Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Goodbye Chickens

Coming back to the blog, after a CRAZY two months and this is where I stopped... having these chickens and that weekend of getting rid of them has taught me a lot about grief, God, and the joy we experience here on earth. 

Of course I want to blog about this to document the events but also to share the miracle these fluffy feathered family members were to us... things that I never realized until AFTER we had said our goodbyes. From day one these birds were God's idea. I had bought all this wire fencing to make a garden... and as the trees began to fill out in our new year I quickly realized my 'garden' was a shade bed. It was during a yoga meditation session that God placed the idea in my head to get chickens. WHAT?! lol I've never cared for birds or chickens and didn't think I would. But it was covid, we had time for a project and learning so sure why not... Now that's history and you know the story of us hatching, building the coop etc... But now looking back I see WHY God planted that idea of chickens in my mind. It was His gift of joy to me during our time in Kansas. We enjoyed the yard more because of those ladies and God had his hand of protection on them for the entire two years. We never experienced a loss, had a couple of scares with hawks and raccoons, but God was protecting them. It was a miracle they all lasted two years and we never had to experience a death first hand. Our neighbors had some friends on the same street five blocks south of us that had to keep their chickens penned up all day because of the foxes that camped out in their yard! Maybe a MILE away! There was definitely a bubble in our yard because we let them roam daily and if I was just running a quick errand I would leave them out and never had any issues with their safety. Thank you God for that. The chickens brought us so much joy, but it wasn't the chickens it was God giving us that joy through the chickens, I realized this about mid-April and was thankful for it. Thankful and excited to look forward to something new God would bring me joy through. It's not the earthly things, it's always God!

Now for the grief and loss, I knew I'd be sad and I didn't want to get rid of them but they weren't coming with us. I have a background of working with families going through loss and bereavement, but this was a new experience for me. It took a good week for me to be able to go in the backyard without crying and I found myself avoiding anything that reminded me of them. I avoided looking outside where I would see them pecking around the backyard, I avoided the backyard all together and had the kids let Harpo in and out, I would walk straight ahead to the garage to get the van out and not look around the yard because my brain would search for the chickens. It was a new grief experience for me and it was okay, it's how our brain processes things, but so interesting as I have a lot of loss training and have experienced it WITH families just not in this form. 

Okay now only to where I left off with this blog. Saturday May 14th was the day. A friend from BSF (bible study fellowship) had agreed to buy the coop from us. She had a small flock of chickens just ten minutes straight north of us. They wanted another coop to be able to separate their chicks as they hatched new babies and was willing to take our five girls. So glad they were able to stay with their familiar home and all go at once. It happened on this date because that was when their friend was able to let them borrow the trailer. STOP, just realized I have photos from before I need to share... 

Knowing the chickens were leaving I was kinda hoarding eggs :-/ I usually would give them to neighbors, teachers, whoever so I didn't have a stock pile, but I started to get a little selfish, heee hee. It didn't take us long to get through these when we'd eat eggs but I was also not eat eggs as often knowing they'd be all gone soon. Prob part of the grief process. In the end I had some after we moved and I had to throw them out cuz they were bad when I cracked them :-( so I should have just eaten, aw well. 

May 13th, day before capturing them on the porch, wondering where the patio table was (something we sold in preparation to move)

I was taken all the photos I could. I took a bunch with my nice camera with plans to get a big piece of art for the new house. I'll try and make a separate post with their 'photo shoot' photos, lol. 

The week before Lindsey (the gal taking them) has asked if I could send a photo of them with their names so they could prepare for them. These were their photos I sent her with their little personality info <3

Beep beep - Lila


Cinnamon and Sunset 

Even got the drone out to get some last photos on that Friday evening.

Okay back to Saturday May 14th

We prepared for their arrival by getting everything apart and dug up. Whoa what a chore. We had morning soccer at eight AM then got to work when we got back as they were arriving after lunch. Photos to share the wire before we detached it. We had a lot of pride and joy in this coop. 

Had to dig the run OUT of the ground. 

Break for some chicken love

This was also all happening within their laying time frame so they were kinda "WTF are you doing to our coop we need to get to our nesting box to lay"

Step 1: got the run detached!

Break for chicken love :-) 


Girls came out to help fill in the ruts. Next step was digging out the coop. It was HEAVY so we didn't plan to move it but we wanted to make it easier for when they got there to get it. moved and not have to dig it out. 


Mission accomplished: got it shifted over from the ruts, and also removed the pavers to give them. 

Break time. Called the neighbors so they could come say goodbye before the trailer arrived. 


Yes I took a LOT of photos :-) 

Girls were taking dust baths as the trailer arrived. 

It's go time! Got the run on no prob. 

Dean (Lindsey's husband) - oh and SMALL world, Dean worked with our neighbor Beryl at the hospital and Dean and Lindsey are both from Minneapolis, all signs that God has his hand on everything and his plan is perfect. Anyway Dean drilled in two 2x4s to the side so the four of us could live it, me (being the weakest link), Dean, Kyle, and the trailer owner. 

Phew that was work, but it's on! Now time to catch the chickens! HAHA the three were easy to catch, last time I got to call them to me. 

Cinnamon and Sunset are the runners. Kyle got Cinnamon pretty quickly too. 

Oh that diva comb. 

Emma caught Sunset. 

There they go! 

All in safe and sound for the ride. 

Empty space now.

We followed the trailer back to their house, literally just straight up the main road by our house, so minimal turns, the worse part for the ladies was the bump of the curb leaving our house. 

New home!

They got to hang out in their run while we got the coop off the trailer. They stayed here for the night separated from the others. 

Here is her small flock, well it started small. Lindsey had five chickens (4 hens and a rooster) They lost their white chicken a month or so prior. One of the hens hatched a baby! So she had picked up about 7 juveniles so the baby chick wouldn't be alone (those 7 were in the coop) then here the mama had since hatched another 9 or so baby chicks that were running the yard with her) plus our 5 I think she has 25 chickens now! LOL But no eggs cuz no one was laying since they had hatched babies. Just the one rooster thus far but hoping for another rooster in the new batch. 

Gary the rooster came over to meet the girls. 

They have a great new home! Lots of land to roam. Sad new, beep beep got taken by something middle of the day about a week and a half after this day. BeepBeep was always the alpha chick and sounds like she wasn't a fan of Gary, the other four ladies let Gary protect them and Gary was decently protective of them. This was not good for BeepBeep and some sort of predator snatched her. I wondered if it had something to do with her color as well because Lindsey's other white chick was taken a while ago. Anyway we did go to visit them a few days before we left Kansas. This was June 1st:

Gary was VERY protective of our girls and we weren't able to really get close to them. Gary clawed Emma pretty good because she was chasing our chicks. 

It was good closure to see the chicks again and realize they aren't ours, they don't act the same and our in a good home now. 

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