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Three baby chicks for christmas

On Christmas day 2015 my daughter Haylee and her boyfriend Trevor surprised me with 3 baby chickens. They were so cute and I was so nervous that I was going to do something wrong given that I had never had chickens before, let alone chicks.

I followed all the instructions as to their food, water, heating and light to the letter to make sure I didn't get it wrong.

I was worried about the tiniest chick from the beginning and watched for signs of bullying from the other two bigger ones.

She always seemed to be falling asleep and on the last day of the year I checked them in the morning only to find she had died.

Her tiny body lay in an awkward position, the kind of position that you just know they are not in the land of the living any more. I checked for signs of breathing and as I suspected there were none.

I checked again and again but no miracle saw her return to life. I removed her tiny body and placed her on a bed of saw dust in a tiny empty box.

My baby chick didn't have a name yet as I was waiting to observe their personalities as they grew older.

My baby chick was between 10 and 13 days old, such a short life.

Rest in Peace sweet little baby chick.

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The sad story of Bumpy.

by Cath
(Italy)

Bumpy aged 5 days

Bumpy aged 5 days

Bumpy aged 5 days Bumpy's growth looked horrid but caused her no pain Bumpy just before she disappeared.  Her feathers had the most gorgeous sheen. The inseparable pair - Bumpy and Bruno.

I know you shouldn't have favourites, but I hold my hands up - Bumpy was a favourite of mine. I think you do have favourites when it comes to chicks you've hatched yourself.

Bumpy hatched on 1 May 2013. She was supposed to be a Speckled Sussex and she came out of a cream coloured egg - and she turned out to be a Black Copper Marans. She was - as chicks are - a cute, fluffy bundle of black and yellow.

She was called Bumpy because when she was about a day old, I noticed she had quite a large growth on her neck. It was so big that it was nearly as big as she was. I took some advice from people who know what they're talking about and none of them could tell me what it was.

Some said I should have her 'put to sleep', some said leave it alone. In the end I decided to leave her alone. She was chirpy and happy and the bump seemed to worry me a lot less than it worried her.

As she grew up, Bumpy became inseparable friends with the other Black Copper Marans I hatched. They went everywhere together and when one was out of sight of the other, they would cheep loudly until the other came back into view again.

And then one day in July, when Bumpy was just eleven weeks old, she disappeared. Just disappeared off the face of the earth. There were no tell-tail feathers, no bones, nothing. She just wasn't there any more.

The chicks had gone into the Big Girls' Coop just that week. They'd all settled down remarkably well but there was some bullying as they sorted the pecking order out. The only thing I can think of is that Bumpy flew (she had beautiful flight feathers by then) over the six foot high fence into the jaws of a fox.

We certainly have foxes. Bumpy could certainly fly, although I'm not convinced she could fly that high - but you never know. It's not an ideal explanation though, because she was the most timid of the chicks so why she would choose to fly outside the coop, I have no idea.

So now her little Marans companion Bruna (or it might be Bruno - I'm still not sure whether she might be a he) stands at the gate to the coop and cheeps. It's the saddest sound I've ever heard in my life.

I know people say "Get a grip - it's only a chicken". And I know that given the problems some people are facing in their lives it's not the greatest heartache in the world.

But Bumpy was my favourite. I miss her.

Comments for The sad story of Bumpy.

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Omg!
by: MyCuteCoop

That is so sad, I hope that doesn’t happen to me. I’m sorry for your loss! 😭😭😭

Thank you, Promise, for your kind thoughts about little Bumpy chicken.
by: Cath

Promise, thank you so much for your very kind words. You are generous to take the time to write. I'm sad about Bumpy even now, but she did teach me some good lessons about protecting my chicks in the future. I like to think that is her legacy.

I'm very sad to hear about your chickens and also your duckling. It's heart-breaking to raise little ones, only to have them eaten by predators.

I wish you and your chickens every success in the future.

Kindest regards

Cath.

So Sorry!
by: Promise

That's so sad! Im so sorry for you and Bruna/Bruno. I've had many chickens taken by foxes. It's sad every time, even for the chickens I'm not as close to. I had a duck that I raised from a duckling (because her pop killed her siblings) who was so sweet, but a fox came and ate her while I was gone. 😢

Bumpy - the chicken who taught me a lesson.
by: Cath.

Thank you for such concern, Karen. It might well have been a bird of prey - we have buzzards and eagles round here - but actually it turned out to be a fox.

It came back the following day and took some of my other chickens too. :( I discovered it had got in by digging underneath a strong fence which was buried 18" underground.

