Hallie & I
I lost a hen tonight (4-29-18).
Hallie was one of my more inquisitive gals. Would be the first one running towards me when she heard the bag of meal worm treats shake.
She was also my most vocal hen. She made sure the entire block knew when she laid an egg and if another hen was in her favorite spot she'd fuss at them sometimes so loud I'd think something was wrong but no, she was just unhappy and making sure everyone knew it!
Tonight when I went to lock up the coop she was no where to be found. After searching the yard for a bit I found her hidden under a dark corner of the shed.
When I pulled her out she was very lethargic. Just an hour ago when I was outside she was scratching away at the dirt - now this.
So I brought her inside, wrapped her in a towel and sat with her on my floor trying to research what could be wrong. About 15 mins or so later she stretched her wings and neck and flapped uncontrollably for a few seconds then she was gone.
The only thing I think it could be is sudden chicken death. I'm just glad I could be with her for her final moments.
Gertie was our only green egger.
She was mean but not a bully. She was a good friend to our special needs chicken, Pearl. She had a best friend she roosted with each night, Pepper.
She had the most beautiful feathers I've seen on a chicken.
Like your story of Sophia Lor-hen, she appeared to have died from Sudden Death Syndrome. Despite all of the care we took to keep them healthy.
Thank you for putting this page together. It helps to see how others have lost their dear chickens and know that even though they are "just chickens" that they hold a special place in our hearts.
I will quote your article about Sophia in my last words about Gertie:
"And, perhaps most importantly, she was loved. She was a lucky hen."
RIP Big Mama
Big Mama was found dead in the coop yesterday, intact and eyes closed.
I hope she passed peacefully.
Have fun up in the chicken run in the sky, grumpy girl.
in memory of Pancake
Pancake in my hand before she got sick
Pancake was a sweet Ameraucana chick who passed at about 5 days old, from complications of pasty butt.
She liked being held and being stroked between the wings.
We will miss you dear Pinta
We got our pretty red Rhode island chicken a month ago when she was 3 weeks old. Our little baby loved her and we named her Pinta because we were thinking on getting only three chickens and we were going to name them after Christopher Colombuses ships.
Anyways we loved having her for the short period of time we had her. She was not laying eggs yet but she was very healthy and growing fast and beautiful, so we were excited to see her growing.
But today 05/12/18 she was killed by two big dogs who escaped from their backyard and came to our property. They knocked over the tray that was inside of the nesting box of their coop and some of our hens fell off the nesting box, leaving them defenceless outside of the coop :(
Anyways, we found our about that because the kids who were looking for their dogs came by and said their dogs killed our chicken. :(
It was very sad and we are still very sad. But things like these happen and we hope it doesn’t happen again.
We secured our coop even more - hopefully we don’t see these dogs again!
by Sarah McNeal
Hedwig was my flock leader for 8 years. She ruled like a firm Mom - the kind who had only to give you a look and you would stop what you were doing. She was from my very first flock of chicks. She talked to me all the time and could recognize her sounds from the rest.
Toward the end, I knew she was dying. She would stand under lawn chairs for long periods of time. She wasnt eating much. She was slowing down.
At night, she would not be able to make it up to the perch or into the nesting box. I placed her up there and she liked that.
I found her there one morning, having died (peacefully I hope) overnight. She is one of the pets I hope to meet when I go to the great beyond.
Pearly - Brewer Extraordinaire
My Perfect Pearl
I lost Pearl on Tuesday. She’d been unwell for weeks, but waking to discover that she had passed was still a blow. I’d spent the previous weeks savouring our time together and telling myself to be prepared, but I wasn’t.
Pearl was part of my second hatch. She was born alongside Sandy, and there’s a good chance she fell victim to second hatch nerves and I coaxed her out of the egg sooner than she’d have liked. Despite this, she was always amazing.
I used to joke with my sister that Pearl had this crazy other life. She hoarded raisins, made whiskey and was a general beauty who anyone seeing would want to steal on sight (but then I was probably bias in that regard!).
Pearl loved to eat just about anything she could find and an encounter with barley straw nearly caused us to lose her pretty early on, but she battled on through, until a love of carpet would prove to be her downfall.
My fondest part of Pearl, the bit I always had to comment on, was her smell and I’ll miss that greatly. Pearl always smelt wonderful when she woke, or the day after a wash when she’d had chance to sleep and regain her scent, but hadn’t been awake long enough to tread on the wettest, stinkiest poo she could find! My sister used to joke that I bathed her too much, but you would too if you had a chicken who enjoyed dirt as much as she did!
