Roses, the runt of the flock
Rosie with her bestie Millie, scratching
I got Rosie as a Rhode Island Red (RIR) chick, and a few weeks after, Millie, a barred rock chick. I cage raised the two together as I had two Legbars about six weeks older who hit the coop first.
Despite being a RIR & expecting her to outweigh the Legbars, Rosie was a lil thing, reaching probably five pounds when she started to lay eggs two days ago at 22 weeks.
It was really hot Saturday starting mid day. I went to check on them & somehow the girls had managed to knock over their big heavy water feeder. I brought them all inside to our basement coop ‘hospital’. Rosie’s comb was pale but not flaky, still plump. I offered frozen blackberries, not interested. Frozen peach skins she did take a bit, mainly sat around but body temp didn’t feel hot.
She had laid a nice starter egg that morning, 24 hours after her first. I assumed her behavior was due to the heat, and that I provided a solution. She was still quiet, subdued at roosting, but the tips of her comb were at least more red.
I found her dead in the coop this morning. A grape sized egg with a very soft spot /gelatinous end passed, some blood & clear fluid near her vent. I feel it looks prolapsed.
I’m devastated, feel I should have known better but can’t think how she would be egg bound since she laid that morning.
The alpha always picked on her, sometimes even though the runt, she would give it back. She was the smartest of the four when assessing for potential predators, or for noticing the sun dropping in the sky.
She lived to eat rose petals more than the marigolds, and would eat from the feeder with haste when the alpha was pecking someone else. Sometimes Roses would even steal a blade of grass or a piece of fruit right out of the others' mouth... and run like mad 😂.
She had the most hutzpah of the four. I miss her badly, and I’m sure her bestie Millie will as well.
Kooki the most peculiar chicken.
by Jagadish Kumar Sahu
(Rauagada, Odisha, India)
My heart felt tribute to our queen in our family 💔
Our family have raised 2 chickens. The one which was left with us her name is "Kooki" a light orange yellowish coloured beautiful and charming pet.
And the other which had expired earlier was a deep reddish colour beautiful hen named "Ganju". Since 3 years, Kooki was very healthy, very talented and well trained, and most importantly very, very close to heart for me, my mother, my sister and my father.
It hurts a lot. My heart is filled with grief because I respect animals more than humans. They are kind, innocent and most importantly they love us if we care for them. My mom looked after her like more than a queen in the house and so do we.
Suddenly everything was fine today. The time was 5 pm. She always used to come running down stairs to our room but didn't. So when mom went upstairs to see why had Kooki didn't come yet, she found her under the bed at the top of the stairs.
She felt exhausted suddenly. My mom carried her in her arms with tears in her eyes. Although she was about to die, she had spoken something to mom. Even if she was unable to, perhaps she was saying thanks to my mom.
The last words of love and care. She passed away in her arms. I understand how painful that would be. My heart was broken when I heard about it.
The same thing happened earlier with our other hen. She also died suddenly with same qualities like this one but afterwards, Kooki felt alone as her mate passed away. We took even more care of her, like a baby.
The most unbelievable fact that wanted to share is that Kooki had 2 major accidents. She had fallen from 3 storey building twice but she survived – so strong she was.
As my father was a veterinarian he cured her with medicine, and she was very active even after the accident.
She was clever. She shook our hand like dog, came running behind us if she needed food, slept on our chest if she need care and attention.
Today was the darkest day for us. I just wanted the world to know how good she was and this will be our tribute to her.
Thanks Kooki, for all the time and love you gave us. We will be keeping all the memories safely with us forever in our heart.
"MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PEACE"
~Jagadish Sahu, Odisha, India.
(Kalona. Iowa, USA)
Trixie ready to perch
I lost Trixie, my Golden Laced Wyandotte yesterday. She struggled with the high temperatures we had but I pulled her through.
Went out for afternoon cuddles and treats yesterday, and she had been gone for hours. Nice weather, no trauma, just gone. I can only assume it was Sudden Death Syndrome.
When I got my box of chicks, she had a very strong personality. For a couple days I even wondered if she would be top chicken. She wasn't. She was a terror to everyone below her in the pecking order.
She absolutely did not want to be touched! I even tried petting her with a turkey feather and she would have none of it. So I trained her to perch on my arm for special treat time.
You could see the intelligence in her eyes. She would think things over before making decisions (unless someone else had something she wanted).
She may have been problematic but she was loved.