So, I tried to use this as a lesson. The fox had been able to dig a long way under the fence, so we have now had a stronger fence put in which is 3 feet underground, and also has an 'L' shaped apron at the bottom. So anything trying to dig is going to be disappointed.

We have also bought a Maremma puppy. Maremmas are used in Italy as guardian dogs of sheep, goats and chickens. They look lovely but they will fight to the death, if necessary, to defend their flock.

So, Bumpy taught me a lot of lessons which have helped me to protect my chicken family better, and for that I'm very grateful.

I'm so sorry to hear about your losses to hawks. Sadly, chickens are seen as dinner by a lot of different predators.

Thank you again for sharing your concern and your lovely comment.

Poor Bumpy
by: Karen

Is it possible a hawk or owl carried her off? That can happen if the pen isn't covered. I had one young chicken maimed and even grown chickens killed by hawks. A young chicken who isn't very heavy could have been carried by a large raptor without even leaving a feather behind. Poor sweet Bumpy. Thankfully her short life was a happy one.

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My six lovely chicks


This is about my six chickens who were very close to me. They died from a raccoon attack when the raccoons reached in and mutilated them.

These chickens were 3 Silkies, - rowdy, peckers, and perfect - and my Americauna Stella-Luna, my Plymouth Barred Rock, Baby-Bird, and my Astrolorp, Penguin.

I got my Silkies on Christmas Day, and they were one week of age. Rowdy was my rooster, who was named by his craziness when I first held him. Peckers was named for pecking my ring when I first held him. Perfect was my "model Silkie", because she looked picture perfect. These Silkies were corn loving, which I would hand feed them. Peckers had a giant feathery head.

My other chicks were even more special. Baby-Bird was named for being so docile, because he would follow me around and treat me like mommy-bird. Stella-Luna was a beautiful bird, so I named her a beautiful name. And Penguin looked like a penguin.

I loved these chickens with all my heart, and was absolutely devastated. Even though it was only two months it was special.

Do not use normal chicken wire - get the thick wire with small holes to protect your chickens - make sure you save your chickens' lives!

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Lisa's New Chickens!
by: Cath

Hi Lisa,

Thank you so much for updating us about your new flock. I was sooooo delighted to hear you sounding so upbeat and positive after your experience of losing your original chicks.

How amazing that you've given a home to some rescue hens! That's just wonderful. You should be very proud of yourself. Imagine the life they must have had before, to end up so unhealthy (and probably very unhappy too) and now - they have an amazing home with you. They must feel they have gone to heaven! :)

And 15 eggs in the incubator as well as your other new chicks - wow! Funnily enough I've also got new Wyandottes and a couple of bantams which I hatched myself recently. It's the first time I've had bantams and I love them. Hopefully I'll be able to build a little flock of them.

Good for you, to build your flock up again. I'm glad my website helped and thank you for the lovely compliment. I'd love to see some pics of your new girls (and your rooster, of course!).

Thanks for the update, Lisa. It was so great to hear from you. This story has a very happy ending - and it's a great tribute to your original chicks that you were able to learn from that experience and move on.

Well done you! :)

Thank You Soooo Much
by: Lisa

Thank you for your kind and reassuring words. the day after, the one chick that survived was lonely, so later that day we went to a feed store nearby. Turns out these chickens were neglected and being pecked to the point were you couldn't find a single feather on there back. But I saved them, and I guess it made me feel a lot better. Now those chicks are just about the friendliest birds and run up to me asking for food. They are the same breed as the other young chicks were.

Then I also got new 1 year mixes, and a rooster too. they are all bantams and absolutely adorable. I have one I named Fat Amy because when she sees food, she goes crazy. She also will scare other birds off away from her food. They are laying and lets just say I'm having the best time ever getting fresh eggs in the morning.

I also got a golden laced Wyandotte that I named Debby, she is about to start laying. She is like mommy bird to my chicks and it's adorable to watch them crawl all over her. Also it's funny that whenever my dog goes to sniff her, she pecks his nose.

To continue I've also got 15 eggs in an incubator (which thank you for the page on this website it really helped!) and three chicks with Roadie, my Rhode Island Red because she does better with little chicks than the older ones. I don't think I've seen something cuter than when she was sitting on one of the chicks like a momma hen.

So thank you so much for everything you do and the kindest words about my chicks because I love this site and without it, I'd be lost trying to find real information from experience.