In her final months she had developed a close friendship with the eldest of my hens, so much so we would joke they were in a relationship, though by the end that seemed to have soured slightly (perhaps the mini R simply couldn’t accept the end was coming?).
Whatever the reasons, Pearl was never alone. If I was around I’d keep her close and I treasure those final memories. You were my perfect Pearly girl and know that you’ll always be in my heart.
Rest in peace my sweetheart, I hope we’ll see each other again one day.
My mother decided to get some chickens after years of wanting some 3 weeks ago. She decided on Silkies and bought 3: A big white one called Dandy (Dandelion), a pure black one called Mo and a cuckoo one called Ditty.
I've always been an animal lover, all sorts and sizes, and being a countryside girl I love any farmyard creatures. I didn't expect myself to fall so in love, so quickly with my little hen.
Ditty was the middle sized one. She loved to be held and stroked as she quietly buck-buck away in your arms. She was calm and friendly and the first to eat from my hand when I brought them some morning oats whilst I was looking after them whilst my parents were away.
I would call out to her as I approached 'hello buck-bucks! Dandy, Ditty, Mo! Where are you my ditsy-do-do?!'. She'd craw and cluck and meet me for a treat and a stroke.
Three days ago I noticed that she was laying down a lot in the day. It's been sunny and so I assumed she was catching some rays, but when I went to put her to bed that night she pecked at my hand as I tried to pick her up and fussed as I carried her to the roost.
Once in she lay back down and refused to move, I stroked her and said goodnight. The next day my parents returned home and I told them that Ditty was acting up and explained how, saying perhaps she was broody as none of the hens have laid for us yet.
I went back to my house and thought nothing more. However today I received the phone call that she had passed unexpectedly this afternoon.
I went and saw her. She was all nested up in a cardboard box. All beautifully speckled and soft. My little feather pillow, peacefully at rest.
I never thought I'd love a bird, let alone kiss one, but a week back as I held her, without a second thought I kissed her and was immediately surprised at her smell. It was warm and comforting and smelt just like feathers, an obvious but still unexpected smell.
I cried as I stroked her one last time, hugged the box and told her I love her. I couldn't kiss her because the box was small and she was settled at the bottom all safe. I wrote her a note and left it with her.
She'll be buried tomorrow under the apple tree she used to free range under.
She truly was a wonderful bird and I loved her dearly. RIP Ditty xxxx
Millie was one of my absolute best friends
she was beautiful i miss her so much
i had my angel baby for 7 years and she helped me through the loneliest times of my life.
Millie was a Millefleur Belgian Bearded d'Uccle bantam (obviously I couldn't think of a more creative name for my Millefleur than Millie) and she was the sweetest funniest and sassiest bird you can imagine.
At age 5, my sassy gal went missing in the woods by our house for 2 weeks. Chicken parents know that when a chicken goes missing....they're dead.
Lo and behold, Millie came flying through our yard, alive!
We moved to the city where we bought a huge antique iron bird cage for her (at this time she was our only chicken). She lived the next year befriending our cats and dogs, and stealing cat food and eating roaches and living the hen dream.
The day before yesterday I noticed she was lethargic and wobbly, followed by runny egg out of her butt. an egg busted inside of my poor baby.
We took her to the vet and kept her very comfortable until her passing around 3am this morning.
I'm so incredibly sad this amazing chicken left us on such short notice. I'll always remember my sweet Millie :,)
Eleanor was a Cornish cross pullet that I rescued from slaughter.
She was such a sweet bird. She loved to be with the other chickens and free range.
Eleanor was the sweetest chicken I had ever had. When she would see me she would come running.
Sadly Eleanor passed away from depression when I was forced to rehome my flock. I kept Eleanor and her Silkie friend, but Eleanor was so unhappy and she started to decline.
She passed away while I was on my graduation trip for high school and I never got to say a proper goodbye to her.
My father buried Eleanor in my backyard. She was 9 months old when she passed away.
One night many months later I had a dream about Eleanor, she was so happy and I said goodbye to her in my dream.
I miss Eleanor so much.
My baby silkie
This was her last Monday
My beautiful Silkie bantam chick started acting strange two days ago. Yesterday, she was really lethargic and I was scared that she wouldn't make it through the night.
But she did, and she's still here next to me but it is a Saturday and I'm afraid she might not make it until the vet's open on Monday.
She spends most of the day peacefully sleeping and I sometimes give her some water using a dropper. I don't know what to do as she is my baby and I don't want to lose her. - Gemma xxx
Ode to the girls I have lost
(Spring Bay , On, CA)
I recently suffered a devastating loss by a raccoon.
