Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Sigh...I've been dreading this post. I wasn't even sure I was going to write it..but decided to when I received a few e-mails asking about the ladies and how they were doing.
The ladies are fine but they are no longer with me. The thing is...urban homesteading is a challenge sometimes and sometimes those challenges aren't worth fighting to overcome. I live in a densely populated country where everyone is trying to do their own thing in the small spot that is theirs. I get that. I'm trying to do the same thing in my backyard.
The ladies,although chatty were never loud. In fact the neighborhood dogs are extremely loud compared to hens and it was a joy to hear them clucking about as they happily dug for worms and other things. There was never a complaint about them and like I said..everyone is busy doing their own thing in their own spot. So what changed? I started noticing the hens becoming more agitated as time went on. The dog barking set them off daily and they in return would launch into their stranger danger alarm call.
One of my neighbors is really into birds and set up several feeders and bird bathing areas for the local wildlife. So with that came a huge gathering of the small birds into the chicken run and coop. Every single day I was cleaning and re cleaning their food and water feeders because of the poop the birds left behind. They were eating and pooing on everything. I tried several things to keep them out and spent a bunch of money on several gadgets to help with the cause. I had so many birds in my backyard that it became a breeding ground of potential disease to my chickens. Looking back I should have purchased chicken wire that had smaller holes in it and trained them earlier on to use a special feeder that opens when they stand on it. Lesson learned.
They were unhappy and I was unhappy with what I was seeing. They were agitated by the birds and the dogs and I knew they had enough. I had enough. A wonderful opportunity presented itself in the form of a family who lived out in the country and was on the look out for some hens. I responded with photos of my ladies and within a few hours they were crated up and on their way to a new life in the country. The family was excited and I knew they were the right ones.
This isn't the end for me when it comes to owning chickens. I loved having them and will have them again. But not right now. I'd want to do things differently next time and since the situation with where I live isn't going to change any time soon I am putting chickens on the back burner. I am taking down the coop and run and will work on repairing the ground again. This isn't my forever home and selling a house with a chicken less garden will appeal to more people here. I miss my girls and will always remember my first flock..Mabel,Daisy,Lily,Astrid,Annie,Belle and Eliza Doolittle. What a ride we had :)
I'd also like to say that keeping chickens in an urban setting can totally work and there are many things I would do differently next time..like asking the neighbors on both sides if we could put out a higher fence. I would save up for the extra cost to use the smaller hole chicken wire. I would train my chickens to use a special feeder that keeps other birds out..but in the end it all worked out. My girls are running free in the country and loving every single second of it.
Still...I miss them terribly.
Labels: Life in the Netherlands