Goodbye Girls…

Goldfinger (black with gold highlights) the rooster with his charges.

Goldfinger (black with gold highlights) the rooster with his charges.

It was a cold day in December (in many ways) when my friends came to take the chickens away to their farm in the next county. They are good folks, so when I called them at Highgate Farms up in Marshall to ask if they could add my girls to their egg flock, they said yes right away. We all thought it would ease the transition if the hens arrived at their new home while the resident girls were asleep. So down the mountain just after dusk came Melissa and John in their beautiful old bio-diesel Mercedes.

I had already said my tearful goodbyes and tried to remain calm. I collected Mattie, Buffy, Flopsy and Mopsy one by one from the perch where they slept peacefully and deposited them into carrier boxes for the ride to their new home. Collecting Opal, the tree-sleeping Sumatra hen was another story, but with a little help from a ladder they were all in the trunk of the car and heading off into the night. I can’t say thanks to John and Melissa enough times for providing them with a good home. It makes me feel a tiny bit better; but just a tiny bit. IMG_2123

I’ll keep the why part of the story short since it’s all negative and we don’t want to dwell on it. Suffice it to say, we have a neighbor who is not neighborly, the kind you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. And that’s all you’ll hear about that.

Buffy checks out the harvest. She's not a fan of kale or cabbage but love tomatoes and cucumbers.

Buffy checks out the harvest. She’s not a fan of kale or cabbage but love tomatoes and cucumbers.

The sadness I feel has surprised me. Even after a month, I miss my girls and our rituals terribly. I still expect them to be clamoring for their afternoon treats when I open the door. As my sister said, I cried lots of big fat chicken tears! But don’t worry, I haven’t given up chickens for good. We still have the hen palace and all the gear that goes with it. One day we’ll move farther out into the country and have 10 acres or more; a place where people and chickens can have a little freedom!

Large, medium and small eggs laid by Ruby, Mattie and Baby respectively.

Large, medium and small eggs laid by Ruby, Mattie and Baby respectively.

That dream is down the road a ways, but I’ll keep you posted. It’s good to have something to look forward to while I’m driving to the winter tailgate market to BUY EGGS THAT COME FROM CHICKENS I’VE NEVER EVEN MET!

Thanks for listening to my sad story. I’ll be back soon with a recipe to cheer us all up. This picture should help too!

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16 thoughts on “Goodbye Girls…

  1. I am so sorry, Dana. I can only imagine how sad I’d be to say goodbye to any of our girls, let alone all of them. Their chuckles and exclamations at the wonders-of-the-moment punctuate my day and no one is happier to see me coming in the mornings. We are endlessly fascinating to each other. It’s too bad some people don’t get the magic of that. Sending lots of love to you.

    • Isn’t it amazing just how cool chickens are? Fascinating is the right word and they are always so happy to see us!

  2. You did the right thing for the girls, thereby winning the first Dr. Dave Critter Stewardship Award for 2014. They will do well in their new home because of the love and care you gave them in their early years.

  3. Dana. You’ve been on my mind a lot lately. Not that that’s not a good thing, but it was random and I wasn’t sure why. Maybe I had an inkling that things weren’t going so well. I hope this sadness passes – as all/most sadnesses seem to do. They are beautiful girls and I so see why you miss them.
    Xoxo- cb

  4. Oh, Dana. I hope you get to visit the girls on the farm. You made a very brave decision. A new homestead sounds like fun, can I be on the search committee?

    • I do have visitation rights and think I am ready to see the girls soon. Love to have you on the search committee!

  5. Oh Dana! I cried a few baby chicken tears just reading your bittersweet tale. I know there will be many flocks in your future….I will miss your chicken stories!


  6. Oh my, so sorry to hear of this! Sounds like they now have a fine home though. You did well raising the girls. When you “hatch” your next chicken family, it will be just that much sweeter! And, karma will take care of the cranky neighbors in due time…

  7. There are chickens in your future! How can there not be. Sorry to hear about your neighbor issues. I’ve been there and it’s awful. I am sure the perfect property will be yours soon and you can have your chickens and heck, maybe a few goats.
    See you next time I’m in NC. We can exchange horrible neighbor stories over wine.

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