I thought I would take a moment to share. a couple of snaps of one of our favorite chickens -- our Polish Chicken whom we have named Talulu. We often joke that the Polish chicken is in honor of Hannah whose hair came out of the womb out of control:
We actually started with about five Polish chickens when we got our first batch of layers. However, and we can only guess it's their hairstyle, they were targeted by the other chickens and picked on ruthlessly. We tried to pull them out and put them in a more safe "hospital" but we only managed to get ONE of our Polish chickens into the safety of adulthood. Talulu is now a forever chicken.
In truth, laying chickens usually start declining their egg production around 3-4 years old. We've told our children that we will eventually process out our laying hens. We know how old they are by the TYPE of chicken that they are. We brought in different breeds on different years. However, the kids are especially attached to a few of the chickens -- especially the ones that came in during our first batch when the farm was new and the chickens were right outside our front yard. Each of the kids will receive two "Presidential Pardons." They can pick two laying hens that will not be "processed out" and will get to live their life out on the farm despite the fact that their laying days are behind them.
One of those "veteran" chickens that Sidge said was in debate of giving one of his two pardons too, was named Popcorn. The other day, Sidge and I went out to do chores, and we discovered a dead chicken. This is almost always due to a hawk. We hate it, but we just accept that we will lose about one chicken a month to the birds of the air predators. (You are not allowed to hunt these birds at all!)
Sidge is so sensitive and he teared up when he saw which chicken had died. It was Popcorn. To be very honest, I have no idea how he could tell which chicken it was. It had been quite eaten up! But Sidge knew.
We try to not name animals that we might have to eventually put down. But kids are kids and they fall for certain animals. It's part of the adventure, and we are taking it as it comes. We have two geese (Flowers and Love) that we don't think we can ever let go of and at least one sheep (Snowball) that has equally secured her foreverdom on the farm.