Yesterday my 3 foster chickens went to their forever home.
I should be happy for them. They went to a nice family. But I am feeling quite awful, as if I betrayed them.
They have been in our guest coop since the end of August, just before the Tour De Coop. They helped us to promote chicken adoption, and we hoped they would find a home during the event. They shared our life for more than 4 months, and got quite used to our rhythm (and we to theirs). The treats in the evening before going to bed, the fresh greens when I was out in the garden. They learned to rush toward the fence when the back door opened, and called us to get our attention. They went to bed early compared to our resident hens.
Although we intentionally didn't name them, they slowly became part of our family. We got them a special feeder where they had to learn to step on a platform to get it to open so only them had access to the food and not the rats. They were smart (all chickens are!). We moved their coop every other week so they had always access to a new patch of soil and weeds. We gave them new food they never tasted before. They particularly loved grapes and kale.
During the Holidays, we started discussing about adopting them ourselves and made plans to extend our main coop. But last week, someone saw an adoption flyer I posted 4 months ago and contacted me. I was excited! I finally reached out to someone. And she wanted not 3 but 15 chickens! Yeah!!! I went to Animal Place's rescue ranch to get 12 more hens, came home, took my 3 fosters, and delivered the 15 hens to this family.
This is when I opened the crates and saw my 3 foster girls in this new coop that I felt like I was abandoning them. They trusted me, and I was leaving them in a foreign place. I was a terrible mom. Actually I am a terrible foster mom! I am getting attached too quickly to these little creatures, and I am not able to let them go.
This is the end of my fostering career.