Violet, my sweet White Silkie Bantam

by Kristin
(Maryland, USA)

Violet and Sweet Pea hanging out:)

Violet and Sweet Pea hanging out:)

My family and I bought into the pandemic chicken craze last April, partly because of the rationing of eggs at our local grocer, and also in an attempt to lift the spirits of our teenager who was struggling with depression.

We bought eight chicks at the town hatchery, being advised that not all were likely to survive as chicks are very fragile. We didn’t know at first what we were getting ourselves into with this chicken business, but two months later all eight chicks were thriving and ready to move out of our basement into the large coop and run that we had built with the help of family and friends.

We didn’t know anything about the types of chickens we had purchased, my daughter had picked out the little feathered babies on her own. As we watched them grow, we learned that we had four Golden Comets, two French Cuckoo Marans, a Silver Sebright Bantam, and this fluffy looking chicken with five toes and a black beak...this was our White Silkie, and my daughter named her Violet.

Violet and the Silver Sebright (whom we named Sweet Pea) were the smallest and most timid of the flock, and they were kind of the “odd balls” so they always stuck together.

Once we moved the pullets into their new home, Violet learned that she wasn’t the best at flying, so every night she needed her momma to help her into the roosting bars so she could snuggle up with her pals.

One evening I was late getting out to the run to close up the coop for the night, and I found everyone had gone to sleep, except for sweet Violet who was still out swinging and chirping, she was waiting for her momma to put her to bed:) This was such a sweet moment, and I fortunately caught it on my phone in a short video that I will treasure forever. :)

Violet was a sweet little girl, she loved to forage when I would let them out to free range, and she loved her nightly mealworm snack... I could always hear her funny little “bawk bawk” every time I opened the gate to our backyard and made my way to the run to collect eggs and give them treats. Even though she was always a bit skittish, once I picked her up she would snuggle her little head under my arm or around my neck.

Violet had one period of being broody, for around a month, and I would have to kick her out of the nesting box every morning and evening to make sure that she got enough to eat and drink. After being broody, the other hens, mostly the Comets, would pick on her a bit, so I used to watch closely that she didn’t get hurt. Sweet Violet never fought back.

Just this past week, my daughter and I were talking about the chickens coming upon their first birthday, and joked about having a little party for them.

Then last night when I went out to give them treats and collect their eggs, when I entered the coop I walked over to check their water, and that’s when I saw her...just laying in the little dust bath area, lifeless:(.

I was instantly struck with grief. She had been acting completely normal in the morning. None of the chickens showed any signs of distress, and the weather was mild, light rain and temp around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

When I picked her up, her eyes were closed, she was just laying straight on her side...her feathers were pristine, no signs of getting pecked or any trauma.

My poor little fluffy girl was gone, with no warning, just weeks before her first birthday. I am still so heartbroken...and poor little Sweet Pea, her best buddy, seems lost without her. :(

I never knew that losing a chicken would be so sad...I knew that someday it would happen, just not this soon. xX

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So sorry for your loss.
by: Cath

Violet was such a lovely little hen, Kristin, and I am so sorry for your loss.

It's heartbreaking when a chicken who seems to have been perfectly healthy and happy in the morning is suddenly found to have died, with no obvious reason. Sadly, it's common and there is really nothing that could have been done to prevent it.

All we can do is remember that, while they are with us, we give our chickens as much love, care and attention as we can. Violet lived a good, happy life while she was with you. Many chickens cannot say that, sadly.

Allow yourself time to grieve, and you will always remember the happy times Violet left you with.

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