Fluffy, Elvira, & Doris
I haven’t had a moment to process the emotion of the loss of my dear chickens. When we bought our home in Maine, I told my husband I needed chickens and these were among the first few that started our flock.
These three ladies were my favorite of our flock. Polish chickens with a whole lot of personality. My favorite of the was fluffy (named by my niece).
Every day these ladies brought me joy, and when I would count them after a day of free ranging, I would look for them first.
This morning was a rainy morning, some of our newer young hens were out in the caged area of the enclosure. And Nutty, our Polish rooster, looked wet and distraught.
One of the young chicks was blocking the door to the coop, and wasn’t moving. I quickly went out to find she was dead. I asked my husband to check on the rest because I couldn’t do it myself.
There he found the bodies of 3 more… one newer hen, and Elvira and Fluffy. Doris has been taken from us in a similar fashion weeks prior. I have a motion sensor camera that has saved my flock from a fisher, and I’m devastated that it had failed me this time.
I’m so sad, and I miss them so much already. These muffins were so loved, and I failed them.
It saddens me that weasels just kill for sport. We drove further into the woods to give these beloved hens back to land. Doris, Fluffy, Elvira, and our new hens we will think about you often.
There is a hole in my heart tonight. I only hope we were able to keep out any further threats to the rest of our flock with the securing we did today.
Gertie was my beautiful girl. She was like a support animal. I spent up to 3 hours a day with her and her sisters.
She was very affectionate and would insist sitting on my head in the evening.
My daughter loved her very much too. She was the alpha, so my other chickies are a little lost and grieving.
It’s day five since her death by my neighbour's race dog and l am still sobbing for her. She was only 5 months old.
I never knew l could become so bonded with a chicken.
I love you Gertie, always. ❤️
In memory of our sweet girls, Granny and Ruth.
I dreamed of having chickens my entire life. Granny and her three sisters were my 23rd birthday present from my parents. I remember feeling so clueless at first trying to figure out how to care for my new feathered babies.
They grew up and grew into their personalities. Ruth was my girl. She was a beautiful black Australorp. She would always want to be in my presence. Always wanted pets and love. She was the responsible hen, always protecting the others. If she saw me, she would literally RUN to wherever I was. She was the sweetest bird ever.
Granny was a Polish Hen. We named her Granny because her head had a white feathered crown that looked like a granny in rollers. She was the hen with 10 lives. She was always putting herself in danger: running out of the gate, roosting in the woods, getting lost from her sisters - she survived a dog attack.
She was a handful… the most flighty little creature. She was the most difficult bird to catch. She was as fast as lightning and scared of everything! But we loved her so much. Her little personality always cracked us up. She was so mischievous. She was so dear to us.
We moved into the country, and lost both of our sweet girls this year to predator attacks. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from the loss of my babies.
I will always remember them and cherish their memories.
Fro Fro with a matching personality
My Fro Fro was a Polish hen with a salt'n'pepper poof! She had these beautiful brown eyes that you couldn’t really see.
She would wake us up at 5:30 am every morning to let us know she was up and ready to come out for the day! The best part about her is I could go outside and she would hear my voice and come running.
I could hold her and cuddle with her at anytime and she was happy to let me.
I do not know how she passed away, she just collapsed and started to have a seizure. I tried everything I could think of to save her but she passed away in my arms. She was only a year and half.
My Mother Hen because she was a great mother
(Australia NSW Grafton)
Me and my son bought 2 buff laced and 2 gold laced Wyandotte hens. At the time we did not know what we were buying, but quickly realised when people were offering money for the them. So these buff laced are pretty rare.
I called her mother hen as she was a fantastic mother. She just finished raising 16 chicks – they are at point of lay now and we have a nice rooster from her.
Today I let her out of coop and she was doing all her usual things. She was healthy, no sign of blood, no broken neck. I just found her in the paddock, dead. My Isa browns were pecking feathers out, but they were not the cause.
I am totally heartbroken. She was my favourite. We showed her at our local show along with her parter, our rooster who we lost last month to illness.
She came into our lives in September of 2021 and left August 4, 2022. She was in our lives too brief a time.
She always made her presence known with her screaming. We would give anything to hear her scream again. She loved watermelons, bugs and dust baths.
We will miss you, our little Leghorn. You will always be in our hearts and you will always be part of our flock.
Neptune the Great
by Nicole Sass
You’ve never ever met a rooster like Neptune. He was the most gentle, friendly, loving adorable little bantam Speckled Sussex you ever did see.
