Poultry Ownership and Dealing with Loss (From a Tenderhearted Farmer)

It's hard to find words right now that do at least equal justice to the theme of this article. The last year has been rather hard on us. One of our oldest rescue fur-kids lived 7+ years(into early summer) with us to approx 13+ years old. Of our 28 chicks, we've lost 3; all for significantly different stages and reasons. The time and effort & love we pure into them all is rewarding; even though it's for a short lifespan.
Our journey into Chicken Keeping has been an emotional experience. Tenderhearted Farmer reminds us of the joy and the sorrow of raising such loved birds. We have lost 6 of our original flock that we began this summer due to multiple reasons from birth defects to disease and injury. I hurt for the loss of each unique friend, but mostly for my partner in poultry, my granddaughter. The sentiments expressed in the article echo our own beliefs that there is a silver lining that each bird was loved and cared for to the best of our ability making our experience worth while for us and our feathered friends. Thank you for giving us the words to explain that loss and sorrow are not failure, the silver lining was each day with us was a day of comfort and love.
We all feel the loss, and sometimes make mistakes but we just fix issues as found and ask advice when needed. No one way is perfect, we all have to decide what works best for our flocks, we share ideas and each one of us decides what works best for our flocks and us.
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Thank you for this. I’m going to hold onto this as my sweet little pulleys get ready to move to their coop.
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As someone who has lost every favored bird to predators, this really spoke to me. Very well put. Thank you.
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A good look at the chicken keepers heart. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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A wonderful article to honor those we have lost.
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Very good! So sorry for what happened! But you’re right, at least she was loved while she lived. And surely she knew it!
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Thank you so much, I needed this article today. I love the words you ended with.
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That was perfectly said. I made it to the end before tears started forming! So very true about it always seeming to be the most loved chicken that gets killed.
What a lovely perspective on owning, raising and ultimately loving such a high risk animal.

Knowing so much can, and probably will go wrong it's wonderful to think about the life they're getting in the meantime. Yes, I'm now a crazy chicken lady! Yes, I love these goofy girls like pets! Yes, my husband now recognizes the crazy with a quiet resignation! But at the end of each day I feel pride as I put our beautiful, freshly washed eggs away and joy when I say goodnight to my girls.

I get to have joy every day and as a result, so will they!
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I love your article. That is exactly how i feel regarding my flock. I am always apprehensive that I will loose one of them, so I count heads every night. Still when tempted to keep them locked up in the run, I remind myself how wonderfully happy, natural, and real life is to them when they are free roaming all over the place. Not to mention how more tastier their eggs are! So far, and I knock on wood not to jinx me, I have my entire flock of 23. Mixed heritage breeds, which include to magnificent roosters to herd them and protect them. Also, two guinea hens that provide warning in case of danger. And a pair of beautiful African Geese that are great watch dogs. I do have the run and coop under a canopy of trees which will stop any bird of prey from sweeping in and grab one. I do hope all the time they will be safe. Thank you for a great article.

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Great picture! They look like fun characters!
Thank you for your kind words.
Great article and thank you for writing it. This is our first time raising chickens and our babies are 8 weeks old and 3 weeks old. We hatched all 17 of them. I have always wanted to have chickens but was surprised at how much we love them. They have won our hearts in such a short time. We built what we hope is Ft. Knox but I know at some point we will probably lose one. It terrifies me to think of it. Your article was really well written and heartfelt. Thank you.
I have had a lot of loss with all our poultry. But it's the quality of life and the exception that predators are all part of poultry ownership. I try my hardest to be very aware while they free range...but the inevitable will most definitely happen at some point or another. At least they had a great life for a chicken/turkey/duck while they are here.
I enjoyed that very much, very well said. I also enjoyed the charming photo.
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Healthy slant on a worry for me. I will keep this wisdom in my head and heart.
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