Yep, you read that right. I think I’m done! We build them their fabulous new predator proof coop, fenced in a fabulous run, and spend many many hours feeding them, cleaning their space, keeping them disease and pest free, and worrying about them. Well, two weeks ago the bear was back and tried to break in. Suki (the ‘farm’ dog), in her old age, has decided to chase and attack the chickens instead of guard them. So, they can no longer free range. And last night, a raccoon pushed it’s way past the wood block guarding the gate, moved another wooded block in front of the chicken coop door, and was able to open the door just enough (about 2 1/2 inches) to squeeze through and kill 3 of my pullets, including my absolute favorite little white sizzle.
We got chickens to be able to produce some of our own food, but that production is minimal in the scheme of things. We got them for companionship, but now that they have to stay in the fenced area, we don’t really ‘hang out’ much. We got them to teach the kids a little about homesteading with farm animals, but Kaia could care less about them and Leif is really to young to understand. So now we buy food, scratch, and pine shavings. We spend time (far too much) worrying about their safety and health. We go out every morning and every night to feed and care for them. We spend money each winter heating their water. We feed the local wild life with them. And we get maybe a couple of dozen eggs a week.
There is a tremendous amount of pride that I take in showing off the beautiful eggs they lay. I love to hear their bocking and crowing throughout the day. And I do love to cook up a ‘home grown’ omelet for visiting friends. And, yes, I know it’s the ‘in’ thing to have your own chickens right now. But, I ask you, why should I keep them???