Death of a Chicken

A little over two years ago I became a chicken mama when a stray wandered into our yard. We decided to keep it and bought a companion chicken. After many adventures in chicken farming, I am dealing with the death of one of our girls. I shared many stories about our Red Star and I referred to her as the “big chick.” Our other chicken is a Bantam so she was aptly named the “little chick.”

It seemed fitting to me to share a few memories and pictures of the big chick. She was so full of life and I can’t believe she is gone. I have shed so many tears for her that I really surprised myself. Our relationship was not all bright and sunny. She was a bit of a bully and always made it difficult for the little chick to eat because she thought only with her belly.

She started out as a very productive egg layer. Even in the coldest winter weather, we could count on her to produce. I was never an egg person, but she layed some pretty tasty eggs. The problem was when she started laying eggs that were too big. I really believe this took a toll on her body. She started laying soft shell and no shell eggs until she eventually stopped laying.

She did  provide a lot of entertainment. She loved treats and when we walked out the door treats in hand, she was quick to come from wherever she happened to be ready to gobble something up. In the beginning she even tried to knock treat bags out of our hands. She spent a lot of time looking in through the screen door. She was a master beggar. She was a very good garden helper. I loved seeing my husband in the garden with her near by doing her part by going after all the garden pests. I include a picture that just makes me smile whenever I see it.

Love our little garden helper.

Love our little garden helper.

She was a funny girl. Our little chick can go so many more places because of her size, but that didn’t stop the big chick from trying to go where the little one went. One time she became trapped in between the house and a rain catcher. I had to empty out the rain catcher to free her. Whenever the little chick would find a little space to lay her eggs, the big chick barreled her way into the spot even if it was too small.

I couldn't find her one day when she was hiding in the carrot patch.

I couldn’t find her one day when she was hiding in the carrot patch.

She was a pretty chicken and I loved her little fluffy butt. I think anyone with chickens can understand that. Her death hit me pretty hard. I had in recent weeks spent time giving her meds and bathing her.  That kind of activity drew me closer to her. We thought she was better and she mostly seemed okay.

A few days ago when I went outside to check on the girls and she did not come out for treats, I was concerned. She was just hanging out under the deck just mostly standing there and she did it for hours. When it was time to come into the coop, she didn’t go.

My husband was able to get her from under the deck and immediately he said she was dying. We put her in a container with fresh straw and brought her inside to monitor her. She was initially quiet and just laying down, but then she started flailing. My husband talked about putting her out of her misery, but it seemed within just a couple minutes after that, she took her last breath.

I had a pretty good breakdown. I really questioned myself as a chicken mama. I wondered what I missed and what I did wrong. I know people can lose chickens for all kinds of reasons, but it didn’t make it any easier knowing these things happen. I know plenty of people will think it’s just a chicken, but some know better.

I appreciate the support I have had from friends and family. They know she was my pet and I put my whole self into trying to be the best chicken mama that I can be. It is not the same around here without her. The tone of the yard is so quiet and somber. She really was so full of life and quite the character. I do miss her. We have to move on without her and bring in some new chickens to keep the little chick company. It won’t be the same. She was one of a kind.

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CleverChicksBlogHop200x200_zps22d0429aRooster sitting in a barn on a rural farm

20 thoughts on “Death of a Chicken

  1. madbushfarm

    Aww so sorry you lost your chookie. Hens die for a lot of reasons. Sounds like she may have been egg bound. I always made sure my girls had lots of shell grit to eat to prevent soft shelled eggs. I lost my six girls to various things the main cause was our dog attacking them and mauling them Very upsetting. Chin up and have a hug

    Liked by 1 person

      1. madbushfarm

        What you can do is powder the grit with a hammer inside a plastic bag with an old towel around it then mix it into their feed. That will resolve the problem of soft shelled eggs

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Vickie

    Oh, I am so sorry! It’s never easy to lose a favorite pet, especially ones that have such big personalities! They just seem to work their way into our hearts, don’t they? I know you won’t ever forget her, but hopefully the pain of your loss will lighten soon. I am sure some new chicks will help give new “life” to your yard!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. chickadeehomestead2014

    Oh I’m so sorry. We lost two hens last year. It’s never easy to lose an animal you’ve cared for. Thank you for sharing her story at the Homestead Blog Hop. Best wishes to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Loss of a Chicken | Faithful Homesteader

  5. Jana Dover

    I had a stray too, she was full grown . Best layer ever ! Her named was Miss Chicky , she was the sweetest hen . Had her for 11 yrs ,sure do miss her.

    Liked by 1 person


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