Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In memory of my chicks.

I bought a couple of new chicks in March to add to my coop of Rhode Island Reds. I went a different route and chose Ameraucana chicks due to them being "Easter Eggers"; laying colorful eggs of light pink, blue, etc... I was excited to add these two new little birds to my flock since last year we ended up with, well, a boy chicken. Ahhhh.

Thankfully, we found a good home for our rooster (not via Craig's List) and our two little hens went about their business becoming quite the egg producers and part of the family; including co-existing with an 80 pound dog and one very bossy toddler.

That's why it was such a shock one afternoon day when I came home to find a foreign dog in my backyard happily having a meal with my two hens; not a week after I purchased my new chicks. To my surprise, it hit me harder then expected. I saw the dog chewing on my favorite girls, which you must realize, are the only girls in my household besides myself. I was scarred. I couldn't bring myself to go into the backyard - which on most days, but this day, was a highlight. Our backyard dinner parties were always something special when the hens would roam around and were such a great addition to the landscape.

The very next morning after the dog killed the chickens, my 2-year-old son asked to go get the eggs, a daily ritual in our household, and I had to tell him the chicks went bye-bye - words he understood. It was a shocking realization how quickly they fit in with us. My husband had an equally difficult time and mourned them as well. What once was a daily occurance - hitting the backyard - suddenly became a struggle.

Now, with my new chicks, it was harder to get close to them. I was angry and missed the ones I had. My new chicks were cute, but they weren't the same. Slowly we forced ourselves into the backyard and started cleaning out the the coop. When we started preparing it for our new chicks, we could feel an excitement brewing for the new (hopefully) girls. And I think they were preparing for us.

Now, we've embraced those chicks and have enjoyed watching them grow. They have spent a night in the new improved coop and we have high hopes for those "Easter Eggs" to start coming. Happily, we bought two new chicks last week; Rhode Island Reds in remembrance to our first chickens. They are so adorable and growing fast. In the next couple of weeks, our new chicks will be taking over our yard again and our family will return to normal by enjoying the entertainment which comes from having backyard chickens.

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