Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Three Little Hens Go To Summer Camp

For various reasons I came to the decision to try and find a home for my 3 hens. They have been laying sporadically and I was really counting on high production this summer. Eggs were the main reason I originally wanted chickens. The entertainment and the manure for the compost were just gravy, so to speak.

And they have become very noisy, especially Queenie the Barred Rock. She starts squawking as soon as the sun came up and has taught herself how to crow like a rooster. And I've been thinking about redesigning the coop to be more accessible and easier for my neighbors to manage whenever I go out of town.

So I decided to take a break from chicken keeping and maybe start again next year with a new coop and some new chicks. I wasn't sure how difficult it might be to place 3 adult hens. They are 2.5 years old. So I posted an ad on the chicken board for my area and I had an offer within 24 hours from a specialty poultry farm called C & L Farms.

So now it was time for me to take them to their new home. I figured I could take them in separate boxes, hoping the darkness might keep them calm. Queenie and Scarlet went happily into their chicken carriers, aka cardboard boxes, excited about their new adventure no doubt. But The Fonz, my Black Australorp took me 5 tries and we were both the worse for wear afterward.

When I got to C&L I was certain I had found a good 2nd home for them. Exotic roosters strutted around the front yard and I could see all sorts of fancy birds in pens, Quail, Guinea Hens, Ducks, etc. They also raise goats and pigs at C & L.

Curtis, the owner took each of my hens out of their boxes, told them they were pretty birds and assured each of them that he had just the boyfriend for them. He intends to breed them for a while and then keep them for laying, unless he finds a customer who wants to keep grown chickens.

Now my girls are country girls instead of city girls and they have already outlived most of the chicken population in this country, since most battery hens are butchered after just one year of intensive egg laying, stimulated by round the clock daylight.

I thought I'd be more sentimental about parting with them, since they really were like pets for a while. But for me a chicken is really more like an employee than a pet, and if I stick with this analogy, I guess I had to let them go on to pursue other opportunities. Not exactly fired, since I found them a new gig.


marisa said...

They will just LOVE their new home with their boyfriends.

AJK said...

Sounds like their new employer will treat them nice! Boyfriends are part of a good benefits package! hehe