Well that was a load of bollocks, but life moves forward no matter how broken my heart is.
For a variety of reasons we were unable to get baby chickens this time. This was worrying because not being there for the first 6 months could limit their acceptance of us into the flock. Most stories online indicated the only way to bond with chickens was to do so from when they were babies, though there were some that indicated success with older chickens.
We chose heritage breeds in hope they will be less prone to the reproductive cancers than the commercial breeds.
Thursday, April 17th. We picked out a Speckled Sussex (Lumi), Spangled Hamburg (Greta) and Rode Island Red Frizzle Bantam (Harriet). They were terrified of us, which was expected. Armed with a wide variety of treats we started the slow process of bribing our way into the flock.
It was very slow going on Thursday. They would only eat the grapes if we threw it to them from a distance. They would flinch violently if we moved suddenly or too close to them, it really highlighted exactly how much we'd lost. I was distraught, I always knew it would take time to gain their trust, but their reactions were so extreme it seemed like an insurmountable obstacle.
At sunset they started to settle on the ground, it turned out they didn't know how to roost. Luckily it was already getting dark, and after a little struggle we managed to lift them onto the perch. Naturally we didn't order them correctly on the perch and then had to shuffle them.. chicken politics :).