Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Sad Chicken Tale

They say that sometimes when you have something taken away, that is when you realize what you had.  Well, Sweet Pickles Farm was not taken away, but we have literally been away for quite awhile-two months!  And while we were involved in something that means a lot to us, volunteering our time for  a good cause, we never realized how much we would miss home...our own bed, our beloved pups, and even our climate!  It was really great to see some snow, but after the novelty wears off, winter can last a long time after your appreciation for those cute white flakes and that nip on your nose begins to wear away, and you begin to long for the warmth of home.  They say too that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, and it certainly can feel that way when you are feeling a bit weary of the day-to-day grind; the familiarity of life can make you wonder if a change is on the horizon...perhaps there is something to a 'lil vacation to make you appreciate the comforts of home?

Well, the farm sure seems to have missed us and our everyday attention to it.  It  was an unusually cold winter here, and we had left the temperature low to conserve energy.  When we finally trudged in during the wee hours of morning, the house did not smell like home as it usually does upon our return.  Mamie said it smelled like a doctor's office.  We realized that a new rug that we had purchased before we left had left a particular odor in the closed up house that we were not familiar with.  So, the windows were opened wide, and soon it was not near as noticeable.

Unfortunately, when you live in the middle of the woods, and you decide to leave during the dead of a cold winter, you never know what happens while you are away....apparently, some field mice thought that our house looked deliciously warm and welcoming, and they came in for a look-see.  We never saw them when we came home, but they left some tell-tale calling cards for us.  Yuck!  Mamie scrubbed out the kitchen cabinets and Poppy left some traps, but they never did show that they had taken up permanent residence...guess we came home just in time!

One of the sad things that happened before we left the farm, was that all but three (and amazingly, the oldest girls of our original flock, apparently the wisest) of our chickens were dinner for a bobcat. 

 We were away for a weekend, and Poppy had left one of the wire tunnels that connected the run to the garden, intact.  The old bobcat that we have seen, and also noted his tracks, came a-calling, and decimated the flock, along with our sweet rooster, Pudge.  

We were so sad, coming home to see feathers everywhere, trying not to think too much about what it must have been like- (terror and mahem).  But, things in life happen, and as soon as Mamie and Poppy came home from our distant travels , we went to the feed store and picked up ten more chicks. 

 We surely will miss old Pudge and his gentle ways, but we are looking forward to getting to know these new girls.  This time, we tried a couple of new-to-us breeds; we got two buff orpingtons.

We are so ready for spring!

©Sweet Pickles Farm

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