He managed to get 12 of my girls. Not the new chickens I hardly knew. No, my favorites. Tit and Tat, my bantam lavender Orps, who used to chat with me all the time.
And my little moms who raised my chicks. Mabel the sexlink that was friendly and smart.
And the chick that Tit had hatched a few days before the devastation.
Rest in peace girls and sorry I let you down, but we got the coon and fortified the coop.
Busy Bee was just a baby. She was living in the coop with her flock. One day I noticed she was having trouble keeping her balance. I took her out and was working on finding out what was wrong.
I tried treating her for ear infection, Marcel's disease, and finally crazy chick disease . She passed away this morning.
She was a silver Leghorn and as sweet as a bug. Being sick didn't slow her down. She still tried to run even though she would end up falling down. She ate and drank . And got so excited about it.
She especially loved watermelon.
She would scold if you held her wrong or if you tried to put her back in her bin. She wanted to be with me all the time. But, I had things I needed to get done today, so I put her down.
When I came back she was gone. She had died. My heart is so broken that I didn't just keep holding her.
This pain is just like any other loss of a pet. So she was not just a chicken. She was a beautiful creature with her own personality and I will always miss her.
She was a brave one, she and the rest were afraid of the spray painter in the shed.
One day when me and my dad were painting the fence, she started making loud noises as usual. Then she jumped forwards, spread her wings and started pecking at it.
The others fled of terror but Betty was fearless. She was also the strongest and we loved her like the rest. She was with us for over a year.
It had been over a month after she had vent gleet and I wanted to take her to the vet which was a five minute walk from my house but my dad had recently been made redundant and my mom was working overtime to make sure we had enough money.
They both told me that we can't 'waste money on hens'. So we made some home made remedies and unfortunately it didn't work.
She died in the pen, quietly and hopefully painlessly. I will never forget her.
by Lauren Moberly
She was a beautiful barred rock who was quite sassy. She was the first chick I picked out from the store.
In November 2017, my husband and I bought our first chicks ever. We had two barred rocks- Hazel and Raven.
Unfortunately, Hazel had become quite a bit of a bully to one of our Buffs. We had seperated her from the rest of the flock and put her in the smaller coop.
I think (or we hope and pray) she died peacefully. We came home last night and she was dead in the nesting box and covered in ants. We are contributing the heat (it was 108) to her death.
She is now buried in the back yard. Here it is hours later and I can’t stop crying. We will miss you sweet lady and I hope you will still chase worms up in heaven.
by Kathy Pike
(Bentley Alberta Canada)
I got Rose and Portia as a surprise from my brothers. They are Isa Browns. I was 5... now I am 8.
They were sister chickens and they were two days old. We had never had chickens before. I loved them to pieces. I dressed them up, played with them in my Barbie house, made them special treats, took them for rides in my bike basket, and took pictures.
This morning I found Rose dead. Portia looks so sad. My Mom cried because I cried. My grandpa died 4 years ago. We used to talk about Rose and Portia on the phone. He was a farmer so he knew lots about chickens!
My other grandpa has dementia. When I go to visit him where he lives now he always asks how my chickens are. Him and I used to feed them lettuce together. He can remember that.
Rose was so special to me. I really hope that Portia doesn’t get so lonely that she passes away.
I raised Snowball and her 3 sisters from day one of chickhood. She was so goofy and responsive to us and so became the favorite.
She just died. No warning. I told my niece one of the hens died. Not Snowball she said.
(Yorba Linda, CA, US)
My Monica died suddenly this morning in her run.
She was 1 of 3 hens that I wake up every morning and see... So sweet and always wanting back scratches.
I will always love and miss her. She was only 3 years old, but her and her sisters already inspired my family to stop eating animal flesh and for that I hope to save hundreds, if not thousands of chickens/animals just like her.
Thank you Monica for wonderful memories.
Hen Roo Henrica II
She was young and loved to explore. They got out of the brooder once and spent a night in room hiding well. In the morning they were found on the grate of the brooder begging to be put back in.
I always worried about her because she was smaller and stood out within her Easter Egger sisters because she was one of the only two light colored ones.
Her death was sudden and unexpected.
In memory of Potema
Potema was a very special little hen. She was presumed to be an escapee from somebody else's flock and was found living in a tree. We brought her home and when no one came to claim her, we integrated her into our existing flock.
Pottie, as we called her, was quite the character. She was energetic, vocal, and very friendly. She was curious about every little thing.
We won't be the only ones missing her. Pottie's best friend, Sassy, who she followed everywhere and did everything with, will have to adjust to living without her too.
