We said goodbye to our chickens today. It was the first step in the process of packing up this city homestead of ours in preparation for our move… and maybe the hardest one (for me). “Real” farmers may laugh at my sentimentality, but there’s no denying it: these birds have been much more than simply our egg layers. In the year and a half that we’ve had them, they’ve kept us company in the backyard and been a constant source of amusement and taught us quite a few lessons about keeping small livestock. The backyard feels empty now that it’s missing three big personalities: the assertive, demanding Kerttu, the calm and solitary matron Elma, and the youngest and loudest (and least melodious, I might add) of them all, Bertta.
We’re lucky to have found a good home for these girls: our friend and his housemates, just a couple of blocks from us, adopted them. We worked together for about an hour moving the coop and all the “a-coop-rements” to their yard this afternoon. The dismantling of their coop and run made the chickens a little disoriented and skittish, so ultimately the most challenging and amusing part of the whole deal was chasing and trying to catch three very reluctant birds, all of us running in circles around our backyard and laughing… But they seemed to settle happily in their new home, and our friends’ excitement over them was so contagious that it carried me over whatever sadness I might have felt.
Upon returning home, we found one last surprise gift from them: a lone egg laid in a pile of straw under the patio stairs. We’ll relish that sunny side up one of these mornings, for sure.