Making the Tough Calls - Difficult but Essential

By Blooie · Dec 30, 2017 · ·
Rating:
4.95652/5,
  1. Blooie
    In a mad frenzy of enthusiasm - that's how we seem to dive into the world of raising chickens. It is so exciting – and scary! For most of us first came the idea, then the research. Questions, answers (sometimes conflicting), ideas and visions consume us. Then comes the big day. Chicks are chosen, brooders set up, and when those little peepers arrive it is all we can do to keep from hovering over them with big smiles on our faces.

    I was no different. I plunged in, less prepared than some but with the same eagerness to begin this journey. When my first batch finally arrived I fussed, I worried, I panicked more than a few times, and because of my care (sometimes despite it) they grew and thrived.

    Have you seen the Luv’s commercials – you know, first kid vs second kid? Yeah, it was like that. The first batch was raised indoors under strict supervision with a heat lamp in the house. By the time they were 5 weeks old, I had to get them out. They were messy. They were noisy all night long. They were dusty – and so was everything else within 2 miles of them. I evicted them to their still-unfinished coop. It was them or me. That was my first really tough call.

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    First kids....

    The second batch of chicks was kept a couple of days in the house to make sure they were sound and healthy, then out they went. A wire pen was set up within the run, and these chicks (and every subsequent batch) was raised out there in full view of the rest of the flock, using Mama Heating Pad. This was a pretty radical way to raise them. Temperatures were still cold – in the twenties dipping into the teens – yet those little stinkers absolutely thrived. That was another tough call, but a good one.

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    Second kids...

    We sometimes ended up with a surplus of roosters. From time to time we’d have an older bird who just wasn’t comfortable or “happy” anymore. We had a couple of girls who just weren’t all that we’d hoped they would be. They’d grown up to be poor layers, or extremely temperamental…..not at all what we wanted in a peaceful and productive flock. And more often that I’d like to admit, chicken math got the best of me and we overcrowded our space and abilities. Those were the times when the need for a little flock management became essential and the tough call to do some culling came into play.

    Fast forward a few years and several batches of outdoor-raised chicks. Hubby Ken had advanced in his position so that what was once a few trips a year became a few trips per month. Our best chicken sitter, granddaughter Katie, and her family were moving from across the street to a new house on the other side of town. It wouldn’t be easy for her to come and care for them while we were gone because that meant her mom having to pack up Katie’s little sister, drive her and Katie over, then sit and wait while Katie did chores before loading Kendra back up and taking the girls home. Twice a day. Yeah, that wasn’t happening. And my personal health began to deteriorate. It was harder and harder for me to take care of them. More of that work was being dropped on Ken, and he was still recovering from shoulder surgery for much of that time. It was time for another tough call - and I didn't want to make it.

    I sat on the deck watching my chickens free-range…Silkies and Easter Eggers, Andalusians and Red Sex Links, Orpingtons and one affectionate Brahma named Tank. They were busy doing what they loved to do. The sun hit their little bodies and reflected back in their glowing feathers. They were fat, sassy, laying great, and absolute pictures of health as they waddled around. I looked over at their coop/run. It needed a good deep clean, although even if it had been at its worst it was still a setup I would be proud to have anyone see. But signs of neglect were creeping in around the hidden corners. I could see it, Ken could see it, but we were still at the point where no one else would see it – yet. As I sat there, good old Agatha, one of my original flock, left the yard and went into the coop to lay her almost daily egg. The door to the coop was open and from where I sat I could see her make a beeline for her favorite nest, climb in, and settle down. And it dawned on me – they deserved better. They weren’t being neglected, they were well cared for, strong, active and healthy, but for how much longer? At what point would getting out there to do what had to be done…when going out there just to spend a little time with them and enjoying them…might become so difficult that chores for that day were put off? And the next day, and the day after that? And worst of all, would I reach the point where I began to resent the responsibility of caring for them? No, it was time.

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    A little free-range time.

    So the final and toughest call was made. After a few weeks of talking, trying to come up with alternate plans that meant we could continue to enjoy our chickens without them beginning to suffer, we finally came to the realization that we simply had to rehome them. Most of them were still pretty young and still had good years of production and life in them, although we still had our special “old ladies”. Would it be right or fair to wait until they weren’t thriving anymore? We had to decide what to do, and the solution fell into our laps.

