In late February, we had a string of bad luck as far as our animals were concerned. First was the rabbit... dead, in her cage, with no explanation (we have heard that rabbits have heart attacks easily). The next day began the steady decline in the numbers of our hens, who ended up getting completely picked off by raccoons in the matter of a couple of days. This was a huge disappointment, not only from the point-of-view of the chickens, but from the family who loved their eggs and their personalities... We were back at square one. Again.
We went back to getting eggs from our local egg-lady, which we were glad to have as a back-up, and discussing how we wanted to go about our next venture into chicken-keeping. When our friends, Barb & Morgan, told us that they would be downsizing their flock and wanted to sell off 7-10 birds who were rapidly approaching the laying stage, we jumped for joy. I was dreading brooding chicks all over again (feathers, dust, stink, and the vulnerability of the little buggers), but wasn't sold on the idea of buying hens from people I didn't know and being unsure of how they were raised and cared for. This was PERFECT!
Morgan brought the first 5 birds last week, and brought the last 5 yesterday. They are really beautiful--all buff colored, which we have never had before--7 Buff Orpingtons and 3 Auracanas.
The best news of the whole deal? We got 2 eggs this morning!!! This is my favorite part of chicken-keeping...the day one or two chickens start to lay, and the slow and steady count upwards. When we have too many chicken eggs for our family to consume, we have a list of customers ready to take the surplus off our hands... I don't think we can use 70 eggs a week... we'll ty our darndest, though!