Isobel - the brave

by Jill McMahon
(East Sussex England)

Last month we lost Isobel, a rescue chicken whom we adopted when she was 10 months old. She came from the same flock as Ivy, our house chicken.

She lived with Walter and Mabel outside in their Eglu. I wrote a memorial for Walter in November 2021 and also his Mum Lily in 2019.

Isobel was the bravest girl we have ever had, she survived egg peritonitis twice in May and June this year. She was so poorly and needed a lot of medication and nursing, but she pulled through with her sheer guts and determination. She was always quite feisty and stubborn and this I think helped her through her illness.

She spent a lovely summer with her bff Mabel and loved life. I think after being so very ill she really took to enjoying everything and used to trill at things that made her happy. She seemed to have a complete change of personality where in the past we could not pick her up and hold her to happily sitting in my arms dozing and making sort, contented little purrs.

Unfortunately, she became ill again in October and her body started to swell again. It was not egg peritonitis this time, but the vet suspected she may have had a tumour which caused the buildup of fluid in her abdomen. Again, we nursed her, and she really rallied for a week or so but came the day we had to say goodbye, so we took her to our vet.

She is buried next to Walter. Izzy wiz was 4 years 5 months of age, such a brave determined girl who really didn't want to leave but, in the end, went peacefully on her way to join Walter and Lily.

I miss them all.

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So sorry for your losses.
by: Cath

I'm so sorry to hear about Isobel, Jill. Nearly four and a half years old is a good life for a hen though, specially as she's survived egg peritonitis. What a strong, courageous girl.

Losing our chickens over time is sadly an inevitable result of having them. It's important that we always remember that while they are with us, they live their best lives.

I'm so glad Isobel had such a lovely life with you and her flock-mates. Thinking of you and sending hugs.

Fly high, Isobel.

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Shelley

My Grandpa bought 3 chickens a few years back and they ended up being a project I took over.

My youngest sister thought it would be cool if each one of us kids named each one. I chose to name a longhorn hen that would ultimately become my favorite of the bunch.

Eventually down the line I got a puppy that was scandalous at times. He would for some odd reason only attack Shelley, and one time I caught him in the act. I scolded him and picked up Shelley. She had a little gash on her eyelid that scarred her distinctly.

As time went on, my dog knew better than to attack the chickens. I start noticing little things about each of them, Shelley in particular. She was always the first one to greet me when I went outside. Just by the sound of my voice, she'd come bolting over. Many times I'd lay in my hammock out back, she'd come hop on top sometimes and just relax with me.

She was such a sweet soul.

Unfortunately today, grief struck and it whooped me right in the face. I didn't know I'd care this much for poultry but there really is a difference once you've raised it yourself.

I'll always miss her and though my aches will soon recover, I'll never forget Shelley.

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RIP Shelley
by: Cath

I'm so sorry for the loss of Shelley. What a sweet hen she was, and how brave to have survived an attack by the puppy.

Grief does suddenly come like a wave, and it's important to go with it and not deny it. Our chickens are never "only a chicken", and we need to grieve them as we do any other animal.

RIP, Shelley. You were much loved.

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Noodle

Noodle was one of the smaller Buff Orpington hens. In a flock of 16 hens and 1 rooster, she was the first one to warm up to me.

She would always come stand right at my feet and look up at me expectantly, wanting to be picked up. I'd carry her around when I did chores. When I set her down, she'd turn around and look up at me again, expecting me to pick her back up. She was so sweet and goofy, friendly with all the other hens and people who'd come around.

She was the first one I named after our rooster, Tonka. The chickens are on a property with a childcare and school. One day, the childcare wanted a chicken to visit the kids for a fall party they were doing, so I brought her because I knew she was the nicest one and least likely to panic.

She did a great job, all of the kids loved her. One of them asked what the chicken's name was, and it came to me suddenly: "Her name is Noodle!"

She died suddenly, I don't know why. I went to check on them this evening and she was lying dead just inside the door to the coop.

It took me a little bit to realize it was Noodle, but my heart was utterly broken when I realized it was her. I love all of the chickens, but she was just so sweet. The way she would look up at me would melt my heart.

I'll miss you, Noodle. Before I named you, I called you "my friend." The first day I picked you up and held you, I felt so much happier than I ever thought an animal could make me.

I wish I could pick you up again.

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So sorry for your loss.
by: Cath

I'm so sad to hear about Noodle. How amazing that she was able to cope with a children's party. I have no doubt that day she taught them a lot about how to deal with handling and caring nicely for a chicken.

It's so hard when there's nothing apparently wrong with a chicken who dies. Often they hide illness so well that there is nothing we can do.

You made sure she lived a wonderful, cared-for life. She was safe and happy, and much loved. You will never forget her.

Fly high, Noodle. You brought joy to all who knew you, and you are very much missed.

