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The Coop’s Been Flown | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

The Coop’s Been Flown

Our adventures with backyard chickens ended today. Early this morning, I took our 5 hens to a friend’s farm and watched as they were introduced to a barnyard full of hens and one happy rooster. They will be well cared for.

Tonight, as I looked out my kitchen window, instead of being amused at adventures in pecking order, I saw an empty coop and run.

Three and a half years ago, our adventures as urban backyard chicken owners began. We’ve gotten our one-day-old chicks in the mail, raised them, and enjoyed their eggs. We raised them in our utility room, slowly introduced them outside, and delighted when they laid their first eggs. When one ornery rooster drew first blood on my daughter, I drew second on him. Later, we gave a champion Rhode Island Red rooster we had raised to another farm that needed a new rooster.

When I made salads and prep produce, I’ve divided the scraps into 2 parts – the compost pile and the chicken run. Those hens were hilarious when they ate tomatoes, strawberries, sweet pepper seeds, and melon rinds. 

It was not by my choice that our adventures with chickens ended. Children who raise chickens grow into teens with busy schedules. They have to prioritize their time. My own business has grown such that some days I leave early and get home late.

When no one else in my family wanted us to keep them except for me, I had to bend.

I’ve learned more about poultry in the last 3 years than I ever imagined. Now, if I see a chicken, my first thought is what is its breed. For three years, I’ve delighted in each egg we’ve gathered and savored cooking with farm fresh eggs, sometimes warm just out of the nest box. Though we won’t have any more of our own eggs, I’ll never think of an egg the same way again.

And for awhile, just awhile, I’m not going to look out that kitchen window. Later, it will be easy.

So I guess I’m getting a taste of empty nest syndrome before my teens leave home.

The coop’s been flown.


2 Responses to “The Coop’s Been Flown”

  1. Nibby Priest October 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    I’m sad. I really enjoyed your chicken stories. Will you be getting a new batch of chickens to raise in the spring?

    • maryb October 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

      I’m sad too. I don’t know right now.

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