    A friend of Ken’s mentioned his flock while he and Ken were driving to a meeting, and casually said that with his newly expanded setup he wouldn’t mind getting more birds. Ken explained our situation and his friend said he’d be happy to come and look at ours. He did, and he wanted them all. So late one evening when they’d all settled down to roost, he and his wife came over with several dog crates. One by one I plucked them off the roosts, gave them a final pounce of dusting powder just in case, and put them into the crates. Then I stood in the street and watched the tail lights on that pickup full of chickens get smaller and smaller.

    Those chickens taught us so much. They helped Katie learn new coping mechanisms to deal with her mild Autism, gave her a sense of purpose, and boosted her confidence and sense of empathy. Kendra learned to carry eggs in her red basket on her lap in her wheelchair (and wonder of wonders, walking back in her braces with her basket), happily learning that she can help too. And me? I learned about raising disabled kids and chickens together, raising chicks outdoors with Mama Heating Pad, and how to help others learn the same. Along the way I made friends. I often said that I didn’t love my chickens….that I saved that emotion for the special people in my life. Well, I lied.

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    Kendra carrying in eggs - walking out there for the first time.

    As those chickens were caught one at a time....as I whispered each one’s name, dusted, and put him or her into the crates bound for their new home...I learned one final and valuable lesson. It’s okay to say, “I can’t do this anymore.” It’s not only okay, it’s essential. There comes a time for each of us when we have to understand that it’s not only about fuzzy chicks, first eggs, and seeing a rainbow of chickens puttering around the yard. It’s also about recognizing that those garden-digging, egg-song singing, annoyingly loud crowing, time consuming critters deserve more than mediocre. It’s not a crime to make the toughest call of all. You just have to have the courage and compassion to make it.

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    Thank you, you silly looking, quirky little birds.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. chickendreams24
    "The best show of love"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed May 7, 2018
    Oh Blooie
    You are so full of courage! I know you'll miss them. I've enjoyed reading about and meeting you on your journey and I hope you'll still spend time with us here on BYC. Sending hugs!
    Blooie likes this.
    1. Blooie
      Didn’t feel brave at the time! LOL It felt like rehoming them was dumping my responsibilities on someone else and taking the coward’s way out when things were getting tough. Thanks!
  2. Sinful chick
    ""
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed May 6, 2018
    I’m in tears...hits home. I never knew I could care about chickens ....much less, fall in love with them!! (‘Scuse me...I feel the need to go hug my 3 precious ones right now!!) Great Article!!!
    Blooie likes this.
    1. Blooie
      Thanks so much! And hug away....you'll be surprised at how long that memory can sustain you if you ever have to let them go! I didn't have "lap chickens" or super affectionate either for that matter, but they did enjoy an occasional pick-up and lots of petting! Well, except for needy old Tank. That goofy chicken loved to sit on Kendra's lap when she was outside in her wheelchair and go for rides. LOL
  3. Cheers2Ya
    "So Real"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed May 4, 2018
    As another reviewer stated, I also felt your emotion through your words. Great essay, and thank you for sharing the "real" with us.
    Blooie likes this.
    1. Blooie
      And thank you for taking the time to read it and comment. I guess sometimes I'm not sure how "real" it is not to have them anymore. My posts in threads still tend to be an odd mix of past tense and present tense, as if part of my brain still believes they are out there and I'm still doing things with them. LOL

