Well! I haven’t updated in quite a while because not much has been going on but recently this has changed. Politics have hit the chicken world. It started with a family down the street who does not live in our neighborhood, technically, but which geographically borders it. A year ago they bought a house with a horse barn and a pasture figuring this was a great place to settle and have a garden and some livestock. They bought some chickens, which they had for six months, and then invested in a pair of goats. That’s when things got sticky.
Years previously a family in our neighborhood had a goat, they had it for years as a pet, and no one complained even though we are the only neighborhood which is not zoned for livestock in our entire town. Most of us were completely unaware there even was a goat… but then they decided to get the goat a companion, another baby goat, who blated day and night. Of course there are a great deal of less-than-civil people in our neighborhood who like to gang up in groups and harrass whoever they feel is different. Instead of talking this out like a sane and rational person, maybe requesting the baby goat get rehomed, they reported the family to the town which then had two weeks to get rid of both goats, permanently.
And now with the appearance of two more goats in a house that was COMPLETELY unaware of the rules they ratted these new neighbors out who then had two weeks to get rid of the chickens they’d had for 6 months, their goats, and were forbidden to take in anymore livestock despite the fact they bought a house with a barn and pasture. Months passed. Then I got a pamphlet in the mail saying the neighborhood was “concerned about chickens in the neighborhood” and were prepaired to go door to door to solve said issue. This implied 1) They didn’t know which house even had chickens and 2) They’re just being bastards about it because they’re power hungry SOBs. In a neighborhood of 80 or so houses families here move in and out on average every 3-5 years and now I am starting to know why! I know of at least one home which moved out solely because they were surrounded by jerks. This had nothing to do with animals, just so you know.
But back to my own yard and the chickens… All the Seramas immediately got put in cages inside the house and I started desperately seeking to place my older big girls and their rooster, knowing it would be a MUCH better idea to do this now on my own time than when I get reported and am forced to within two weeks. The problem is I had 10 girls and a rooster left. For one roosters are almost impossible to home and my girls were just under two years of age, the age most stop laying and become soup. Normally I would have kept them, let them live out their life, and everything would have been fine. I was super stressed out. I posted on Craigslist and pet ads, only finding people who’d take them all for free (at which point I totally didn’t trust them.)
Finally I placed an ad in the pet section of Craigslist titled, “Old Hens and Roo Desperately Seeking Retirement Home!” Someone replied and wow, they were the right people. They didn’t care the hens were old or that they might stop laying, they didn’t care about feed costs, and when they showed me their coop it had two house windows and a skylight! They had chickens before but a fox ate most of them during daylight hours leaving a single chicken who fled to the neighbors and a turkey, both of which who have been wandering around lethargic and depressed. They’d been looking to get other chickens but no one had what they wanted until they came across my ad and took the whole flock. We talked for hours and I feel so good they went to such a great pet home but I am still very sad everytime I look out there at an empty pen.
The real tragic part of this is that if my neighbors just laid off for a month or two more I could have brought my chickens with me when I moved. We’re going to be looking physically for houses in the next two or three weeks and I dont’t know how long it’ll take to chose one but we are in fact on our way out of this “vortex of negative energy” as a friend of mine calls it.
In the meanwhile I will be breeding the Seramas in the house, hatching their eggs at the new house, and disbanding the flock afterwards. This is so that all the chicks coming onto the new property will be hatched on the property and vaccinated immediately for Marrick’s. I don’t judge people who breed for genetic immunity but for me, who often sells these little guys as indoor pets, I cannot handle the responsibility of a crying child several months down the line when their chick dies of this horrible disease.
I am super excited to find a new home, which we will investigate livestock laws and how the neighbors are. My boyfriend really wants to get some ducks. I really want to get some Brabanter chickens, maybe some more Barnevelders, and probably some palm turkeys, all of which will come in as eggs I am sure and will be used in their adult lives to sell hatching eggs in return. When life is really settled and we’ve built all the pens, added our livestock, and settled in we will begin our search for a proper dog to complete the picture. Life will be good.