I’ve been farming for some time now and I’m going to be really honest with you about how the farm life really is. I feel like on social media, no one shows the sad and bad parts of farming. They do exist so I’m here to give you a little bit of Wisdom From the Farm. It’s not always pretty and I like to keep it real over here at Little House Simple Living.
So, it started a little over two weeks ago. I’m sharing with ya’ll about my chickens. First, when you see a pretty chicken coop, please don’t think that it’s all happiness and joy going on in there. I’ve raised chickens for a while so none of what I’m about to tell you is new to me.
Trouble in the Chicken Coop
Let me start out by saying, I purchased all of my girls at a local farm store. I did all my research on all of them except one. The Sapphire Gem, she looked cute in the trough and the sign said she was a good layer, so I grabbed one of those. Well, she became my bully hen. Sometimes when you don’t have a rooster, you might have one of the hens that take on that role. After researching, sure enough, they are known to be kind of whacky.
I’m around my chickens a lot and one afternoon, I looked at one of my gray/black hens and her eye was all messed up. She’s one my Olive Eggers. There’s two of them, so I wasn’t sure which was which. I noticed the Sapphire Gem tried to mount another one of my hens that same afternoon. Immediately, I pulled the bully and put her in a dog crate. I don’t tolerate bullying, not in humans nor animals. Sadly, I needed to get her re-homed. It just wasn’t working out. After looking on Facebook, I found a wonderful lady that took her and she is so much happier in her new flock. The lady has a rooster and that’s just what that girl needed lol.
What’s In My First Aid Kit
I’ve learned over the years to keep a first aid kit on hand for all of my animals. Here are some essentials that I have for my chickens.
The injured hen went into the dog crate and I isolated her while she was healing. I gave her Terramycin, Vetericyn and some other things my vet recommended. I let Emma, the injured Olive Egger, sleep in the crate and allowed her to free range in my garden area during the day. She was eating, drinking and having a great time, except that she was so lonely. Emma would lay at the base of the outside of the chicken run so she could be near the other girls. I knew if I let her in the coop, they could possibly attack her and just by nature, maybe even kill her. I had to try to help her heal.
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The bully was gone but Emma was still so sad being alone. She was still healing during the day. Then, every morning when I came to get her out, her eyes were a mess. I think she scratched at them during the night. It was like she took one step forward and two steps back every day. I just felt horrible for her.
My vet told me that I should try and put all the ointments and sprays on her 2-4 times a day. That became a challenge because I don’t have anyone that would really be able to commit to that kind of schedule. I needed a second set of hands. We all work outside of the farm so I was lucky if I could get 1x a day with her medications. My daughter would come over and help me some. It seemed like we pulled out some gunk the first few days. It would clear up and then come right back. Well, Emma accidently went back in the coop one day when I was cleaning and the other girls weren’t having it. I immediately grabbed Emma and put her back in my garden.
I was at my whit’s end and new I needed to do something. Oh, and I failed to mention that I had one of my Isa Brown’s dead (it happens) in the coop when I went in to collect eggs a week before all of this. I am also trying to catch a rat that’s hanging out near the coop. Unreal!
I prayed to God to give me wisdom and peace about the situation. I wanted to do what was best for Emma and my family. She even stopped laying those pretty olive eggs for two weeks so I needed some guidance. I thought about letting Emma be my garden hen. I could build her a small coop and she could just run around with me everyday. There’s was just one problem. Emma was so lonely.
God finally spoke to me and told me it was time to find Emma a new farm to go live on. I’m crying as I write this and it was a really tough decision but I had to listen to God’s word. I reached out to a lady that had messaged me about the bully hen (I explained she was already gone) and she said she would take Emma. I felt relieved and sad because I raised her since she was a baby chick.
The lady came over a few days ago and I really liked her. She has three children that were excited to love on sweet Emma. I knew she was going to the right farm. Emma will be hanging out with (3) other 2-month old Olive Eggers. So, maybe Emma, will be the mother hen of that flock. She’s seven months old. It’s bittersweet indeed and that is a little bit of wisdom that I wanted to share from our farm.
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So, when I received the wisdom and word from God, I realized something. Just because an animal isn’t working out at my farm, doesn’t mean it won’t be a good fit at someone else’s. Yeah it stinks and down right sucks when you lose an animal or one has to be re-homed. Farming gives you thick skin, sometimes and sometimes, it just makes you cry for days. It’s ok though. I found peace in knowing that Emma and the bully hen went and found new friends. They are both living their best life on new farms. The rest of my flock is living in peace too. We could’ve put Emma down and yes, I thought about doing that. I didn’t realize she still had her eyes (they were horrid looking the first day so I really didn’t know) so I would’ve felt horrible if she had to walk around blind for the rest of her life. I’m glad I was patient and able to take care of sweet Emma for the two weeks that I did. Now, I hope she will be a blessing to her new family.
I hope this inspires you to go ahead and raise chickens but also know that there will be hardships. I sure am glad God gave me the wisdom to figure out what to do instead of dragging out the inevitable. I’m an empty-nester, so most of my work I’m doing alone. My husband only has the weekends. If you have littles at home, young mamas, this is a great teaching moment for your babies. Let them learn all the good and bad about raising farm animals. ~ Wendy