A week ago Camryn died and Josie followed her this weekend.
I work very hard at healing these chickens and spent countless hours taming them and making them happy in their new world. They respond so well to fresh air, nutrient rich food and, most of all, individual attention that it is truly heartwarming.
But, the down side is that I get attached to them as pets and it's wearing me out with sadness and worrying over them. Losing Josie and Camryn leaves me with too few chickens to keep the coop warm over a Canadian winter. I need at least four chickens in there so their body heat adds to what the heat lamp does to keep them from frostbite. I had to make a decision quickly on what to bring into the coop, so I can get them integrated into the flock before cold weather sets in.
I'd also like to get a reasonable number of eggs for the money I spent on feeding and housing the ladies. Of the three gals I have left, only Kay lays eggs. The other two are more in the decorative end of chicken farming. sigh
So, today I picked up three, white leghorn pullets. Yup, I have brand, spanking, new lay hens from a reputable breeder! They are about 4 mths. old and have just come into laying.
They were a bit traumatized from the move, so I just snapped a quick shot of a couple of them in the quarantine coop. ~
It feels positively lazy to not have to treat any wounds, overgrown nails or lice on these gals! All I had to do was feed them, water them and say, "Good night, girls".
Oh, and I did have to apologize to them for making their move more difficult than necessary. I told the farmer I would help him catch them, since I'm an excellent chicken catcher. He declined my help and brought me the three stuffed in a feed bag. Of course, I wouldn't subject them to a car journey in that! Just as I took the third chicken out of the bag to put in my cat carrier, the first two made a break for freedom. The farmer had to catch them all over again and I'm sure he complained aplenty about me to his wife when he got back to the house!
Queen of the coop, Kay, hardly bothered to kick up a fuss to establish herself as boss this time. As long as they don't touch her supper food, she doesn't seem to care about the youngsters being there. ~
I know I will take in more rescues in time. For now, it feels wonderful to have nothing but happiness in the coop!
ps - One of these girls will be named Rukmini and one will be Elizabeth to fulfill friend requests. Any ideas on a name for the third girl?