Hi everyone, I'm fairly new to the site, seems like a great crowd on here! I do not currently own any chickens, but I have in the past. I worked on and did animal care at a nearby heritage museum farm for the past two summers which had your usual animals: pigs, cows, sheep/lambs, goats, ducks, and chickens. They borrow young animals each year from other nearby farms and give them back at the end of the season, so I've done my fair share of young animal care and getting milk/slobber (and god knows what else) all over me! I absolutely fell in love with chickens during my time there, for reasons I'm sure you all know! I dreamt about getting my own chickens for nearly a year before I finally took the plunge and set up a time to get my own! I decided on bantams first, and the man had a yard full of them! He basically told me to pick whatever I wanted (a lot of them were mixed breed) and that's what I did. The barn was mess, no pens, just chickens everywhere which concerned me a little as it didn't look like it had been cleaned in some time. However, after looking around for a few minutes, I fell in love with a little pullet, a polish silkie mix, and took her home. At the time I was planning to pick up a few more birdies from different person, so I just stuck with one at that time. She was the most beautiful little bird I had ever seen, and tame as can be! I couldn't get over how she would just sit in your arms and just close her eyes and seemingly fall asleep. I had never seen a sick chicken before but it didn't take me long to realize something was wrong (less than a day), and that she was sleeping far too much for a chicken. Within a few days her nose started running, she stopped eating and drinking and she just wasn't well. I contacted the man and told him what was going on and he offered to take her back and give me a different one, but I knew in my heart what would happen to her if I did. Obviously with these signs I wasn't going to be picking up any more chickens, and risk spreading whatever it was. There were no vets in my area that would see her so I had to rely on online sources, and she picked up for a while and was on and off in good health, was eating/drinking again, and getting colour back in her comb/wattles, but ultimately in the end whatever was wrong with her took over. During her time with me, I had her inside a lot just to monitor her and make sure she was okay as well as provide her with the company I knew she needed, and she was pretty much my best friend during few months I had her. She was a happy little girl and she learned her name quickly, (my beautiful Maddie girl!) Almost daily I would whip her up mini chicken-sized salads, let her eat my watermelon rinds (I couldn't help but leaving a massive amount of pink on there for her!), cut up slices of cucumber for her and let her have chicken safe remainders of dinner. I'd surprise her with mealworms and crickets, lift up rocks for her when I was gardening and just generally spoil her. She'd come to me for cuddles and we we'd often fall asleep watching movies together. Oh I miss you my Maddie. I was so lucky to have such a perfect girl. I miss the clicks of her little nails on the floor as she'd run to me when I called her. She always knew I'd have a little treat for her. It's been a couple months now, but I still can't help but have tears in my eyes every time I think about her. She was my whole world. I devoted all my time to her and she was like a child to me. I loved her with all my heart and always will. I have her urn in my bedroom because I promised her while she was still living that she would be coming to Newfoundland with me when I move in a few months. I'm hoping within the next few years that I will have chickens again, as I have been in some kind of crazy withdrawal since my summer job at the farm ended and my girl passing away. I keep myself occupied on various Facebook chicken groups and it keeps me as satisfied as I'm gonna be with the current situation. I really think I'll enjoy taking part in his forum, and it'll bring me closer to the life I miss so dearly. To lighten things up, I envy all of you lucky chicken keepers and I demand you go out right now and give your little fluffy butts some treats! ^ I always found this to be a rather sassy photo of her, haha! She looks like she's a runway hair model.