Friday, July 18, 2014

The Lord taketh, but sometimes He giveth back!

Psalms 21:2  You have granted him his heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my hens being killed, and how the Lord convicted me of the pride I had in my heart of how well I was doing on my own.
I repented, spent a lot of time thinking about this whole thing, and I prayed and began to try to rebuild.  But this time, with a different attitude.

I had four hens left, two that had not begun laying yet, and two that were layers, but were very traumatized from the dog attack and hurt, and they were not laying immediately after.

I cringed and bought Aldi's eggs.  Two dozen, and hoped that soon, the chickens would begin to lay again.

I remembered a lady I had seen online near me who sold hens, so I contacted her.  She had lots of birds on a BEAUTIFUL farm.  A large lake, huge barn, freshly mowed grass...  This time, I had to get my envy under control! 
I bought four 19 week old hens from her.  They should lay very soon.  Unfortunately, they were also $19 a piece, and the price went up every week until they started to lay.  I knew I wasn't going to rebuild a flock of hens quickly this way.  But at least it was a start.

Then a lady at church told me she had a bunch of hens she didn't want.  She said her family was going on an extended trip, and she didn't want to be bothered with these hens, who were older, but still laying.  She would rather sell them than butcher them.  I quickly offered to buy them.
She said she would check with her husband and see what he said.

I didn't hear back from her for about a week.  I thought likely her husband thought butchering the hens was what she needed to do.
But then, I got a message:  did I still want them?

YES!!!

It was a deal, and she didn't want me to pay her right now.  She said she would take chicks in trade when she was ready to start up again.

I soon recruited a reluctant son to help me go get them.  Again, I went to an absolutely beautiful farm.  Another large lake, freshly mowed grass, a tidy garden...  I sighed, knowing mine would never, ever, look so nice.  But that's ok, at least I have a little farm, right?
My friend had company, so her son and his own friend helped me catch the chickens.  It wasn't hard because they kept flying up on their nesting boxes, where all I had to do was grab a foot.  We carried them out to Spencer, who was manning the cages.  I soon had 15 fat hens and a HUGE rooster.  Off we went back home.

I am so happy, and so grateful.  I have to stop myself from neglecting all the things the mother of a large family needs to do and just pulling up a chair and looking at them.  Would a chair in a barn be cause for shipping me to the mental hospital?  Because they are just gorgeous!!  And I am so thankful to have a full barn again.


 They are not used to this coop, and some of them are laying in odd places, like dark corners and in those tall weeds behind them there, which causes me to have to muster up a lot of courage, because I see snakes in every bush.  Not really, I just think I do.
I don't feed them bread every day.  We just had a lot of stale stuff, and throwing it out there made most of them come so I could get a picture.
One of my first young hens is now laying, and the traumatized ones have started back.  I didn't get many eggs the first day I had these hens, but I collected 13 yesterday, and I expect it to increase a bit more before it levels off.

Also, the eggs I put in the incubator before the other hens were killed are hatching now.


 I have 32 new chicks, and I should hatch out chicks every weekend now for a while.  I have been buying fertile duck eggs from a lady and I will know tomorrow how that's going to work.

So the Lord has given me back what I lost.

This time, I will be grateful!