Loss of a Chicken

Just a little more than two months ago I shared about the death of my chicken affectionately called the big chick in Death of a Chicken. Now all too soon I have lost another chicken. This time it was my little Cher. I named her Cher because she reminded me of an 80s rock star.

She was barely six months old and I certainly was not expecting it. Once again I am heart-broken over the loss of a pet. Even though I had her for only around two months, she still made her way into my heart. When we first brought her home she had problems with her eyes crusting over so right away we were handling her and cleaning up her eyes. A bond forms when taking care of an animal in this way.

I felt for her because it quickly became clear that she was the bottom of the pecking order. Again we had to take care of her because she was pecked to the point of blood. In many ways she reminded me of the big chick. Both had large appetites and were always the most interested in treats. I always saw her by herself eating. I called her my little Cher bear.

She was always slow to come out and free range and she always had me worried for that reason. Eventually she made her way out, but she was not as much of a scratcher as the others.  She also seemed to have issues coming down off the roost in the mornings. But Cher sure was a sweet girl. She was pretty talkative, but it was very quiet and cute.

One day I noticed that Cher wasn’t moving well. We noticed that she had quite a limp and decided to keep her in the house for a few days so she was not getting on and off the roost. She didn’t seem too bad and soon was walking normal again. But then we noticed she was off in other ways.

She walked okay, but she was lying around more even though she walked okay. She also had some runny poo, but she was still eating and drinking. She was still interested in treats and even came after the bag of larvae. She was alert and not listless. She was social.

We brought her in the house once again and were assessing what we should do with her. I thought she was sick, but I didn’t imagine she was at death’s door, but in the middle of the night I heard her thrashing. I went to check on her and saw her breathe her last breath. I could not believe it.

My husband was asleep at this time, but I really needed to talk to him. I woke him up and it took a minute for me to get out that Cher had died. He was dealing with a bad back and really couldn’t do anything so I was left to deal with things.

I decided to gather her last stool so that I could get a test to see if we could get any answers about what killed her. They found a large amount of coccidia and a worm as well. I was surprised because we had treated the flock with Corrid less than two months ago. We are treating the rest of the girls for both issues.

I really try to be a good chicken mama and we have worked to be more diligent about keeping things clean since the death of our first chicken. We try to pay attention to what is going on with the girls. It is definitely hard to lose another so soon. I hate that she had such a short life.

She was close to laying her first egg and I was looking forward to that. I hope her short life with us was a good one.  Having her for only two months did not make the loss any easier. Life on the homestead is not the same without her. Rest in peace my little Cher bear.

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12 thoughts on “Loss of a Chicken

  1. madbushfarm

    Worms unfortunately kill chickens quite easily. I’m not sure if you can get a product called Aviverm in the USA but something similar that treats those types of worms should be available through your veterinarian. I always applied 1ml per bird orally and didn’t put it in their water otherwise it just doesn’t work. You can also feed garlic in powder form mixed with their feed which does help keep the worms down.

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