Horrible chicken accident with my daughter

alohamoa

Chirping
Dec 8, 2015
27
27
87
Something terrible happened today. My four year old daughter was playing with the chickens like she always does while I was nearby puttering around the farm. We leave and walk back to our house. When I return to feed about three hours later I open the feed container and inside are two hens that my daughter trapped.
One is dead and the other one jumps right out and carries on with life. I am obviously horrified and know I’m 100% to blame for not supervising my kid more closely. Feeling all kinds of guilt of failing as a mom etc etc....Needless to say she is no longer going in without me watching her closely.
Now that the initial shock has somewhat worn off my curious mind can’t help but wonder how the Australorp died while the Barred Rock was fine? Maybe the BR trampled it? Or it suffocated? The Australorp was definitely lower on the pecking order but it had no wounds.
Also, my daughter doing this obviously has me worried. She loves her chickens and can’t wait to hold them and pet them every day and I can’t believe she did this. Anybody have any stories to share of their kids doing harmful things to animals without thinking anything of it? Thanks in advance.
 

alohamoa

Chirping
Dec 8, 2015
27
27
87
Sorry :(. My 8 year old loves her chickens too, but she sometimes has to chase them catch them, though she's never harmed them, this is stressful for them. She has turned a couple of roosters aggressive by doing this. She's not allowed around them unsupervised. Do you have any roosters?
Yes, I do have one rooster, thankfully he is mellow...
 

alohamoa

Chirping
Dec 8, 2015
27
27
87
I'm so sorry this happened, but I am impressed with your ability to process this and learn from it. Your daughter is too young to understand what she did, but it seems like a valuable lesson for her, too. 😞
Thank you. It started raining in the afternoon and we hiked through the pasture and she carried it while we looked for a good spot to bury it. I still don’t think she understands death but I hope she’ll remember the experience.
 

Egg Snatcher

Crowing
May 11, 2020
1,656
2,997
291
My sister when she was smaller was holding a chick and squeeze it way, way to hard... And killed it.
This year I accidentally stepped on a 2-3 month old Pullet. She died.
Maybe your daughter was trying to cetch the hen, not kill them.
 

DogAndCat36

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
2,089
5,740
426
Northern Maine
Something terrible happened today. My four year old daughter was playing with the chickens like she always does while I was nearby puttering around the farm. We leave and walk back to our house. When I return to feed about three hours later I open the feed container and inside are two hens that my daughter trapped.
One is dead and the other one jumps right out and carries on with life. I am obviously horrified and know I’m 100% to blame for not supervising my kid more closely. Feeling all kinds of guilt of failing as a mom etc etc....Needless to say she is no longer going in without me watching her closely.
Now that the initial shock has somewhat worn off my curious mind can’t help but wonder how the Australorp died while the Barred Rock was fine? Maybe the BR trampled it? Or it suffocated? The Australorp was definitely lower on the pecking order but it had no wounds.
Also, my daughter doing this obviously has me worried. She loves her chickens and can’t wait to hold them and pet them every day and I can’t believe she did this. Anybody have any stories to share of their kids doing harmful things to animals without thinking anything of it? Thanks in advance.
Wow. It is kinda hard to type. Kids develop and they adjust, over time they grow the capacity of more empathy and thought to properly recognize right from wrong. :hugs
I don't know how to answer most of your questions but I do know some stories. When I was really young I accidentally got a chick stuck in a hole in a plastic tote when I tried to push her through and I only feed my chickens about one time every two days during winter, they died... My family left an 8 year old to care for chickens. I fricking hate what I did so much. I still remember my thoughts at that age. I was curious, did not think of their emotion and I was easily distracted from them and lazy. From what I can guess your kid most likely wanted to feed the chickens or put them somewhere so that she could hold them later that day or she just didn't think about it and did it out of curiosity.
 

alohamoa

Chirping
Dec 8, 2015
27
27
87
My sister when she was smaller was holding a chick and squeeze it way, way to hard... And killed it.
This year I accidentally stepped on a 2-3 month old Pullet. She died.
Maybe your daughter was trying to cetch the hen, not kill them.
Yeah, she is a good girl, I think she must have thought it was funny. Accidents happen.
 

alohamoa

Chirping
Dec 8, 2015
27
27
87
Wow. It is kinda hard to type. Kids develop and they adjust, over time they grow the capacity of more empathy and thought to properly recognize right from wrong. :hugs
I don't know how to answer most of your questions but I do know some stories. When I was really young I accidentally got a chick stuck in a hole in a plastic tote when I tried to push her through and I only feed my chickens about one time every two days during winter, they died... My family left an 8 year old to care for chickens. I fricking hate what I did so much. I still remember my thoughts at that age. I was curious, did not think of their emotion and I was easily distracted from them and lazy. From what I can guess your kid most likely wanted to feed the chickens or put them somewhere so that she could hold them later that day or she just didn't think about it and did it out of curiosity.
Yeah. Thanks for sharing your story!
 

BaaKaaawk

Coopster
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 4, 2011
917
2,801
321
Lexington, KY
Let's break this into two parts... kids and chickens.

KID: You, mother did nothing wrong. Nor did your child. The situation is terrible but your daughter likely left the chickens in the feed bin because your fat ladies were in there having a grand old time at the buffet and she knows to close the feed bin when you leave. Or possibly she just wanted to put them in the feed bin because it's food and what a better place for chickens! There's no chance of any ill will there- and like any parent you just have to do your best and sometimes things happens, no one is perfect. I wouldn't even mention the dead chicken to her, but it wouldn't hurt to say something simple like "and let's make sure there are no chickens in the feed bin when we leave or close it".

CHICKEN: It's incredible that your Aus. didn't make it, sorry to hear that- but I have to think somehow it was just her time. Judging that the BR did fine and given the relatively short period of time- something "odd" happened. Usually in the dark chickens will just hunker down, it's nature. Likely in this case the BR decided to go a bit nuts trying to get out (or both of them) and it escalated when they were running into each other in the dark and that there was unlevel ground (feed) moving under their feet - there was an accident of birds smashing into birds. No visible injury likely means some kind of blunt force issue- likely a neck break. Or, something just unknowable or pre-existing condition that manifested just then. I suppose it is possible that she suffocated too, but given that the BR just "jumped out" that doesn't seem likely to me because she would have been low on air at that point too and a single breath isn't going to magically revive her in 1 second. There's also the chance something happened before the chicken was in the bin and she was placed in there, maybe your daughter accidentally squeezed her too hard or grabbed her by the head, or was too rough putting the Aus in there or put the lid on too hard and hit her. But in any of those situation a 4-year old is too young to comprehend the magnitude of death in the situation and you should just try to teach her proper handling, etc. Again, really no way to know what happened so I wouldn't go overboard.

Either way- no one is at fault and sadly chickens die all the time. It's our job to do our best to keep them alive and happy for their short chicken lives and you, and your daughter, did all you could to do that. So all is good in Chicken Karma and your life. Sad, but move on and keep enjoying the rest of your flock!
 
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