Raising Backyard Chickens – Mavis and Picasso

mavis butterfield

I sat down with Picasso this morning and we had a long talk about her boyfriend Pablo.  It’s been about 10 days since we had to give him away and she misses him dearly and has been rather lonely around the coop without him.

The Girl and I are not sure what we should do. Do we box her up and take her to visit Pablo who is just a 15 minute ride away? Or just let it be, hoping she will forget about him over time?  How long can a chicken’s heartache last anyway?

We miss Pablo too, but we don’t want to visit Pablo and get his hopes up and have him think we have come to take him home.

Have you ever had a problem before with your pets being inseparable? Will Picasso’s broken heart be mended?


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  1. says

    we have a herd of 15 hens but at one time we had 20.(1 of our girls died when very young)
    anyhow, 4 were boys and after seeing them in action and listening to them crow we found a great home with lots of girlfriends and lots of room to roam. our girls are alot happier and less stressed. they are very close friends with eachother and i dont think they miss the boys at all.

  2. Jesse says

    I had a matching pair of Silver Wyandottes that were good friends. Unfortunately one of them – Winnie Coop-er – was taken a by a hawk. Her buddy – Violet – was lonely for a few weeks but has since made friends with the other hens and doesn’t seem to miss her so much anymore.

    I am sure Picasso will recover! Who wouldn’t be happy with all those boxes of reclaimed produce?

  3. says

    Hmmmm… given the size of their brains, I’d give it another few days. All will be fine, I’m sure. 😀

    As for visitation, the other hens would not be supportive of “their” man having conjugal visits with an intruder, I can assure you!

  4. Carla D'Anna says

    I’m happy that Pablo went to a real, happy farm, not the proverbial “happy farm” AKA as the StewPot. StewPot is where I suspect my childhood hen turned rooster went when my parents gave him to a “happy farm”.

  5. AllisonH says

    I was wondering the same thing about my girls. We lost one last week and the other 4 have not been the same. She was the leader of the pack. Then another one was egg bound yesterday and we put her in the house (in a dog kennel) through the night. This morning my RIR has seriously been acting weird. I think they do miss there buddies! Hopeuflly Picasso will forget with time, but she might be happier with Pablo!

  6. Kathy in Chicago says

    Mavis – you obviously love your chickens… but I don’t think I’ve ever have seen you blog out the mess they make & what you need to do in terms of cleaning their pen… I would love to have chickens, but no one ever seems to talk about… scooping…. Is there a delicate way you can discuss how you need to maintain their cleanliness for their health? Perhaps show what really needs to be done? Thanks!

  7. Nancy says

    I’m with Kathy in Chicago. I’d like to hear a bit more about the work involved in keeping chickens. My soon to be 13-year-old daughter wants us to get some chickens for eggs, but all I can find online is how wonderful chickens are. I’d like to know realistically how much time and effort is required. And I keep seeing vague references to chickens getting
    “taken” by hawks or raccoons, etc. How often does this happen? How long do chickens live?

  8. Heather R says

    Yes! Please do an expose’ on the real lives of chickens! I have 5 (hens for eggs) and we are about to get 5 more. They are in a closed coop right now only getting chicken feed, but we have 6 acres and I would love to let the free range, but I’m honestly afraid of what might happen to them-raccoons, hawks, etc. How often do you realistically have to deal with this? And how do you get them to go back in at night? Or is that learned? Do you let them in and out each day? It actually is surprisingly hard to find good information on chickens online! Btw, I LOVE your blog and kinda want to be just like you when I grow up! :-)

  9. Jana Williamson says

    I am wanting to get some chickens but did not want to feed them conventional chicken feed as it is made from corn or soy and will more than likely be GMO. So I wanted to feed them from the garden. Is this reasonable and doable? Or do baby chicks “need” the chick feed to get a good start? I am trying to glean as much information as I can before jumping into this.

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