warning: if you're easily disturbed by eating a chicken, please take care when reading this.
Yesterday we picked up our hens, starting our flock. We were given a sac to transport them in (about the size of a potato sack). Two birds came out unable to stand. I was able to help one to water and splashed some on her while rubbing her down and she did okay. Another one didn't make it...she wouldn't drink and then suddenly flapped about and died. I was unsure about transporting them this way, but was assured that it was okay.
I feel saddened by the experience, but we managed to salvage what could have been a waste and turned it into another learning experience. I skinned and gutted the hen and had it for dinner. Also during this process, I pushed a finished egg out. This was my first time doing this, but I had read up on it. I assumed that I would be dealing with chicken death/culling eventually, but didn't think it'd be on the first day.
I feel very good about saving one of the hens. By dusk, she was drinking and scratching with the others. This morning when the others went down under the tractor for breakfast, she found a spot in the center of the roost and relaxed in the soft red morning sun, looking a little sad but comfortable.
I take it that this wasn't the best way to transport the birds. Next time, we'll find a cat taxi or box or anything but a mesh sack.
Edited by woodlumn - 4/12/10 at 10:12am