Six lovely chicks
by: Denise

I am so sorry for your loss. It is so easy to get attached to chickens. I did too with Beautiful Becky. I have done a lot of research on what type of fencing to use and 1/4 inch Hardware cloth is the best . I subscribe to Backyard Chickens and the information on there is priceless. You wrote a beautiful memorial to your babies. They would be proud. Take care

Such a sad story, and such a good lesson.
by: Cath.

Thank you so much for telling us your story. I'm so very sorry for your loss. People don't realise how devastating it is to lose chickens. I can completely relate, as I lost mine to a fox attack last summer.

All you can do is remember they had a good life while they were with you, even if it was only for quite a short time. Some chicks never have the opportunity of a loving home, which you obviously gave them.

You're so right about protecting our coops and runs with strong wire. Raccoons can climb, rip chicken wire apart and they are very good at opening latches, too. If all else fails they will definitely reach in and grab what they can. That's such a good lesson for us all to learn.

When I lost mine (to a fox family) I learned lessons about protecting my coop and run, and I started again. But it took time to get to the point where I didn't feel disheartened. You need to give yourself time to grieve.

I hope at some point you also feel able to have more chicks. They can bring heartache when things like this happen, but if you learn from the experience it's a good - though very hard - lesson.

I wish you all the very best for the future.


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A little chick with a white bum

by Jen
(Australia)

I'd wanted chickens for a while. I made sure I knew how to take care of them; I read a lot, spent just about every night reading up on them for at least a year. I wanted to know how to look after them without "accidentally" killing them by doing something dumb.

Specifically, I wanted Silkies. They are adorable. I planned on getting two chicks. I ended up with three. I had picked two silkies, and ended up with one pekin. Little Pro was the pekin. She was a blue cuckoo with a white/grey patch on her head, and a white bum. I had a little song for her within a day of having her:"I have a black head with white fur, beautiful grey wings and a ... white bum!"

I thought she was cute and adorable even though I had no idea she was a pekin at first. She was a curious and smart little thing. She had the loudest call of them all; she would call her loudest and knew that I'd come along to give them a cuddle if I was around; I hardly left their side for the first week.

The three of them would jostle at naptime and bedtime for a spot. It was funny how they would arrange themselves for naptime. They pushed and shoved, wormed around, dug their heads under each other, and even jumped on each other, leading to loud and shrill chirps. Lately, I'd taken to letting them nap on my lap while I am on the computer in the afternoons.

After that I'd take them out to the garden for supervised play. Little Pro would always find a tiny piece of something that the other two would want, they would squabble over it and play tug of war, accompanied by noisy little chirps of protest. Their play always put a smile on my face, and sometimes they really made me laugh.

They all loved their food. Little pro wasn't too fussy. She was the first to play "knock the lettuce over".

I could see them all growing. Little Pro's tiny little wing feathers were adorable; black with white stripes. Sometimes she would sleep with one wing fully opened and I would sit and admire her cute little feathers. She'd give me happy little chirps when she woke or if she saw me coming.

I miss my little chick; I'd barely had her for a week. Goodbye my darling little white bum. I'm glad I got to meet you and give you all the love and cuddles that I could in that short time.


Thank you Cath, for making this Tribute possible.

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Sweet chick
by: Erin

Jen, I see you wrote this almost 2 months ago...by now your other girls must be getting big!

I hope time has eased the loss of your special little chick, and your other girls are doing well. Best wishes.

How special!
by: Anonymous

So sorry to hear she didn't live long, what a lovely story though, it made me laugh because mine use to do the same thing... I hope you had better luck after your loss.
Jaq xx

A loving memorial for a lovely chicken!
by: Cath

Jen, what a lovely tribute to Little Pro. The thing that came across for me was how much she was loved in her short time with you. That's really the most we can hope to say when sadly our pets, whether they're chickens, dogs or any other animal, pass on.

Little Pro was as lucky to have you as you were to have her. I love the pic of them all snuggled down with you. Thank you so much for sharing her with us.

Big hugs. <3

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Chickies over the years

by Serena Scott
(Seffner, Florida)

The first chick we ever lost was Ninja. I believe her name started out as 'Chicklet', actually, but she was the least social of our first flock, ran fast, and wore a black leg band, so ninja it was. She died suddenly while broody.

A while after her went Lief Erics-hen, a social chickie who demanded to be picked up and held every time someone went out into the yard at the threat of yelling, and climbed up on your shoulder when you let her perch on your arm. Sadly, she died of egg yolk peritonitis. She was a family favorite and will be missed.

Shortly after her Honey passed away of the same thing. She was a sweet, big hen known for trilling like a songbird instead of clucking. We've missed the music in our yard ever since.

