Giving Our Pets a Chance at Life 

When you’re an animal lover, like any normal human should be, you get attached to your pets fairly quickly. Your (human) family may seem to revolve around “when will we be home to let the dog out” or “who’s going to be home at dusk to lock up the coop”. That’s the love and commitment  we show our animals. They become part of our routine and we love them- that’s why most of us consider them family. No matter if they’re feathered, furry, slimy, or scaled, we love them unconditionally. 

What truly stinks is that we outlive our pets- “stinks” being a true understatement. 

The loss of a pet is difficult, the circumstance doesn’t matter. Most of us feel regret “why didn’t I spend more time with Fido?”, and some feelings of guilt “I knew I should have taken Henrietta to the vet”. The truth is, this is just how the circle of life works. And it’s hard. It’s reeeeeally hard. 

We lost our first feathered pet yesterday. Actually, the little chick wasn’t even feathered yet- just a little ball of fluff- 5 days old. It was heartbreaking for my husband and I to bury such a tiny creature. I sobbed, uncontrollably, as we laid her to rest behind the chicken coop. (I’ll plead the 5th on whether or not tears were shed by my husband.) We dreaded telling our daughter when she got home from dance class. 

This is the worst part about losing a pet- telling your children one of their beloved “family members” has passed. 

Julia’s response shocked me and proved (yet again) that she is wise beyond her 12 years. She said “Well, at least we gave it a chance at life.” See, we hatched these babies ourselves. Well, not literally. We tracked down fertile eggs, gave them to our 2 silkie hens, watched them grow inside the eggs and our hens sat on them diligently for 21 days until we watched them peck their way into the world. Julia’s response was accurate. Had we never given our Momma hens those eggs, the baby would have never had a chance at life. The chick may have only been on earth for a few days, but the short life it had was wonderful. It wasn’t born in an incubator in a chick factory somewhere, it was born with its (surrogate) Mom and siblings!  

“We gave it a chance at life” is a statement that keeps repeating in my head. This is so true with all animals. Whether you adopt, find them at a swap meet, buy pure blooded from a breeder, or take in a stray… we are giving them all a chance at life. We never know how long we have with them, so we try to cherish every moment. 

Love on your pets just a little more tonight. Give them some treats. Spoil those babies rotten!  You won’t regret it! 

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This blog is dedicated in loving memory of Pickles, our sweet little angel chick. 

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Clucky In Kentucky

Growing up in the city (even in Kentucky) is tough when you were born to be a country girl. I remember begging for chickens at a young age, but my mother (and city laws) kept that from becoming a reality. I swore I would grow up and move to a farm so I could  have my chickens.
Fast forward a couple of decades…

I run into an old friend, a crop farmer, and we were married two years later. As a bonus, Ben became an instant step-dad to my daughter, Julia (now 12). I was blessed with a step-dog, Curby, who is 10 years old now. We adopted a stray cat during a flood, who we found out was already pregnant. She had 4 babies that we couldn’t part with.

With 6 indoor pets, our home already felt like a zoo. Why not add a couple of outdoor pets?  Last April, we figured 3 or 4 chickens should suffice. We brought home a tiny box of 6 chicks (because of the chick minimum), a ton of supplies, and a book on chicken keeping. I was clueless, but my lifelong dream of chicken ownership was finally coming true!

I thought they’d just be pretty little things that weren’t very smart and didn’t connect with humans. I was wrong. I was SO wrong. Those little fluff butts melted my heart. Who knew that CHICKENS could have such unique personalities?!

Every week seemed to be a learning experience. I researched coop designs, predator proofing, safe treats to feed, and what to do if an illness arises. I found websites, smart phone apps, and social media groups to feed my addiction. Everything was so fascinating!

As my chicks grew, I started to research their individual breeds. This is when my hobby became more of an obsession. I wanted to know everything about every breed- color patterns, egg colors, friendliness, size-  breeds that would best suit us. The more I learned, the more breeds I added to my wishlist. We accumulated 3 silkies in September, and now we have 2 more chicks in the brooder, bringing our total to 11.

Educating new chicken keepers, as well as non-owners is my goal for this blog. Insanely varied topics will be covered: breeds (and their unique characteristics), illnesses/treatments, predators, egg recipes, funny stories about my own flock, and anything else that comes up in my sporadic brain. I’m excited to use this blog to talk about all things CHICKENS!

Disclaimer: I am no expert, and I’m not afraid to say that I have made some mistakes with my chickens. Chicken keeping is a lot of trial and error, so if you’re still learning (like me) don’t be too hard on yourself!