Comments

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  1. junkman56
    thanks for sharing
    1. Blooie
      And thank you for reading!
  2. honanbm
    I have learned so much from your articles. I currently have three call ducks under the heating pad. I built a hoop coop designed very closely after yours though I do keep a couple of friendly bunnies in there over chickens (not saying that future years won't hold chickens...) and after a day like today, I really feel this article. Bloody poop this morning in the transition coop. One lethargic Speckled Sussex. Off to the tractor supply. They had nothing. Boy, do they suck. Next stop, the Wilco. I Love Wilco!!!! Had Cocid and all the supplies I needed. Crossing my fingers for a positive outcome. I have to say that I have felt that feeling - they deserve better. I hope that what I am giving them is enough and that I am brave enough to face the time when I can't give them what they deserve. Blooie, you are amazing.
      Blooie likes this.
    1. Blooie
      Oh, I hope you can help her and the rest of your flock! So happy to read that Mama Heating Pad is working well for your little ducks and that you found a few tidbits in some of my postings. I’ve learned so much here and it’s fun to share what I’ve done. Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I kind of enjoy making eyebrows go up in disbelief sometimes - “She does WHAT with those tiny chicks - puts them outdoors in the cold with just a heating pad???” But the payoff is when the realization hits....”Hey, it’s just like a mommy hen would do.” Thank you. I know if that time comes when you find yourself facing the possibility of having to let go, you’ll do it with a sense of peace and that you’re strong as you know you’ll need to be. Me? Amazing? Nah, just a chubby old lady who learned early that it’s not about me, it’s about them. But thank you.
      webbysmeme likes this.
  3. BarredRockMom
    I am glad that you were able to re-home them, and all together was quite the chicken jackpot...for the girls, boys, you & the new caretakers! Just goes to show ya, when it's right, the doors open & that path might as well be blazed in neon lights, eh?!
      Blooie likes this.
    1. Blooie
      Exactly! I know how blessed I am that it worked out this way for us and for them, but I would have made the same decision even if we’d had to do things differently.
      webbysmeme likes this.
  4. Henrybelle
    Very touching article thank you
      Blooie likes this.
    1. Blooie
      And thank you for taking the time to read it and leave your kind comment.
  5. BirdsInParadise
  6. Sylvester017
    Yep, downsizing or re-homing or losing a sick bird is never easy for whatever reason in our life. I'm old but working as quickly as I'm able to make the backyard a nice little chicken haven so that in our next few declining years the quality of life for the little flock and our enjoyment of them will be pleasurable. Thank you for writing this article showing that it's something all us chickeneers think about and eventually will have to face -- making the tough calls.
      unbaked pegga and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      It ain't easy, but reality stinks sometimes. I think a small, manageable flock and haven as you described is ideal, but too often we let our wants overload our capabilities. Then that "haven" becomes too much. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
  7. SheppardRanch
    Beautiful
      Blooie likes this.
    1. Blooie
      Thank you.
  8. EggSighted4Life
    @Blooie You're so special.... And I LOVE you! :hugs

    Thank you for sharing so many valuable life lessons. And for just being awesome. :highfive:

    May God richly bless you and yours! :wee
  9. marygreene
    Heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. Thank you.
      webbysmeme likes this.
    1. Blooie
      Thank you for taking the time to read.
  10. MickeysChicks
    Thank you for writing this! How timely it is. After 3 predator attacks in the last three months, plus health problems with my hubby and me , plus financial concerns we have had to make this decision. Just can't do it anymore and its not fair to the surviving girls to be so cooped up all the time. Working on finding homes for the health ones and trying to find help in culling the badly injured. And doing alot of crying......
    1. Blooie
      This is the part that most folks seem to forget, isn't it? Deciding to cull or to rehome takes a lot out of a person, I know. Early this morning I drove Kendra to school, and one of our chicken-keeping neighbors was letting his out for the day. And I smiled.....you will too, someday soon.
  11. puffypoo22
    This is so inspirational. Thank you for this great article!
    I will miss Agatha. I remember a picture you posted of her on the very first thread I made on BYC. A very sweet, cute girl :love
    I do agree, sometimes I wish I made the right call, even though it was the hardest thing to do. But, now I know!
      webbysmeme and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      Thank you. Agatha goes back a ways, doesn’t she? <grin> she was the first chick I took out of the shipping box containing my first batch of chicks. I remember it specifically because she was soft yellow with charcoal smudges on her and I thought she had dirt on her! LOL And you know what? Now I know, too!
      webbysmeme and puffypoo22 like this.
  12. NancyNurseCxMama
    :hugs:hugs:hugs:hugs
      Blooie likes this.
    1. Blooie
      Thanks! Hugs are always welcome for any reason!
      puffypoo22 and NancyNurseCxMama like this.
  13. sheetmetaltom
    that was some article. i hope when the time comes ill be able to be as smart sensible and brave as you
    1. Blooie
      Thank you. Most of it is just common sense, but seems when the heart's involved, that's a little harder to pull out of your back pocket!
      puffypoo22 and NancyNurseCxMama like this.
  14. Sexy chicken lady
    What a beautiful post. I felt your heartworm and have followed your advice numerous times and you have given me so many ideas for my own coop. I certainly hope you are not leaving BYC, as I'm sure you have still a lot you can contribute. Lived all your articles.
    1. Blooie
      Nope, I'm here as long as they'll have me, I'm afraid! I'm glad to hear that I've helped you in some small ways, just as the other folks on BYC have helped me so much! Thank you.
      puffypoo22 and NancyNurseCxMama like this.
  15. Feathers4Fun2
    I enjoyed your post very much. It was a refreshing pause in my day.
      NancyNurseCxMama and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      Thank you.
      NancyNurseCxMama likes this.
  16. DeeAnn5
    Good of you to find a home for them, sounds like a memorable journey!
      NancyNurseCxMama and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      I wouldn’t have missed it, DeeAnn!
      puffypoo22 and NancyNurseCxMama like this.
  17. silly4buttons
    I couldn’t stop the tears I love my chickens and the ducks that I used to have I had to rehome the ducks I cried my eyes out when I put them in their crates I am tearing up as I writing this it’s only been a few two months that I rehome my duckies and rooster I still fine their feathers i have kept everyone I am hoping that they are happy in there places
    1. Blooie
      Can I give you a little word of advice? The fact is that they are gone...you did what you had to do at the time. Life isn't over....I think about my chickens from time to time, I kinda miss going out there and gathering eggs and seeing chickens dotted all over the yard squabbling over an unfortunate bug, but I don't beat myself up over what I had to do. Give yourself a little time, but fill that time with other things...they do exist, I promise! You should be commended for knowing when it was getting too much and facing it head on! Good for you!
  18. Minichick123
    Beautiful ♡. That made me cry. You are brave and kind.
    1. Blooie
      Thank you. Actually at the time I thought that it was a cowardly thing to do.....and still do to some degree. It boiled down to being too afraid to continue trying, only to be faced later with the knowledge that those feathers weren't so glossy anymore, the chickens were no longer as active, and the first-aid kit was getting a workout. <sigh>
  19. ShouldabeenaVET
    well that made me bawl like a baby. Good for you. I am surprised how animals worm their way into your heart. Old curly headed bulls that eat out of your hand! And chickens! you wouldn't think they would have such personalities. They do. They are as different in personality as the people you meet.
    1. Blooie
      They do indeed have distinct and individual personalities. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment!
  20. JudysMuscovy
    This is a great article. Sometimes we do have to make tough decisions. I was raising ducks and had to make that decision. They were àlot of heavy work for myself and I just couldn't do it anymore.
      puffypoo22, black_dove2 and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      And if you are like me, after a few days you realized the sun still came up and the birdies still sang - it wasn't the end of the world the way I thought it would be! It was an adjustment - still is at times - but there's also that little bit of relief that there is one less stress in your life that you just didn't need right then. Good for you! Thanks!
      black_dove2 and JudysMuscovy like this.
  21. betR2
    Wonderful article. :hugsI have had chickens once before and had to give them up. I never had to cull as the foxes did it mostly for us, which broke all our hearts as we had had a broodie hen raise a beautiful set of chicks. We bought Mum and the chicks into the house in a rabbit cage for a while and it was so fun to just stop what we were supposed to do and go sit with them. We ended up selling the chicks for a couple of dollars so they all got homes and we mourned all our hens who had fed fox families one by one, no matter our construction efforts.

    Years later and I am finally ready to go again. We have some chicks and they lasted two days in the house when they got here (at 3-4 weeks old :jumpy) before we put them in the coop. Luckily, our climate in Australia was spot on for the temperature they needed by then and they have thrived (now 7 weeks and I could not imagine them being still in my house), though the past few heat wave days meant a lot of frozen and cool treats and shady places to keep out of the sun. With a bit of extra care, they were fine. :thumbsup
    Life is full of hard calls and you have made each well. No point hiding from them. :oops:
    Glad that you had so much enjoyment from your chickens and so happy that you were able to re-home your entire flock. :ya
    Take care and best wishes for lots of new adventures and pastimes to fill in those hours of cleaning, feeding and treating that your chickens took from your days. :cool:
    1. Blooie
      Thank you. I'll be kept plenty busy so the time I would have spent out there will be totally filled with travel. Travel without guilt - now there's a novel concept around here! Tee hee And flowers.....did I mention being able to have flowers without fences again? I should probably be ashamed of how quickly I adapted to our "new norm" after they were gone but I think that's because it was a decision not made lightly or in haste. Knowing who has them and getting updates on how they are doing has helped a lot, too. I can go see them whenever I want, but I haven't done that and probably won't. They've adjusted, I've adjusted, and it's better to leave it at that. Thank you again, and enjoy your new chickens!
  22. micstrachan
    Aaww... that brought a little mist to my eyes and lump to my throat. Tough love sometimes hurts. :hugs
      puffypoo22, black_dove2 and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      When it's the right thing to do, you just do it. There are times when I look outside expecting to see Aggie, Tank, King Tut, Smudge and all the others puttering around in the yard and am almost surprised when they're not there. But if faced with it again, I'd make the same call, and it helps to remember that. Thanks.
      micstrachan and black_dove2 like this.
  23. black_dove2
    I see that not only your way with words tell a story or express your life choices but the manner in which you've thoughtfully answered each and every comment.