Recently we lost the first out of our newer flock - Cream Puff, a friendly, poofy chicken who would climb into your lap for pettings and would probably stay there forever if you didn't make her move.

She wandered a yard too far and we got her back in a black garbage bag that smelled so badly of dog poop that we couldn't even bury her. She was my favorite of that flock, and I still miss her badly.

We know they don't live forever. We know they die due to predators, to reproductive disorders (they're bred for eggs, not longevity), even to things we have no clue about.

But it's so hard to raise a creature from tiny, peeping fluff to lovely bird, to feel the pride and wonder of seeing them in the yard for the first time or getting the first eggs, and then to watch them pass of things we can't always fix or prevent.

It's so hard to remember that we made them happy in the short time they had, and in our hearts they'll always be our little feathered babies.

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You're so right, Joyce.
by: Cath

Thank you too, Joyce, for sharing your story and I'm so sorry you lost Gertie. I'm hoping by now you have a new flock, and that they're giving you much happiness.

We can never replace an animal who is no longer with us, but we can generally find pleasure in those that follow.

Sending big hugs to you.

Thank you
by: Joyce

You know, I needed to hear your story. I lost my first girl Gertie Easter Sunday. We are not sure from what exactly, but we know it was incredibly fast. And I've continued to cry and beat myself up over it.

Your story helped me remember that we don't always know why, but they do die. Everything does. It's not from neglect. We loved her dearly. It just is the cycle of life.

My second group of girls arrives tomorrow. I'm excited, nervous....you know the whole gammut of emotions. I just hate loosing anything.

Thanks for sharing your story.

So many chickens, so much joy - and sadness.
by: Cath

Thank you so much for sharing your memories of your chickens, Serena. You're so right, of course - we raise chicks because they bring us such a lot of pleasure, and at the same time the problems which beset them can bring us such a lot of pain.

It's a good lesson for us all to learn - from children to adults - that the circle of life includes death. It's painful and upsetting, but very real.

All your chickens obviously had a very happy life while they were with you. They were well cared for, loved, they had places to sit and be petted, they clucked and sang and gave you immense pleasure - and no doubt a lot of delicious eggs, too.

I'm so sorry that you've had such losses, and so glad that you had the pleasure of their company and the wonder of watching them develop and grow in your care.

Sending big {{hugs}} to you.

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Angharad

by Sue
(Wales)

Just a baby. Only 6 months old. Healthy and pecking about yesterday. Dead in her run when I went out this morning. Head tucked under her wing. So sad. She was only just beginning her life.

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Lil Blue

by Mina
(Wisconsin)

Why did God burden me with loving animals so much!?!

This is a hard morning. Last Saturday on my weekend to work my husband picked up two Blue Cochin chicks that I had ordered. One wasn't acting right and through talking to others and some research I came to the conclusion that I had a blind chick on my hands.

I was told if it made it to adulthood it would do well so I gave it a fighting chance and spent the last several days hand feeding it. I even gave away a work shift so I could stay home with it today.

Other than not being able to see, it started perking up and acting normal. Yesterday it even drank on its own with guidance. I've never had to deal with a sick chick and although I've been silently preparing for the possibility of it dying it proved to be more difficult to accept it now that it's happened.

Unfortunately when I woke up and saw it sprawled out in the brooder it wasn't already dead; it was breathing and trying to peep. I held it and started crying like a little kid. This ball of fluff was my precious baby for the last week.

I called my husband hoping he was close enough to come home from work and do what I couldn't but he wasn't. As I started researching quick methods to dispatch a chick (there's no way I could smash it or shoot it or ring its neck and risk not doing it all the way), as it lay in my hand I looked over and it opened its eyes real big and took its last breath.

I named him lil Blue and he's getting buried by my silver lace vine that was planted last year next to my chicken coop.

RIP.

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by: Cath

That's such a heart-breaking story, Mina, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. All you can say is that Lil Blue had the best of care possible while he was with you.

Gone but not forgotten.
xoxoxo

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In Memory of my Delaware chicks

by Andres
(Miami, FL, USA)

I had went out of town for 2 days. I had my old flock and my new flock together, and they were friendly to each other.

We recently got 8 new chicks. 2 of them were Delawares. The day after leaving town, I received a message from my grandma telling me that one of them died.

Sadly, she couldn't find the second one, so we will never know what happened to her, if she was also killed or she escaped and got killed by a predator when my grandma was giving them food.

They were only 1 month old, and I was looking forward to seeing them grow. They were lovely chicks, and I will miss them.

