Happy chickens, happy humans…..


This is Etta. She’s one of our 9 remaining chickens. We started off with 12. One was a rooster. He was mean. Really mean. He tried to kill me every time I went into the yard. And I was the one feeding him! He went to live at the farm. No,really. I couldn’t bear to put him in the pot or send him anywhere that might. So we found a real farm couple who needed an aggressive rooster and they came and got him. Walked into the coop in the dark of night and picked him up like a boss.


After that, our beloved Peggy, an Americauna, went missing.  Just didn’t show up to the coop at night. We never found a single feather’s evidence of her anywhere.  You should know that we let our chickens roam free anywhere on our property.  They have free range. Most of the time, they never leave our property.  Occasionally, they might hop the rock wall and venture into a nearby neighbor’s place, but they always come right back.  Except that night. Peggy never returned.


Since the rooster went to live at the farm, we’ve been rooster-less. People frequently ask us if we are afraid of hawks and other predators without a rooster. The answer is, not really. The ladies do a good job of banding together on the couple of occasions they’ve needed to when a hawk has swooped down. Our coop is secure enough at night that I don’t worry. One afternoon, I saw a hawk swoop out of the sky and plow into the entire group of chickens. George ran outside to thwart any potential deleterious activity and all seemed okay. But all wasn’t okay.  We later found poor Nancy, also an Americauna,  dead in the coop. It seems she had suffered the brunt of the blunt trauma from the hawk. And a rooster wouldn’t have prevented that.


So that’s how the 12 became 9–3 Rhode Island Reds, 3 Plymouth Rocks, 2 Buff Orpingtons and 1 Americauna. Etta. The friendliest of all the chickens. My favorite. I often wonder if she misses Nancy and Peggy. I know she probably doesn’t and I have a bad habit of anthropomorphizing my animals. She is doing well and seems happy. Which is all that matters. We feed them well, give them plenty of space to roam and a safe place to sleep at night. Makes for a happy chicken life. In return, they give us the best eggs ever and lots of entertainment! Makes for a happy human life!IMG_1776



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