Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 98 – sigh, an empty nest is an empty nest

This weekend four of my beautiful juvies are going to fly the coop.

As a mom, I knew that eventually this day would come, but it still doesn’t make it any easier. My God, it seems only yesterday that I was holding them in my hands and blowing into their soft hairlike down.

But even I am willing to admit that 38 grown birds in our coop is a few too many so when we learned that a friend of ours recently lost 5 of his birds to a nighttime predator, I (with a heavy heart) offered up 4 of our un-literary-named juvies as replacement (provided he first correct the security breach that allowed the predator access – he has assured me he has).

Interestingly, this friend blames me for his getting chickens in the first place. As he tells it, his neighbor approached him with an article of mine as persuasion and suggested that they get chickens but that that the birds be housed on his property. (a brilliant solution to the neighbors complaining over the rooster-incessant-crowing problem if you ask me).

He said sure. Hens were gotten and a coop built. Unfortunately though, the birds were left in the penned area late at night and there was a weak spot in the fencing. It doesn’t take long for disaster to happen. The heartbreak runs deep.

It makes me so thankful that we chose to get the sturdy chicken fortress we did. Even still, when we recently did a security check on our own coop’s perimeter we discovered that some sort of predator is also trying to dig under our fence.

Our solution is to replace dug up dirt, pack it down, and to line the exterior fence boundary with large stones and bricks. Of course, we also insist on locking our birds inside the coop at night – even though it has meant that one of the boys has to crawl under the hen house in order to grab the babies hiding in the corners. There is a lot of danger out there, let’s try to be safe kids.

Time to fly the coop, my little friends

Time to fly the coop, my little friends

Our friend and his daughters are coming to our house on Saturday both to pick up the birds and to see the rest of our flock. It will be a bitter sweet visit, even though we will still have several hens remaining (and perhaps one rooster) once they take their four birds, I fear I will be left with nothing but an empty nest.



Filed under Project Chickens before the Eggs, The Chicken Challenge

2 responses to “Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 98 – sigh, an empty nest is an empty nest

  1. Hey sis: Sad. Sad. So sad, but view this as practice for the inevitability that your children will someday leave the nest. Save those tears (as if there is only a finite supply of them) and bask in the motley collection of kids, dogs, chickens and God-knows what else you have managed to put together in your very adventurous life there in New Hampshire. Go ahead, rise up. Continue to be a beacon of hope and compassion to us all!

  2. Pingback: Going Viral « Live to Write – Write to Live

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