Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I really love my chickens
Well, the jig is up.
After almost three years of living on my little farm, it is clear to me I am not a real farm girl. Don't get me wrong, I still love our little piece of land and everyone and everything on it, but - I just love my chickens too much to be a true farm girl.
Two years, ten months ago I brought home 12 day-old chicks and promptly fell in love:
I was mesmerized with every stage they went through:
and I bonded completely and totally with every one of them:
They were the first critters to make Critter Farm a reality:
Roxy officially became a farm pup upon their arrival:
Not a day has gone by since March 5th 2008 that these funny, little, feathered ninnies haven't made me laugh or smile in some way:
Each one has as big and as individual a personality as my goats, my donkeys or my llama:
Here is Boppity, my Barred Rock hen (left) and Spongebob, my Buff Orpington hen (right). Aren't they gorgeous?:
I know there are many who might not understand how a person could become attached to a chicken, but allow me be one to attest to the power of a chicken personality:
And so, it is with a heavy animal-lovin' heart that I write that I buried my sweet Boppity...six weeks ago.
Yes, it has taken me this long to feel like writing about it. I miss her so much:
I noticed her ailing the morning of December 1st and by the afternoon, I brought her into the house to see if I could get her to eat a bit of yogurt and vitamin water:
I've had under-the-weather hens before and a night or two in a dog crate in the warm house with some undivided attention from me has always set things right:
But not this time.
My friends and chicken experts, Tonya and Kao, insisted on coming out to the farm when I called to tell them Boppity wasn't well.
Sadly, the looks on their faces when they saw her - and then the words they spoke - made it very clear to me that this wasn't the normal kind of ailing.
They believed she had had some kind of neurological event - a stroke - and was not going to pull out of it.
She died moments later in my arms. As horrible as it was, I felt so very lucky to have my friends by my side:
The next evening, we found a spot in the pasture below where she used to free-range:
and my son, Aidan, helped me bury her:
I really, really loved this bird. She was gorgeous from the front:
and the back:
She was a chicken who made eye contact. I liked that a lot:
and she was always one of the first to do the "scary stuff":
Throughout Bopp's illness and death, I expected to have at least one person say "aw, c'mon, she's just a chicken," but I never did. Experiencing Tonya and Kao's kindness (and their intense sadness for me) was a tribute to the power these birds can have on us.
Friends of mine, Scott and Carol, sent me some amazingly pretty flowers a few days later because they knew I was feeling sad. Such a loving gesture:
So, I guess, while there are people who wouldn't understand the attachment one can form to a chicken, there are other kind souls who really do.