Keeping chickens was one of the things J was most looking forward to when we bought the house, and it didn’t take long before he started bringing them home and building up the coop. We’ve had an especially rough year with the birds (we’ve lost two more since my last RIP post, Squeak and Brienne) and it’s been hard on us to lose them as they were always intended to be pets and not meat birds.
We’ve made the difficult decision to find new homes for the birds we have left so they can live with people who have more time to spend with them and they can get proper care. Our coop has some predator-proofing-problems and we don’t have the funds to fix it until well into next year and it just seems mean to keep animals who are just sitting targets. We keep them in the run and raccoons and mink slip through the fencing and pick them out of their nesting boxes. We let them free range and neighbourhood dogs and eagles/ravens/owls pick them off the lawn. It’s a hard world out there for a chicken!
We’ve definitely learned a lot about chickens and would still recommend them highly to anyone looking for an “easy” pet. They are happy scratching around and eating bugs and plants, and take themselves to bed at night. They lay eggs on the daily that you can use to make more chickens or serve up with breakfast. Plus they are ADORABLE. Drawbacks include roosters being noisy, which is the obvious one, but also that they need to be secured while in the coop over night which means letting them out every morning at a reasonable hour (no sleeping in, lazybones!) and also locking them up safe after dark – this one proved most tricky as going to the beach or out to dinner meant speeding back to the house as the sun set to lock the door before going back out to hang with friends or run errands which was fairly inconvenient on a number of occasions, particularly in winter when it gets dark at 4pm and we are both still at work and worrying that they may be massacred before we got home.
The pair of ducks, Crumpet and Ishmael, went to live with a friend who already has a pair of ducks and is excited to keep more. The hens have been split into two groups; Fozzy, Britney, Brody and Arya went to live with a friend and their other chickens where they will get the BEST life, and our more “sentimental” birds Pod and Penelope (our only chicks from last year) and Mulder and Scully (the only hens remaining from our first batch of chicks and Scully being the one we nursed back to health after her blocked gizzard incident) are waiting for their new home, hopefully to be moved this weekend.
We’ve had a good run and know this was the best decision for the health and safety of the birds, and also to ease our load a bit. We have realized that we can’t do it all and the rabbits will become our new focus as they have been left alone a bit recently, which isn’t fair in the slightest. We can also repurpose the coop into the tool shed J has been anxiously awaiting and tidy up the yard a bit. Best of luck to our birdies as we say goodbye. ❤