had both a cat and raccoon problem. AND we never closed off the top of the kennel--oops!
After setting a live trap at night, and closing off the top of the chickens' enclosure we didn't lose anymore chickens overnight, but did lose a couple here and there during the day while they were free range--damn hawks!
And then something horrible happened. I left to run errands one afternoon and when I came back, only one of my Rhode Island Reds could be found. I freaked. Like crazy chicken lady with my head cut off freaked. And then during my practically hyperventilating race around the yard, I found a chicken, and then I found another, and another, and another. They all looked like they had just keeled over where they were. My poor babies.
|Who doesn't love Peep Peep Pe-Cheep?|
I wracked my brain for hours trying to figure out what the heck had caused them all to just fall over. Then when my head started to hurt, and I was starting to get tunnel vision, I remembered The Husband had sprayed around the house for carpenter bees. He used a chemical spray right where my chickens were foraging! And, of course, they gobbled the toxic bees right up. It was a sad day at the pond, for sure.
|Buddy--My favorite rooster.|
After a brief mourning period, I started the search for new chickens and discovered my super sweet English Orpingtons. But the best part was, in buying new chicks our family also made some super sweet, new friends.
|I mean seriously, he SNUGGLES!|
My chickens taught me some dos, some don'ts and brought us some great people.
And then there was Cluckingham Palace. I am so spoiled sometimes. :)