Friday, August 23, 2013
I was going to post a recipe today but decided to do another update on the hens since we purchased new ones. I'm pretty stressed at the moment and hoping the new ladies pull through.
We called a phone number that listed they had tons and tons of chickens of all ages for sale. They gave us the address and we plunked it into google maps. It was about 10 minutes from the house and was located next to a brothel! I was soooo embarassed to pull in there. They aren't officially "open" until after 6 but just knowing there were people in cars going by wondering about us just made me cringe. So we drive by the building and then around the corner there is a huge barn area with an old style Dutch home. It was then that I started having visions of Deliverance and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I wanted out of there. We slowly walk up to the front and there are chickens all over..and it's dirty. The people are sitting outside,swatting flies and staring at us. We said we had called about the chickens and could we see them? The father and his son took us over into a huge barn with a ton of doors on the inside and my skin started to crawl. I heard pig screams and it was dark and it smelled.
He said go to the second door and open it. We slid the door open and I gasped. Inside this large room was no less than 500 chickens of all ages along with turkey's of every size and color. They.Were.Everywhere...They were above your head,on the floor,next to you,inside these metal caged areas..and then your feet start to sink and you are almost to scared to look down. The young boy took his pair of clogs off ( yep they wear actual clogs here..you mostly see farmers wearing them though..and fyi, I want a pair. They are so handy to wear when working outside)..ok,Im getting side tracked. He takes off his clogs and walks around in his socks inside this crap hole of a room! he is leaping over the metal cages and asking which ones do we want. I can't concentrate because I am so shocked by the conditions. There was no natural light in there, no ventilation and I know I'm taking years off of my life from breathing the urine and dust that is floating through the air. My husband and I are quickly shouting over the sounds of all of these chickens and and turkey's.. we'll take that one, and that one, and that one, and that one! We couldn't get out of there fast enough.
So we come home and tip them out of their boxes and into their new home. They come out in a big thump and they won't move. Their eyes are dilating and they are squinting and screaming. It was then that we realised that this was honestly the first time they had seen the light of day and touched the ground. I'm scared for them and I'm constantly checking on them. I had to help them into the coop lastnight and they all screamed at me when I came near them. Only two screamed at me this morning when I had to help them out of their coop. My other 4 hens are pretty pissed at this point that there are new ones and Im keeping them apart as much as possible. The good thing is..they all take turns between hanging out in the larger chicken run and inside the smaller enclosure. The new hens have no clue about pecking for things outside and ignored all the treats. They watched the other hens and have now starting pecking at the ground. There is tension around the food and water bowls and I may need to get another set. I'm worried these new hens aren't going to make it. They are shell shocked and scared of everything.
I wanted to grab one of the turkey's and would have if we had the space for one..or two..but we don't. I'm turning the guy in because this can't go on. You can't do this to animals..it's inhumane.
I wasn't sure about naming them because I honestly don't know if they are going to make it or not..but starting from the left we have Belle ( as in Jezebel. My husband wanted a name that would remind us of where they came from :) The half brown and half white is Astrid,the other brown is Annie Oakley and the darker one that looks like my other one,Eliza Doolittle is named Lily. I'll give another update next week as to how it's all going. For now..they are atleast up and walking around so thats a plus. I'm hoping by sunday everyone is playing nice and sharing everything. Here is a pic of the new chicken run! Im so proud of my husband for building this for me :)
It looks pretty good I think!