I'm new to BYC.
I had a flock of 6 hens that had just started laying eggs. I had a silver laced wyandotte "Lacy", an americauna "Betsy", a BuffOrp "Buffy", a Black Star "Damien", a speckled sussex "Boozy", and a barred rock "Stevie".
My chickens were free range in my back yard. My dog Venus was great with them. I did quite a bit of research on mixing chickens and dogs, and I was so proud of the way she would share the yard with them. She ran, and scared them sometimes, but was never aggressive, or chased them. Venus would often lay down with a chicken snuggled at her back.
One horrible night about a month ago while I was at work, my adult daughter came over to visit with her dad. She brought her dog with her, and since it was after dark and the chickens were in the coop, she just went out in the dark and locked the front door to the coop and let her dog out. She didn't realize a side door to the coop was open.
I found 6 dead chickens in my yard the next morning. I was devastated, and embarrassed by how much my heart ached.
Literally just one week before, we had found a clutch of eggs hidden in the yard, and were working on trying to get them to lay in the beautiful nesting boxes we built in the coop. I didn't realize how much I loved going out in the mornings to open the coop and greeting the by name as they walked down the ramp, or just talking to them after work with a glass of wine.
I've grieved, and now feel ready to order more chickens, but I'm having quite a bit of guilt. I used Murray McMurray hatchery before, and will order from them again. I split an order of Day Olds with my sister. I am very disappointed that I am unable to get another Speckled Sussex due to short supply. This time, having no one to split the order with - I will definitely have more than 6, lol.
I guess my questions are these: Have any of you had a similar experience? And, would there be a problem ordering a speckled sussex as a 4 week old, and mixing it in with my flock when they are about 4 weeks old?
I like the variety of birds, and this time I am getting 2 each of the following:
BUFF ORPINGTONS, PARTRIDGE ROCK,
I look forward to hearing from you.