Every time we get the chicks, the girls name them, hand raise them to be pet-like and fall in love with each one. And every time, eventually, they get taken one by one.
Last year we gave away our final survivors. We just couldn't handle how upset the kids would get and despite dogs, fences, wire, and more fences and wire, they just kept getting taken.
For some reason, we decided to try again this year. We bought 7 chicks about a month ago. All was fine until 2 nights ago.
My husband spent $$$ and 2 precious weekends making the perfect, impenetrable chicken coop. Everything was great for 4 weeks.
Then something really small squeezed through one of the chicken wire hexagons into Lled's fort knox coop and took Quin's "Copper" and Gracie's "Pippi" the night before last. Copper is outside of the coop in 3 pieces. I'm giving myself bonus points for clean-up including the beheaded head! Blech!
Quin's other chick "Freckles" was found wandering in the driveway 200 yds away from the coop. Quin is in tears so off we go to Wilco in the hopes they still have chicks. They do! We get 3. Bring them home. Get them cozy in their little chick digs in the garage. Run to get Harper and come home to find one,Lilly's "PomPom," has somehow wedged herself behind the water dispenser. We get her out and she is exhausted and so Lilly puts her on the warm concrete driveway to warm up and stays with her talking to her and singing her songs. Pompom rouses later but something's wrong. Broken foot? I don't know. She's not walking very well and doesn't seem able to tip forward as in to peck at the ground. Any other person would have just put this bird out of it's misery. But not us! The girls smother her with love until bedtime during which time Lilly says,"We are not culling her. Although, it would be easy."
I woke up at 2am and thought I'd check only to find the other chicks using PomPom as a sleeping mat with her beak buried in the shavings. She was in rough shape. The box of craft supplies was nearby and I remembered there was a plastic water dropper in it. Yes, I even tried giving her some water with a water dropper (mostly so I could tell Lilly I went to extraordinary measures to save her).
Sorry to say, PomPom Smith went to be with all the other flocks of Smith chickens in Chicken Heaven at 4:02am. A brief burial ceremony took place at the trashcan in the driveway attended by me.
Does this complete my mothering responsibilities for the day? Oh, if there was only a written job description for motherhood.
If you're a praying person, you might consider adding Cloud, Hawk, Freckles, Sunshine Puff, Leopard and Bronze Smith to your prayers. I'm quite sure they need them.