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Moja Kochana Dixie

by Marta
(Sparta, NJ, USA)

Dixie was almost 2 years old. She was the most energetic hen from all. She was on the bottom of flock of 3 but she embraced it.

She was best friends with Pepper, head of flock and cuddling with her forsythia all the time.

Dixie thank you for bringing so much joy into my life. I will miss you.

My heart is broken. I was not ready to lose you! I love you!

Fly in chickens' heaven and have fun!

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RIP Dixie.
by: Cath

I am so sad to read of your loss, Marta. Dixie sounds like a character, and a pleasure to have in your flock.

You gave her a life of love and care, and she was lucky to have lived her best life with you.

RIP, Dixie. You were much loved, and you are very much missed.

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Eric our Handsome boy

by Beverley Hendry
(Starston Norfolk England )

We had Eric from a dear friend of ours who is no longer with us. He was just 8 weeks old, he grew into a beautiful handsome boy and enjoyed nothing more than being out in the sunshine looking after his ladies.

A few days ago my husband went to check their feed and water and found him passed away. It was just so sudden, no signs of anything being wrong at all.

We are in shock and so very upset. He meant so much to us, part of our animal family. Just can’t understand what happened to him.

May you rest in peace, sweet boy

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Deep condolences
by: Harriet

I am so sorry for your loss in the passing of Eric, truly a handsome boy.

RIP Eric
by: Cath

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, Beverley. Eric certainly was a handsome boy – his markings are beautiful. Thank you for sharing his story, and his photos.

It's so hard when a chicken dies suddenly and without any obvious injury or illness. Sadly, Sudden Chicken Death Syndrome is not uncommon, and all we can do is remember that our chickens live their best life while they are with us.

RIP, Eric. You were loved, and you are much missed.

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RIP Cherry Price

by Mandy
(Australia )

Cherry

Cherry

Cherry was our beautiful 8 year old matriarch hen. A tiny but mighty bantam Australorp.

We had Cherry from day old and she quickly became an important feature in our yard. She was in the first batch of our flock.

Cherry was the matriarch hen. First to eat, well respected, and never bullied. The pecking order was clear from day dot and she took her job as the leader of the flock very seriously.

Any hatched and new additions over the years learned all the best places to find food tidbits and the best places to dust bath under her guidance and learned their place in the coop.

A few roosters over the years came and went and she went through a small identity crisis at one point and began moonlighting as a faux roo. Hearing her "crow" was an endless source of amusement for us in those years.

Cherry was found in the corner of the coop resting while the flock grazed and we knew from her eyes and the way she allowed us to pick her up without complaint that she was in her twilight.

She was dozing peacefully in a warm cozy box inside with us when she very suddenly flapped her wings for the last time. In her final moments we sat with her and comforted her till we were sure she had made it to the rainbow bridge.

We hope she is grazing in a meal worm filled paddock in the great beyond. Rest peacefully Cherry – you've earned it.


Love, the Price family.

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A lovely tribute.
by: Cath

Price family – what a lovely tribute to your much-loved hen! Thank you so much for sharing with us, and for the photo. She certainly was a beauty.

Eight is such a good age for a chicken, and Cherry certainly lived her best life with you and her flock mates. We could all wish for such a graceful, helpful flock leader.

You loved and cared for her in life and in her final moments. She was as lucky to have you as you were to have had her.

Fly high, Cherry, and rest well.

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RIP at 8 months – no age for a chicken. My beloved, Hercules

by Eeslek Samej
(Ohio)

Hercules was only 8 months old when he tragically attacked by his fellow cockerels today. Robbed of his childhood. It’s no age for a young cockerel to go :(

I don’t think life will ever be the same! My other hen, Bing Bong Girl, loved her cockerel so much. I don’t think she will be able to carry on with out her cockadoodledoo.

They were inseparable. From day one we knew it was love at first sight. Straight out of a romance novel, when you know you know. After a brief courtship, it began to get serious. I just don’t think Bing Bong will love a cockerel like this again! She’s beside herself, wandering around lost.

Next week we were due to take them on this morning live. The first chicken marriage on live tv. We are devastated! The coop feels so empty with out Hercules our big black beautiful cockerel. Thank you, Hercules, for bringing so much joy to our life.

He was the biggest black cockerel you’ve ever seen and had so much more to give. Snatched so cruelly from his love.

I feel so much better reading these knowing we’re not the only ones feeing this way. Life must go on.

RIP Hercules you are a true hero. Gone but not forgotten.

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So sorry for your loss.
by: Cath

I'm so sorry to hear about Hercules. He was a lovely cockerel, and you loved and cared for him his whole life, even though it was short.

He was lucky to have you and his chicken family.

Fly high, Hercules. You are missed.

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Zinger

by Kris Felton
(Avoca Beach, NSW, Australia)

Zinger looking so beautiful in the sunshine

Zinger looking so beautiful in the sunshine

Zinger was a 3 year old Isa Brown. She was named by my youngest son after his favourite chicken burger. When he gave her the name he was promptly reminded that she is a family member and would never become a burger, but she did produce many beautiful eggs for our veggie burgers.