    You are much appreciated for sharing your experience and wisdom
      puffypoo22, flwrldy and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      You are very kind. Thank you. I do try to answer comments but sometimes I miss a few because I don't notice them right away. But I usually catch up. That "alert" tab and I don't always get along. <sigh> But I figure it this way - if someone takes the time to form and post a response, not letting them know that it has been read and appreciated isn't quite right. Again, thank you.
      JudysMuscovy and black_dove2 like this.
  24. flwrldy
    WOW your brave. What a wonder story and wonder person you are. I won’t forget your story when our time comes. I love my babies too. God Bless you.
      puffypoo22, black_dove2 and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      Oh, I'm not brave...I almost "chickened out" several times. But thank you.
      black_dove2 and flwrldy like this.
  25. unbaked pegga
    Oh that made me cry. I know I will reach that point too as I get older, but I refuse to think about it now. Right now I am able to keep up. You are brave and you loved your chickens. I admire your ability to make that tough decision
    :goodpost:
    1. Blooie
      Thank you. I know that they are cared for just as well now as when I had them, and will be for a long time to come.
      flwrldy, black_dove2 and Abriana like this.
  26. canadachickens
    Blooie, what can I say but...... WOW!
    I hope I can be as loving,brave and kind when the time comes for me to let my crew go.
    Thanks for sharing!
    1. Blooie
      Thanks. When the time comes, you've got this! I've already adjusted to a "new norm". Maybe it helps that I get regular updates on them, but even if I hadn't been friends with the man who got them I would still know that I did the right thing.
      black_dove2 likes this.
  27. Ashley McDaniel
    Wow. This article is amazing. You put a lot of time, effort and heart into what you wrote. With each sentence that I read, I am overwhelmed by your love for these animals. Life. It's all around us. And aside from love, it's the most precious of gifts. How awesome it is to care for a disabled child. To watch them grow, reach milestones that no one ever thought they could. The smiles, the laughs, and the joy that both children and animals bring to us. In life there are always Going to be "tough calls," decisions that are so hard to make, but so necessary. What you did for your birds was something that a lot of us wouldn't have been able to do. My hat and my heart goes off to you. The hardest decisions are usually always the smartest decisions. Your kind words of encouragement, your wisdom and knowledge will help so many others, myself included, reevaluate their own life and the current living situation with their own flock. I have been in a very similar situation and as a result had to make the tough call to rehome some if my birds who were too aggressive and causing dysfunction in the flock. My husband kept on and on. But I was too stubborn. I didn't realize how selfish I was being. And then it happened, I lost my favorite bird to a vicious attack from the two trouble makers. I had to swallow my pride and admit that it was my fault. If only I had made that tough call, this never would have happened. It still bothers me to this day. I learned a valuable life lesson because of it. And you're right. It does take a lot of courage to make the tough calls in life. Dig deep, find that courage needed to make the right decisions in life. Think of others before thinking of your own selfish needs. It's ok to make mistakes. That's how we learn and grow. But it's also foolish to make a mistake that you can prevent from ever happening. This article opened up my mind, my heart and my eyes to a lot of different things. Thank you so much for sharing. Best of luck to you and God bless you and your beautiful granddaughters!
    1. Blooie
      I am humbled and overwhelmed by your comment. All I can say is "thank you."
  28. NNYchick
    :hugsGreat article, I cried all the way through. I want to thank you for all the experience and wisdom that you have shared on this site especially now. I have only just started my chicken journey late last spring (as you can tell from all my inexperienced questions) most of the way I care and manage my little flock I have learned from your articles and posting. I believe it’s because your approach is common sense and keeping it as close to the way nature intended in turn you get happy, healthy chickens. You and your family are in my prayers, I hope your health improves.
      black_dove2 likes this.
    1. Blooie
      Thanks. I think it'll always be a case of "good days, bad days" but that's true in anyone's life! It wasn't an easy choice to make, rehoming them, but in the end it wasn't about me, it was about them. I learned so much from them and from very special people here who showed me that sometimes we get a little arrogant and think that we know better than what Nature intended. Once we figure out that helping Nature isn't the same as replacing Nature, raising them seems to get a lot easier!
      black_dove2 likes this.
  29. Abriana
    :love Love this!
      black_dove2 and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      Thank you. I hope it helps you if that time ever comes in your life.
      black_dove2 and Abriana like this.
    2. Abriana
      I sure hope I don’t come to the point of giving them up anytime soon, but I know that when and if the time comes (probably decades in the future) that I’ll remember this.
      black_dove2 likes this.
  30. Elmochook
    Absolutely wonderful article!!! Thank you for sharing.
      black_dove2 and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      Thank you for your kind words.
      black_dove2 likes this.
  31. FlyWheel
    Beautiful article, Blooie. "The Life and Times of a Crazy Chicken Lady" :love

