Aug 19, 2017
114
90
111
Mississippi Gulf Coast
I woke up this morning to my sweet Sinbad crowing. I went out to give my chirpies their treats and tell them good morning. They were already out. I thought perhaps my sweetheart had let them out since he was up for me. I went inside to ask him. When he said he hadn't, I asked him if he had seen Tillie. He hadn't so we went out looking for her. She wasn't inside the coop; I couldn't find her in the run. Then he told me to come to him, not to look, and just walk to him. Tillie was up by the fence. Something had gotten her. I would guess it was a possum. Whatever it was, was not able to carry her over the fence. I got something to wrap her up so I can bury her. All I can do is cry.

Anyone who lives on or has lived on a farm, and had any animals will understand. I am not sure others really do. As pet owners, or livestock owners, or, even back yard chicken parents, we are responsible. We are responsible for their shelter, food, care when not feeling well, and their safety. They can't feed themselves, so we make sure they are fed. We have to give them clean water. We watch them and look closely to make sure they do not have any ailments. Tillie had a little black spot on her comb. I researched it, found a picture that indicated it was dry fowl pox. I treated it and it went away. My other three chirpies never did get it despite it being contagious and them being close to each other. I remember Dad treating the whole herd of cows when even one had pink eye. They were so tame, he would just walk up to them and put that blue medicine in their eyes.

I make my puppy boys dog food. He is six years old and he had some skin and coat issues. I researched and found the proper proportion of protein, fiber, fat, and began giving him daily vitamins. Entering the ingredients into a recipe calorie counter site gave all the nutritional information. I brought that to my vet. He said it was good food, but, to cut down on quantity because he had gained too much weight. Now he gets it once a day instead of two, and dry food to eat at will.

I baby my chickens. I go out and visit with them any time I go outside. They see us driving up the drive and come running. In the winter, when it is cold in South Mississippi, I fix them hot oatmeal and add some corn. Corn raises their body temperature. That is why they get very little corn, unless the occasional fresh ear of corn when it is hot. I make them "flock blocks" with nuts and raisins and healthy grains for them to peck at. They get yogurt and watermelon when it is hot.They get scratch and mealy worms every day. I put ice in their water when it is hot. I buy them toys, they have a swing, and three tires filled with sand and soil for their dirt baths. I had four birds, now, I have three.

I try to do everything right. But, last night I forgot to close up their coop. There is a fence, but, it isn't covered.

We are coming up with a new plan. We are going to move them where we can see them more easily. We are going to build a new coop and covered run, put up an electric fence, and automatic door. I got a solar light, too.

For right now, I am going to go bury my sweet black Australorp, Matilda, aka Tillie, and try to quit feeling so dang guilty...

I tried to do everything right. I am not trying to make any
 

mviera101

Songster
Jul 17, 2019
283
772
147
S. Fla
You sound like just the nicest most caring pet owner. Loving, loyal , and nurturing to one and all. Being a chicken parent is tough because like many other pets, they are prey animals, keeping them safe from those predators is difficult. Mine are pets as well and it hurts when they pass. You gave her the best life. 💕
 

OppingtonBuffBrothers

In the Brooder
Oct 24, 2020
4
29
26
Massachusetts
I am so sorry for your loss. We love them, we care for them and do our best to give them the very best life we can. We treat their illnesses, take care to keep them safe, and provide the proper food and nutrients so they grow and thrive. Our kids, whether they are feathered, fur or clothed all have times when we wish we could hit a reset button and have a do-over. And we learn from these heartbreaking moments. Clearly you care deeply for your feathered friends and have plans to improve the critter control. That uninvited critter needs to be dealt with and it sounds like you have a plan. Perhaps a Have-A-Heart trap may be considered as well? As heartbreaking as it is when things like this occur...we learn we need to out do their desire to harm the ones we love. Tillie sounds like she lived a good life and I hope the pain eases soon and you can smile at the memories you have of her again even sooner. 😊
 

mcdze

Chirping
Sep 9, 2020
178
223
71
know how you feel .. you invest so much time and emotional attachment to them then something like that happens .. to be honest i took a break from raising chickens for a year several years back because i lost almost my entire flock to a hawk raid, i was just done with it, i had put so much into them, i really loved a couple of them they were special, they were my friends ...
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
24,349
15,575
751
Florida
My Coop
Thanks I checked for mites and lice and didn't see anything. She is really quite flakey though also. More than usual. Those lines that run across the feathers I have never seen for sure. No fights. But cold weather yes.
I feel your pain. I lost my most favorite bird to a fox. I cried. She was such a love. I did get the fox. I beat myself up for a long time that I didn't put her back in her pen while I was distracted. (if only) Luckily I have a lot of pictures of my Gladys. She will always be in my heart. Good luck...
 
Aug 19, 2017
114
90
111
Mississippi Gulf Coast
I am so sorry for your loss. We love them, we care for them and do our best to give them the very best life we can. We treat their illnesses, take care to keep them safe, and provide the proper food and nutrients so they grow and thrive. Our kids, whether they are feathered, fur or clothed all have times when we wish we could hit a reset button and have a do-over. And we learn from these heartbreaking moments. Clearly you care deeply for your feathered friends and have plans to improve the critter control. That uninvited critter needs to be dealt with and it sounds like you have a plan. Perhaps a Have-A-Heart trap may be considered as well? As heartbreaking as it is when things like this occur...we learn we need to out do their desire to harm the ones we love. Tillie sounds like she lived a good life and I hope the pain eases soon and you can smile at the memories you have of her again even sooner. 😊
Yes, I will live trap it and relocate. I think it’s a possum and it’s just being a possum. Thank you.
 

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