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Tiny sweet Teacup

Teacup was only 5 months old when she died from a bobcat.

She was the sweetest little Buff Orpington I've ever had and she was always out to get my attention.

In her short life, every time I went in the house, she would follow me inside for treats. I'll never forget the happy chirps she made because they were unlike any other hen :(

She was well past her age to be peeping and yet she'd make cute little peeps just for me.

I'll always miss Teacup, I'd sometimes call her Tiny too. She was such a sweetheart and I wish this didn't happen.

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Lucky

Lucky was the sweetest chick out of our hatch of 11. Very kind and gentle.

She was unfortunately born with a bad leg and when we tried to fix it, the other leg became bad as well. She was unable to walk and became weak and frail compared to the other chicks.

I had to end her suffering and I will miss her.

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Pingu

by Morgan Dietrich
(Oakdale, CA)

I had a month old chick named Pingu. She was a beautiful white Silkie who loved mealworms and was the "alpha" or more appropriately, the top of the pecking order.

Last night Pingu was strong and happy, but today around 1pm (it is now 7), my mom went to my bedroom to find her in her brooder on deaths door. My mom held her and she died in her hands :(

There is two other chicks in the brooder with her who also look healthy but now I am worried.

Pingu's sisters were her best friends and I am happy that she got to spend time with them. Pingu really was a lucky chick! She had a nice and warm (not too warm though) brooder with always fresh water, her best friends, and chick feed with occasional mealworms.

She's the third chick I've lost in a month (the first two the same week I adopted them). I feel like it's my fault but when I look at all of the facts I know that I did all that I could.

She is the white one on top of the others in the photo I attached. This was how we transported them to our house from the store!

Rest in peace, Pingu. Mommy loves you.

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Fluff Ball

by Kyra
(United States)

2017-2017

2017-2017

He was a sick baby chick which my parents bought home. He barely ate or drank. The other chicks jumped on him and picked on him.

I took him in a day ago, following the advice of websites on how to care for sick baby chicks. He started to eat and drink a bit even chirping and standing.

When I set him in the garage where the others were at (in his own separate box), he was awake and pecking at the chick feed.

I got up this morning to check on him and found his cold little body inside the box. I cried hysterically and buried him.

He was a fluffy and adorable chick I would love to have seen become a rooster.

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Mary Tyler Moore

by Joy & Abbi
(Los Angeles)

We have been living in LA for almost two years. My daughter Abbi is a vegetarian and animal lover. One of her friends volunteers on a rescue farm.

Two baby chicks were recently hatched. One of the babies was terrorized by the larger hens and died from heart failure. MTM was rescued before she succumbed to the same fate.

With no where to go my daughter and I took her in and loved and cared for her for 3 solid weeks. She loved us and followed us around. She loved her pen with toys, food and water and a mirror to keep her company. We came to love all her little sounds and her quirky playful ways.

We kept a heating pad and soft baby blanket in the pen to keep her warm and cozy if it should get too cold for her. One night we came home from being gone for a few hours and she was gone. She buried herself in the soft blanket by herself. We thought she was sleeping as she normally does by when her welcome squeaks were not heard I investigated to find her gone.

The initial shock was pure unbelief then self loathing for fear I had done something wrong or improperly cared for her. Tears later we have come to realize it just may have been her time and returning her to the coop may not have even been in the cards for her.

We showed her love and kept her clean and safe. She will always have a special place in our hearts.

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Goodbye, little chick.
by: Cath

Thank you so much for such a loving tribute to Mary Tyler Moore, Joy and Abbi. It's clear from the way you write that the little chick was so well cared for and loved.

Sometimes, sadly, these things just happen without rhyme nor reason. You must remember, though, that for the time she was with you she was cared for and loved.

And that is more than a lot of chickens can say. Thank you for rescuing her, and thank you for telling us your story.

Sending hugs to you both in your loss.

Cath.

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A tribute to Bunny

"Bunny" is the name I wanted to call my family's new little Easter Egger. She died today on 4/12/18 when I went to hold the chicks and I found her lying in the hay, unmoving.

She was the best little chicken. She would sit quietly while I doted on her and picked her up. She got along with the other chicks well, but I guess that she is in a better place now.

My parents suspected that she was sick when we got her, so at least if she was in pain she isn't anymore.

I hope you are snuggling with the chicks in heaven little one.

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RIP Bunny.
by: Cath

Thank you for your loving tribute to Bunny. I'm sure she knew that she was loved and cared for while she was with you, and that's an important thing to remember.

RIP, Bunny.

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