    And thank you so much for the MHP idea.
      black_dove2 and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      Thanks, FW...we all make decisions for our chickens every day - some are easy, some are hard and take a leap of faith. Mama Heating Pad was like that - saw the video, discussed it with Beekissed, adapted it for my needs, and the rest, as they say, is history! Glad it works for you!
      black_dove2 and Ashley McDaniel like this.
  32. azygous
    Great story, Blooie. It made me cry. Good tears. But it also forced me to think about the day when I may face this decision, myself. Thanks for reminding us that courage is part of chicken keeping.
    1. Blooie
      Thanks, my friend. I guess admitting we can no longer do what we have to do - what we WANT to do - for our chickens is something none of us want to face. But I know you, and you do have the courage to make the decision when the time comes. You'll approach it the way you approach everything, with determination and a well thought-out plan.
  33. ChickNanny13
    OMG, it's Blooie?!? Read the article and was so touched but the heart rendering decisions. I then rated it & moved down to the comment section where I then read it's Blooie's story! You have again taught us a valuable lesson, knowing when it's time. Hubby & I just had a discussion on my girls, someday I'll need to come to make that decision. Have learned so much from you, I hope you continue helping us on BYC. Wishing you and all your family a very Happy New Year, health and happiness. PS...We know you "lied" about not loving your chickens ;)
    1. Blooie
      Yep, it's me. Thanks for the kind words. I miss the chickens, but I know they are doing well. The friend of Ken's who took them is a Lodge brother, so we see him a lot. He was happy to tell us that Tank, the friendly Brahma, picked up right where she left off - she's just tapping on a different patio door in the mornings now! She taps, he comes out and picks her up, and carries her down to the coops with him to do chores. So folks worried about rehoming if it comes to that needn't worry too much. With a little time, they adapt quite well.
  34. path.otto
    Oh, I'm so sad to read this touching article! Thanks for the lesson on ventilation vs draft. Hope your health improves and all goes well.
      black_dove2 likes this.
    1. Blooie
      Thanks! And I'm glad the info on ventilation was helpful - took me FOREVER to learn the difference! My poor chickens!
      Ashley McDaniel and path.otto like this.
  35. Pjacct
    Dear Blooie,
    Very sad to hear you have not been well, hoping for the best for you.
      black_dove2, path.otto and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      Thank you kindly.
  36. Yorkshire Coop
    Another wonderful and touching article!
      black_dove2 and Blooie like this.
    1. Blooie
      Thanks! And thanks for helping me get un-stoopid.
  37. N F C
    You did it again B, hit it right out of the park. Having gone through a total flock re-homing myself, I could identify with everything you said. Of course, no one could say it better than you my friend. Thank you for writing this.
    1. Blooie
      I'd like to say it was my pleasure, Debby, but nothing about rehoming them has been easy. Oh, except for not having to go out when it's -17 degrees and feed, water, and gather eggs. I have to say I don't miss that at all!

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