A Sad Day for Chickenopolis

Last Summer we took our first tentative steps towards hen keeping with the introduction of 7 hybrid hens (maran x silkies).  We lavished much time and attention on choosing just the right hen house for our anticipated brood and erected it in celebratory fashion with two experienced hen keeping friends.  Chicken wire, stakes and gravel boards were all purchased and painstakingly nailed and bolted together to create what we thought would be a robust yet spacious chicken enclosure.  Of course, most of the hens had escaped within a 24 hour period having discovered the laughable weaknesses in the fence and were happily feasting on the latest crop of curly kale in the vegetable garden.  We have come a long way in the last 12 months, having adopted 7 more hens, moved the hen house across the garden (with a rather disgruntled workforce) and expanded the enclosure with some brilliant portable Omlet fencing.  My husband also used the original hen house as some sort of power tool experiment one afternoon and created what can only be described as the first ever climbing frame for poultry…….hence the nickname chickenopolis.  Having received advice from many trusted friends and family, we have sourced the ideal bedding, food and cleaning products for our much loved hens and enjoy not only their fabulous eggs but their company.  There is nothing more likely to raise a smile than watching lovely fat hens running towards the kitchen scraps at full pelt, waddling precariously from side to side in battalion formation.  Or the restful way they investigate and wander the garden when you hope they’re just scratching up bugs and slugs!  So it was with great sadness yesterday that we discovered one of our hens had died overnight, unfortunately she had been off colour for a few weeks but it was still a bit sad for the children who eagerly collect eggs each day and help out with the chicken chores.  They received the news with great stoicism however and demonstrating the undeniable ‘Circle of Life’ approach of many small children,  collected eggs this morning with happy memories of their former friend ( shamefully I can’t remember if her name was Vanessa or Googley eyes) and moved on to more important matters……..”Can we bake a cake with these eggs?”

 

2 thoughts on “A Sad Day for Chickenopolis

  1. Keeping livestock can be heartbreaking at times. Chin up! Goats have a longer lifespan and you get lovely milk – why not try one or two?

  2. I promise you will never have so much fun if you went ahead and secured two beautiful goats. We had two alpines fell in love with them, they certainly keep your garden trimmed. They made lovely pets as well as working for you. Word of warning eat everything in site, I mean absolutely everything.

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