I've been stressing for the last several days, (ever since Wally's passing) because earlier in the day on Wednesday, I had promised my workmate Shirley, that I would try and find a couple of small hens for her. Then with the stress of Wally collapsing, and then later, with us all dealing with the heartbreaking outcome.... the whole "I'll try and get you some chickens, Miz Shirley" idea was kind of forgotten.
But no sooner had Shirley left,and gotten home, then she called us at work to tell us that when she had gotten home, she found that her house had been broken into, while she was at work!
We kept her on the line until the sheriff and her daughter arrived to deal with it all, but I kept agonizing over the complete awfulness of the entire day for her, and I seriously worried about it's impact on this sweet older lady. Shirley is no spring chicken herself, (for goodness sake, don't ever tell her I said that!) and I knew that although the whole day had been rough on all of us, it had been completely overwhelming for her.
So now I was on the look-out for chickens. I called here.... I called there... I sent emails... and I sent messages, but I was having no luck finding a few small hens. Until yesterday - when I hit the jackpot!
The woman I worked with yesterday, said that she had heard that her neighbor was getting rid of their chickens, in preparation for a bunch of new chicks - and that they didn't want their slightly older "girls" hen-pecking the young ones. She would check into it for me... and then this morning, she called me back and said, "come and get them"!
We gathered up a box to put the ladies in, then called Shirley, to tell her that we would be bringing her some babies soon... and the excitement and joy in her voice, had me almost in tears!
Well... when we got to the place where we were picking up the hens, they had decided to hide under some snarly old bushes, and they were kind of hard to coax out... one hen took off, screeching her head off, but Dan saved the day (and muddied his clothes) by crawling right on in there, and catching the first one.
And what a beauty she was!
A gorgeous, gorgeous Golden Laced Wyandotte... and not the plain white Leghorn I had been expecting! (why was I expecting a Leghorn? Who knows?)
Photo borrowed from http://www.poultryvalley.co.nz
The one that had taken off when we first got there, had gone straight back to her chicken yard, so once we got inside the yard and got the door closed tight, it was no trouble at all to catch her .
And we had another beauty!
This time a gorgeous wheaten and white Ameraucana - with her sweet little earmuffs and beard... looking so much like my Esther (we gave my small flock away a week or so back, because we're moving) that I almost cried! I just adore their funny little faces, and the bonus is, that they lay the prettiest blue eggs you ever did see!
Photo courtesy of http://www.backyardchickens.com
We drove straight to Shirley's house just down the road from us, and when we got there, she was out preparing the coop, and getting the feed and water dishes cleaned,. for the new arrivals... and she was almost dancing, as she was doing it!
The look of absolute joy on Shirley's face when we opened the box and she saw those hens
- her NEW hens - still has me grinning from ear to ear!
The chickens now have a happy new home, and my dear friend now has herself some sweet babies to dote on, and to help keep her mind occupied.
Lands sakes... but that fragile looking little old lady, sure has a powerful and heartfelt squeeze!
All in all.... it was a great day for of us, and the chickie babes!