Friday, October 14, 2011

Things Have Not Been Pleasant

As I write this, I think back to the past few weeks and all we have encountered on our little homestead here in Wescosville. I think a part of me has been hesitant to really think about what has happend, one reason being, I could have avoided it, second reason being, it hurts to much to think about it.

We said goodbye to our girls, and Pat a few weeks ago, and it's been hard not having them around. Every time I'm at my kitchen sink I look over to see them in their pen, and they are not there.

When the hurricanes his earlier this summer, about six weeks ago, our lower yard became the resting spot for the deluge of rain. Honestly, it doesn't bother me that much, not as much as it bothers others. We haven't been inconvenienced by the water sitting in the yard, but our neighbor certainly doesn't appreciate the new pond outside his window as he's trying to sell his house. That being the main issue. Ever since the lower macungie deluge of development, our yard has become the spot where the water sits. The developer who built the homes behind us gave no concern to where the rainwater would go, if it rained really good, hence the pond.

This past rain, from these two hurricanes, has been the most rainfall in 100 years.....our home is 102 years old. We actually had the kids in a raft boating around the water, because there is that much water.

I was home one day with a sick kid when the letter came in the mail from the township, telling us we were not aloud to have the chickens. The letter was vague, it was hard to tell if they meant the amount of chickens or just chickens overall. We had 6, are only suppose to have 4 per acre, but I misunderstood and thought it was 5, Tractor supply only sold in sets of 6 so it's all I could do to buy six, with the thought that one might not make it....well, they all

Now back to the letter. When we got the letter, we urgently put feelers out to see who would be willing to take our one Roo and a hen, luckily we found a great woman named Dawn who took them both, they are now free ranging. We supplied the township with a letter telling them that we are now down to 4 and all should be ok, but no, all is not ok, we couldn't have them at all because we are 10,000 sq feet short of an acre. Even though our pen is in the center of our property, more than 100 feet on all sides away from any neighbor, we could not keep our girls without a fight that would hurt us financially.

So I checked with Dawn, and she was willing to take the other 4 to free range with the other two. It was very hard, and still is, to let them go. They were my girls, they sat on my lap, they ate from my hands and they were always anxious to let me know when they left something in the coop for me.

It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I was able to figure out what really went down with our chickens. Turns out, instead of our neighbor coming to us first, about figuring out what to do with this water, he went right to the township, who spent the past six weeks in my yard, back and forth, watching the water situation. See, our township won't lift a finger to help dispose of the water, they tell us they are broke, but they are worried about a west nile outbreak, so they keep checking to see where the level is at. That's why my chickens had to go, not that they disturbed anyone (although the Roo might have) but because they were in my yard and saw them, I had to get rid of them.

I can fight this, I can pay probably over $1000 to hire an attorney and file the proper paperwork and see what can be done, which I may still do, but what I am also doing is making the situation know to all who will listen. Homesteading is a way of life, it's what people do now more than ever with the skyrocketing price of food. We grow our food, can it, share it, it's the way things use to be! We need to make homesteading the new way of life, we need to communicate more with our neighbors, share what we have, have an understanding about each other to make it through one of the worst economic times in history. People, things are not getting better, they are going to get much worse before they even make an attempt to turn around.

In the mean time, I have a new pond to boat in, possibly an ice skating rink this winter and I have the prospects of two new pets in our house, my son has been putting together a big guinea pig cage for a while now......I'm sure there is more news to come.

If you would like to follow our story, I've created a facebook page about our chickens, it's called "Bring our chickens back" and you can follow all the updates on what's going on in our township of lower macungie, pa and how we intend to get our girls back.

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