RIP, big gal. You're in a better place now.
Chickaletta and Redhead
The poor chickens.
They were both beautiful New Hampshire Red hens, and our dogs got into their nesting box while everyone was at work or school. They were taken to a back corner once they had been killed.
When we buried them, the same 2 dogs were attempting to dig them up. We've since gotten 4 more chicks, 2 Australorps and 2 Rhode Island Reds.
We miss Chickaletta, our smaller hen, and Redhead, our slightly larger hen, dearly. We took their loss very hard, but we will not be getting rid of our dogs once our baby chicks go outside again. However, the dogs will be locked in a small area of our yard with more protection when our new babies begin to roam.
Our dogs were out and our chickens in their backyard coop when the dogs got into the nesting box, and went through to the other outdoor part of the coop, where the chickens were killed and then taken to the back corner of the yard. No other dogs are believed to be part of the incident.
The chickens were both born in April 2017, and were killed on Friday, July 20th, 2018.
Chickaletta and Redhead did not deserve this, but it has been accepted and the whole family understands what happened.
And, when he was just 15 days old, Peep, our adorable assumed Leghorn disappeared and never returned.
They were both a beautiful almost ruby red color, with spots of black in their feathers. Peep was yellow, and did not grow big enough for us to know what breed he was.
Rest in peace, all three of you. You will be missed and not forgotten.
Rest in Peace Edwina
I first got Edwina about a year ago, and she was 10 months when I got her and her sister, Babs.
She was a mixed breed chicken.
She was a very good girl. She could do tricks and would put her head in your hand now and then. She had beautiful brown eyes and fluffy cheeks. She was incredibly soft. She was always right next to her sister, but she was good friends with everybody. She made me laugh a lot, because she honked instead of clucking. She was very picky about having the perfect nesting box. She would drag things in and out of it until it was perfect for her.
I am not sure what happened to her. She was perfectly fine, and then today she got sick. It seemed that she would get better, but then she died. I am absolutely devastated, and the other chickens are very sad as well.
I wish that I could tell Edwina how beautiful she is. I wish I could feed her some fresh watermelon and give her a big kiss. I wish that she lived a long, happy, healthy life. I wish that she could still be here to play with her friends, to fly and take dust baths. I wish she could cuddle with her sister and run free just like she loved. I wish that I could have had her with me forever.
She was so beautiful and funny and such a good friend to everybody.
I love you so so much Edwina and I will always miss you.
Pippin, my first loss
(Auckland, New Zealand)
Our family got 3 chickens 3 years ago, in Auckland, NZ, and had a very happy afternoon in the sun naming the pullets: Rosie, Lily and Pippin.
These are all hobbit names (we live in New Zealand where all the Hobbit movies were filmed). They also relate to plants in the run - a climbing rose, day lilies, and an apple tree.
Pippin was a brown leghorn, and laid lovely white eggs. When young, Pippin would sit on people's shoulders. As an adult chicken, she was very active and funny.
All 3 of our chickens were ridiculously healthy, and we never had any problems. On Tuesday this week, I looked in the coop, and there was Pippin, lying dead. I couldn't believe it, as it was very sudden, no explanation (maybe egg bound or sudden death?)
In Loving Memory of Bailey aka Chen.
by Tara Goddard
(Whittington, Shropshire, United Kingdom)
So we took in baby Bailey in 2012 when her mummy and all the babies were killed by a fox, Bailey was the only one that survived, so to give it a better life - we rescued her and brought her up.
So this morning me and my mum noticed that Bailey aka Chen wasn't herself, I got her out of her bed and noticed she couldn't stand properly. All morning we kept our special girl all warm and slowly her breathing became more laboured.
At 2.25pm this afternoon Bailey took her last breath whilst on the way to the vets, she had a fit in her bed and passed away.
Rest In Peace, Bailey. Your life was too short but sweet. You were a character and a sweetheart, and I hope you are feasting on all the treats you loved, up there in heaven!
We will all miss you! I will especially miss you scratching up the lawn with the dogs, scratching the stones everywhere, greeting me at the window or back door and attacking my shoes and feet lol.
2012-2018. (We had SIX great years with you)!
My beloved pip
I just had my little girl hen put to sleep. She was only three and a half and it's been sudden.
These are my girls so my family. If I put one out then the other would pine until they could both be out together. Today I looked at her and her eyes were shut and her feathers puffed up and I knew something was seriously wrong. After phoning every vet I could to see if they would come out to no avail I took her to vet. She felt it was an egg bound situation and she looked like she was dying. My heart is 💔.
