From tragedy comes growth

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by fifenashia, May 17, 2011.

  1. fifenashia

    fifenashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eastern Kentucky
    I'm a relatively new poster to BYC although I have lurked for the past year [​IMG]

    Last year I got it into my head to get chickens, so I framed a coop and then ran and picked up 3 chicks and a duckling. We ended up with all girls (thank goodness!) and our first flock was formed! We had a Rhode Island Red named "Red", a Golden Comet named "Sunny", an Easter Egger I named "Tullulah" we called her Tully [​IMG] and a pretty little Mallard that has gone through a bunch of names none of which have stuck and is still called "Duck".

    This past year has been filled with learning experiences, from building the coop (what a disaster!) to winterizing the darn thing (don't get me started), and a number of water containers trying to find the right one (still working on that one!).

    As spring sprung I felt so guilty that they were cooped up all day that I would come home and let them out a few hours in the back yard (under adult supervision of course). We have a large approximately half acre fenced in back yard. We used 4ft livestock fence and so far it had done well. I started letting them out longer and without as close supervision. A few weeks ago I even left them out while I ran a quick errand in town. I grew more comfortable the more we "practiced" and before we knew it, we had free-range chickens!!

    This weekend, our neighbor's dogs found a hole in our fence... I posted the story under the emergency's thread. Long story short... Sunny and Tully did not survive the day. Red was in her box popping out an egg and missed the whole thing and poor ducky had a good bite on her wing but was able to get away and hide. Shew, I'm going to start crying again!

    We had a funeral for our beloved girls, and even bought a little chicken statue to put in the backyard. My boys are 8 and 10 and this helped I think. But then I was left with a recuperating duck and one lonely hen who has lost her sisters. What's a distressed chicken mama to do!!???

    I thought it over and we talked about it. Duck doesn't sleep in the box, she likes it down below. Red is going to need nest mates before winter comes. And we loved the personality of our precious Sunny. So tonight, I cleaned out the brood box and off we went to Southern States. We came home with 2 new Golden Comets, and a Khaki Campbell duckling. They are all 3 sweet as can be and totally adorable. It doesn't take the pain of losing our first flock, but it does ease it a little. Looking forward to see how these babies grow up.

    Next step; Reinforcing the coop and fence. This place is going to look like Fort Knox by the time I'm done! I look forward to sharing our journey and learning more along the way.

    As soon as I learn how to upload pictures I plan on doing so!
     
  2. harmona1

    harmona1 Out Of The Brooder

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    So sorry for your loss. I keep reminding myself that when having a flock of prey animals, bad things are bound to happen sometimes. I've lost 4 of my original flock so far, 3 to predators/dogs. The last one, my favorite Red Star who apparently decided to go over the fence and into the neighbor's dog's mouth (and on Mother's Day!!!), was the hardest yet. I just adored that hen, and I still look for her when I go out. It totally sucks, but on the plus side, you get to enjoy the new babies!
     
  3. fifenashia

    fifenashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2011
    Eastern Kentucky
    Thank you so much Harmona!! It does a girl good to hear that I am not alone in grieving for my lost hens. [​IMG]
     
  4. Silkie Sue

    Silkie Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sarnia, Ontario
    Sorry about your hens..... [​IMG]
    You r a great chickie and duckie mama.... enjoy your new babies [​IMG]
     
  5. fifenashia

    fifenashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2011
    Eastern Kentucky
    Thanks Silkie Sue [​IMG] I still feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants sometimes [​IMG] but with the help of BYC I'm learning!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  6. Keltara

    Keltara Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm so sorry. I'm new to chickens myself. We got our first 4 babies this past April. We have 4 buff Orpingtons. They turned 6 weeks today. I love them so much and I just can't imagine what I would do if anything got to them. I think getting new babies, like you said, helps. I pray that God helps heal your wounds and comforts your boys and you.
     
  7. fifenashia

    fifenashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2011
    Eastern Kentucky
    Thank you for the kind words Keltara [​IMG] It is so easy to get attached to these wonderful, sweet birds! We are taking the lessons to heart and ensuring that Sunny and Tully's deaths are not in vain.
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I have lost a few of my flock members (in various ways, but none by predator OTHER than my own dog before I got him adequately trained) since I started with my first 8 chicks in October, 2009.

    Each loss has been hard, even the little chicks who died from "failure to thrive" after only a few days. Or those that I incubated and hatched and they didn't survive more than a few hours or a day.... Even when you don't have much time with them, it's painful.

    And when a favorite dies, oh is THAT devastating. Nothing replaces any of 'em, but new one do help to fill the aching hole left by their departures.

    I never in my life would have thought I would be so attached to CHICKENS. Sure, I name 'em, but they live outside, and they're not the same as a cat or a dog. Riiiiiight. Doesn't matter - they have personalities of their own, behaviors that just endear them to you, and I love 'em.

    [​IMG] So sorry for your loss. Enjoy your new flock members!!
     
  9. fifenashia

    fifenashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2011
    Eastern Kentucky
    I love this forum! It's awesome to be surrounded by people who "get" me and understand how precious these feathered babies are! You all rock my world! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. java girl 2

    java girl 2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know how you feel, I lost my buff cock clyde on may 3, 2011 [​IMG] Thank you God I have jake !! [​IMG] I was going to sell him but it did not work out so I had him when his dad died [​IMG] and I lost 2 of clyde's hens too as well!! [​IMG] but having jake is helping me with my [​IMG] so I know it all too well the pain. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011

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