Internet, Meet Gracie
It's been awhile since we've done one of these, and it seems like the time is now. Gracie was the first hen we got after The Husband and I moved in together and before we bought The Homestead. She and George came as a pair, and while we were told they were a year old, when George's feet started turning white, and Gracie stopped laying regularly not that long after we got her, that become an obvious falsehood.
However, George is still a great rooster and dad to our chicks (even the ones that aren't his) and Gracie is a great mom, brooding, hatching and raising pretty much anything you give her. Most recently we put her in with our meat chicks - all 100 of them! - and she has done wonders teaching them to scratch, stay clean and all the things it means to be a chicken. The results has been that we may get smaller birds, but they are healthier ones. To say nothing of cleaner, less disgusting ones!
However, sadly, Gracie is getting pretty old at this point, and so is George. We don't know how much longer she will be with us, so we want to make sure to acknowledge her addition to our Homestead and everything she has given us.
So thank you, Gracie, for all the babies, all the eggs and all the entertainment. Thank you for helping us discover that dog crates make the BEST brooders for big, fluffy Mamas when the weather is hot!
Thank you for keeping George in line and helping him become the excellent rooster he is (he might have been kind of a pain when he first arrived). Thanks for the tolerance you have had with new hens brought in, and for teaching incubator chicks how to be chickens.
You are the best Gracie. Hope you are around for many more years.