I told her sister before going to the vet that I was going to get maybe some anti biotic and pain killers for her and we would be home soon. I didn't expect to return alone and went to tell her sis that she had passed on and I didn't realise they cry but not only did her sis know she let out such a sad pining and then went quiet.
I don't know how she is going to be able to cope without her sis as they genuinely loved each other and never been apart. Pip was the sweetest hen she was so humble and kind. Her personality was opposite as her sis is very feisty and can peck lots but pip was gentle and very humble. She often would fall over her step in or out of the coop and was quiet.
I often bought them treats but rarely gave them grit so maybe I should have given her more of it in her feed. I do feel pain and I miss her already. She was my little girl and I don't have any children just them and now I'm worried that both me and her sis are not going to feel the same without her. Our tight unit gone and empty.
Just still in shock how quickly they can go and hope we will be able to cope. I really want to say to her how she had the most loveliest personality and gentlest and she brightened my days and I hope I didn't do anything wrong to cut her life short in anyway and that I love her always. Xx
My Black Silkie Chicken - Ebony.
We got Ebony when she was about 5 months old along with 2 other Silkies.
Unless it was raining or very windy, the chickens would go outside to forage. We also gave treats of fruit, veg, mealworms and sunflower seeds. There was no sign of illness or pain.
She was 19 months old when she suddenly passed. She had been out in the garden for most of the day and I had given her some sunflower seeds that day as a treat and she ate the treats before foraging in the garden with my other 2 Silkies.
When we found her the next morning, I went into shock and couldn't believe she had gone. I cried. Then cried some more.
I then started to question whether we had done everything right, whether we had missed any warning signs but I truly believe we did everything we could for her and that she had a good life with us.
Please don't feel guilty if you lose a chicken suddenly like we did as I am sure your chicken loved their life and knew they were loved.
For Susan, who we loved so much
You loved to sit on our laps outside in the summer. You were the sweetest, kindest, calmest pet I’ve ever had.
You hatched and raised three babies that weren’t your own and you were the best mom in the world.
I’m so shocked by your death. We think it was a heart attack. How could this have happened to you? You were only a year and a half old and you had so much life left to live.
My heart is broken and I miss you so much.
We moved in to our lovely cottage 4 months ago and inherited some lovely bantams: Bertie, Betty, Baby and Beaky.
Since then we’ve improved their coop, stopped it getting damp, stopped other birds eating their food, given them the occasional treat and we’ve enjoyed having them around.
Yesterday I discovered Baby dead on the garden path next to an egg.
She was beautiful with the softest feathers, and no sign of any distress. It upset me deeply as we’re new to chickens that we might have done something without realising that it was harmful, but reading this blog made me think that perhaps it was just a natural death and that it does happen sometimes.
I’ve wrapped her in a towel and we’ll bury her somewhere in the garden. Very sad to see her lifeless and no longer travelling round with the others.
Beaky is her offspring so she now is without a mum.
by Lisa Kimbril
(Hartselle, Alabama, USA)
Penelope ruled the roost. She was vibrant and bossy and made sure everyone did what they were supposed to do. I will really miss her!
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My dear Hollie chicken 4/23/17-12/26/2018
by Mary M.
(Covington, GA, USA)
We took four little two day old chicks home from Tractor Supply in the spring of 2017. Little did we know how those girls would steal our hearts and become part of the family.
I named the Silver Laced Wyandotte after my sister, Hollie. She was a feisty, take charge kind of chick...perfect namesake. Hollie was also the more stand off sort when it came to human contact, but instead, would tell you a story all morning long.
My sweet chatty chicken. I had no warnings of what was to become of her this afternoon. Yesterday was Christmas, and all seemed normal and well with the girls. I came home today, and found Hollie in the nest box. Charlotte and Henrietta seemed very agitated and nervous. They didn’t want to come out from the run to enjoy the yard. Highly unusual.
There were crows complaining in the trees as they do when there are raptors in the area. I thought maybe the girls had been frightened while we were away at work. Hollie came out of the nest box and laid in the corner of the coop, acting very sleepy. I was concerned about that as she had never acted that way.
I stroked her and spoke softly and she got up and stood in the doorway, but wouldn’t go out. I offered some Grubblies, which she took from my hand, so I decided she just needed some time to get over a fright maybe...
A couple hours later, after the sun went down, I wanted to see if they were all roosting in their favorite spots....no Hollie.
I found her, lifeless, in the corner of the run. I feel so awful for not checking sooner...maybe I could have done something. I wish I knew what had happened to my sweet Hollie chicken...
Rest In Peace dear Hollie chicken, we loved you so.