It was so hard losing her only 6 weeks after we lost her sister, Qwak. She was my quiet, gentle soul who spent a lot of her day just enjoying the peace and comfort under the shade of a tree.

She would happily look for bugs in the garden with her sisters but would also just as happily sit back and watch them do the work. Some could say she was my lazy girl but when it came to producing eggs she certainly gave it her all, never skipping a beat.

Unfortunately this amazing ability to produce eggs day after day took a toll on her and eventually her body gave in.

I miss looking out the kitchen window and seeing her nestled in the garden, happily enjoying a dust bath, inviting her sisters to join her. She was the best at finding the perfect dust bathing spot.

Life is not the same without her and she will always be remembered by us who loved her gentle soul so dearly.

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RIP, Zinger
by: Cath

What a lovely hen Zinger was, Kris, and she sounds like an amazing hen.

It's so hard to lose a hen, and to lose two at the same time is doubly hard. I hope you'll be able to remember the good times you shared, and all the delicious, healthy eggs she laid.

RIP, Zinger. You were much loved, and your family misses you.

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Qwak

by Kris Felton
(Avoca Beach, NSW, Australia)

Inquisitive Qwak checking out the camera.

Inquisitive Qwak checking out the camera.

Qwak was a beautiful Isa Brown who I loved dearly. She was named by my eldest son after a favourite character of his. She was the queen of catching bugs and even faster at taking them out of the mouths of her sisters.

Her qwerky and inquisitive nature meant that she was always under my feet. She could hear me open the shed door from a mile away, and as I got out the shovel she would already be at my feet, ready to help dig a hole.

She was bossy and sassy but also gentle and cuddly. She left a big hole in my heart when her tired little body gave up after producing an abundant amount of eggs in her 3 years of life.

It is not the same without her and she will be forever missed.

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RIP Qwak.
by: Cath

Qwak was a lovely hen, full of character, and I also love her name! She and her sister, Zinger, were such an important part of the family.

She laid delicious eggs and she brought joy to those who knew her.

Fly high, Qwak. You were loved, and you are missed.

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Cluck Norris, the best hen.

by Alan
(North Carolina, USA)

Clucky was a good hen, she was the one that inspired me to go outside just to say "Hi Clucky!". When we got her from Tractor Supply (Please don't get chicks there, we got a rooster in our 10 "hens" and almost half of them have died), she was labeled as a Rhode Island Red, but we later found out she was actually a New Hampshire Red.

Clucky was the runt of the flock, with small size, small comb, even small wattles. But even though she was tiny, she was vicious. She was the Alpha. Head Honcho. Top Peck. She was very smart, and knew her name, and how to jump for food.

She flipped my perception of chickens on its head. I used to think they were dumb as a rock, and just cannon fodder in the grand scheme of life. Now I think they are the cutest things ever and are smart as a small dog. She always just let me pick her up, and I would talk to her about anything, my problems, my worries, my everything. Funnily enough, she always responded with a "Bock bock?"

One week, she started getting lethargic and clucking quietly. My mom said she was just broody, but she wasn't ever lethargic and quiet when she was broody.

One morning, we opened the coop door to see her next to the feeder on the ground, with worms and a wound at her rear. After frantically driving to get medicine, we came back to see she had died.

If I could say anything to Clucky right now, it would be to tell her I love her and miss her. She was my favorite hen, the best, and was a little pillow in terms of fluff.

(Honorable mention of Albert Eggstein, Hennifer Lopez, Mary Jo, and Gregory Peck. Rest in peace, my hens.)

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A lovely tribute.
by: Cath

Thank you so much for your tribute, Alan, both Clucky's story and the mention of your other hens.

It's so sad when our chickens die, and all we can do is remember that they lived their best life while they were with us. Clucky was loved and cared for, and not every chicken can claim that.

RIP, Clucky. Fly high with all your sisters.

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My little friend

My little friend was a good girl. She liked to sit on me when I went out to watch the rest of the flock.

We shared snacks because she knew if she stayed next to me instead of following the rest to dinner she would surely get my scraps. We even shared a steak not long ago.

I'm not sure what happened to her. She was okay the whole day until around 5 when she looked cold and wasn't walking around with the others.

I brought her into the barn for the night with some extra food, water, oyster shells, and mealies. The next morning she wouldn't walk and soon after she was gone.

I'm going to miss her a lot but I know she had a good life even if it wasn't too long.

Sleep well little friend:)

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Thank you!
by: Cath

Thank you for sharing your tribute to your little friend. It seems she had a good life with you, sharing treats and love.

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's always hard, and we always wish we could have had more time. I hope you can remember all the good times you shared with her.

RIP, little friend. You were loved and cared for, and you are missed.

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