this business of raising chickens in our backyard is at times so simple & at other times full of challenges.
really, i like to call it an 'art.' we are so passionate about raising these little beings that give so much to us in return - a hobby & a carton of eggs. yet, at other times, i want to just throw in the towel & hope for the best.
just a couple of weeks ago, one of our younger girls came down with something. she was gasping for air & i was almost sure that she was dying from gape worms. i slept little that night, checking on her several times & staying up to research what i could do to keep her alive. like a crazy chicken lady, i would open up her beak to see if i could see any signs of worms. early that morning, out of desperation, i went to our local farmers co-op. again, like a crazy chicken lady, i began ranting to one of the employees about gape worms & how our little americauna was dying. i am almost sure i teared up, explaining that she wasn't just a chicken. after patiently listening to my chicken monologue, the all-knowing & wise employee informed me that my sweet girl had a cold. if i sprinkled a bit of medicated powder in her water, she would perk up in just a few days. ahem.
you see, even after almost two years of raising our flock, there is still so much to learn. yesterday we introduced our new girls to our older ladies & it broke my heart watching as they established their pecking order with nips & pecks. after the new girls were fully introduced to their new space, they found that they could fit through the fencing & wander throughout our yard. oh, how our pups would have enjoyed a midday snack! so, while it was pouring down rain, we tediously tied chicken wire to our fence for over an hour leaving even my underwear completely soaked.
simply put, that's sometimes the cards we are dealt raising a bit of food in our backyard. it's frustratingly hard at times, but the rewards far outweigh the struggles.
as for those who have asked, i do plan to share our coop design & ever-evolving, imperfect system of raising chickens at some point. for now, we are simply trying to do the best we can. if you have a moment, i would check out amy's backyard flock. you are in for a treat! she is far more seasoned than i am & incredibly knowledgeable.