A few days ago I listed 3 of my "Working Girls" for sale, and this evening they went home with their new owner, who would like to have fresh eggs now that he has acquired a place in the country. The girls I selected for sale were a good mix of hens - an Easter-egger, a Barred Rock, and a Rhode Island Red (Marilyn, Priscilla, and Lucy, respectively). Ya wouldn't think it could be difficult to part with a few hens - after all, I had 29 birds total, which includes the new pullets I bought a few weeks ago.
When I knew that the buyer was on his way, I rounded up the 3 hens and had a "moment" with each of them before isolating them in their hen house for the last time. We had a little chat, I told them I loved them and thanked them for the good eggs they have provided us and our customers with. But now, they were going to a new home and they would be taken care of well at the new place, and hopefully would meet some new hen friends to enrich their lives.
"Lucy" being cuddled by children - baawk baawk!
Reminiscing can be therapeutic during times like this, and we remembered fun experiences with the children who came to visit and to hold a hen for the first time...the kids that were able to collect eggs right from a real nest box....
All too soon it was time for them to leave. The buyer brought with him a real antique chicken carrier - made in Arkansas! How cool is that! The girls seemed to feel secure in the carrier and settled right down for their journey to a new home. As I tucked the remaining 6 hens in for the night, I could hear them moaning, missing their pals. I know hens can feel sorrow. I've heard it when they discovered one of their flock killed by a neighbor's dog - they cluck low and soft, and the moans are sorrowful. It sounded like that this evening. They will get over their loss, but it takes a couple of days. I'll miss my 3 girls too - and I do hope they'll be cherished and taken care of as well as I've cared for them since they first arrived.