I got him and his three hens (who are giant) as babies at the feed store. He was supposed to be a large hen too, but alas, we got a tiny, perfect little fella.
Neptune was the joy of our flock, and of my heart. I lost my mom in 2020, and Neptune came into the house shortly after. We aren’t even allowed roosters but his tiny crow and gentle manner even persuaded the neighbors to be okay with him staying.
This morning my dad, who took him down from his spot safe in our garage found him maimed in his cage by a raccoon who got in through a small crack in the garage door.
We are devastated. My granddaughter is too young to understand but they were best pals, she will wonder why he never gets to come up for evening visits before bed. And his hens are wandering the yard aimlessly, a hard blow after losing a hen this week to a flying fiasco.
This little rooster was the best rooster who ever roosted. I surely hope that if there’s a heaven for a chicken that I see him there.
You were truly the best friend to us all. We will miss you forever, you set the bar 🧡
Eggy Sue was our very first chicken. We got her four years ago and she was always our tamest hen. She would squat for me to pick her up and cuddle her or swing with her in the hammock.
When she was about one, a stray dog attacked our flock and killed a couple of our birds. Later that day I found Eggy huddled in the fig tree looking sick. When I picked her up I saw she had also been attacked and her breast was laid right open almost like a fillet at the butcher's.
My first thought was to put her out of her misery but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I cleaned her wound and treated it with silver spray then put her in a clean cage.
I truly didn't think she would last the night, but she did, and went on to fully recover. Eggy hatched several eggs later that year (the first chicks we bred ourselves) and was a great Mum.
Her favourite thing was being hand fed sunflower seeds. Recently she had some gastric upsets but seemed Ok in herself. But this afternoon, I heard a squawk and saw her flailing on her back with clear liquid pouring from her beak.
Before I could even get from my chair to reach her, she had died. I feel terrible and keep thinking it was something I did (or didn't).
She will really be missed.
I lost my sweet girl, Mercy
by April Stiles
(Columbia, TN, USA)
Mercy, my Sapphire Gem
I brought home day old Sapphire Gem chicks (3 of them) to add to my tiny flock of 2 Barred Rock hens. The Rocks were only 6 months old and I wanted more than just two chickens. My two Barred Rocks are Mattie and Mitzi.
I named my 3 baby Gems Mercy, Millie, and Metta. Mercy was about a month old when she got her name. I had the chicks outside in the shade in a large wire dog crate near the Rocks so they could get used to each other. Also, it was nice for the Gems to hang out in the grass and enjoy some nature.
I came out to check on them after about an hour and something had tried to snag Mercy. She had a claw mark and blood under one wing. A hawk, I think. I thought "Someone had mercy on her"...that's how she got her name. I was sure a lot more careful after that about leaving them outside alone, even in the protection of a wire crate!
Mercy was a bit shy, but who could blame her after the hawk incident? She was an excellent layer and my largest hem. She was a sweet and pretty girl!
I baby my girls. They are pampered and spoiled. I check on them multiple times a day. They get "housekeeping" done to their coop every other day. I am very aware of how they are doing. Their run is covered with plastic netting and secure. I had given them some cut up cold cucumber to help with the heat early yesterday, and then later I gave them a bit of noodles and cooked chick peas.
A couple hours later, I took my puppy out to potty and noticed something was wrong. I took the puppy back inside and went to check. Mercy was laying in an area where they often get down into the dirt to rest.
She looked like she had just fallen over and died. No blood, no struggle, no wounds. 2 hours earlier she seemed fine. She would have been 1 yr old in two weeks.
I buried her this morning with tears streaming down my face under her favorite tree.
Henry the handsome rooster
by Sue Forga
Henry simply arrived one day in our garden. He was still young and quite small. I don't know what breed he was but he had wonderful plumage! Mostly black with gold feathers around his neck and back cascading down on either side of his back behind his wings. His wings and tail were florescent green and beautifully lush.
He was not welcomed by my husband who chased him daily, but next day he was always back. One day he arrived with a hen! We named her Dot because she is small, also black with golden splashes on her chest and wings.
They were very devoted to each other and so charming together. Henry was a perfect gentleman and helped her raise some chicks. The chicks are roos too. Oh dear!
Henry is gone now. He fell down dead from his perch in a tree two nights ago and we are very 😔 sad.
We buried him near his favourite tree. We love you Henry and will always remember you.❤
Sue and Irvinexxx