I have chicken anxiety?

thecarmiearmy

Chirping
Sep 17, 2019
39
173
80
Twin Peaks
I've dubbed myself with something I like to call chicken anxiety. Now I'm not scared of chickens or anything like that. But I noticed something. Ever since Blacky (my prairie bluebell) passed away back in September, I've felt very nervous not spending a lot of time with my chickens. To the point where it's affecting my mental health (stress levels and nerves.) If I don't spend a certain amount of time with them daily, I get antsy, filled with anxiety and have to check on them.
I guess it makes sense, because Blacky passed away in my neighbor's yard. She flew over the fence and their dogs got her. But that's the thing, there's almost no chance of my other chickens flying the fence. Almost. They're aware of how Blacky passed and what happened, so they know not to. But my two hens are still very capable of flying the fence. I don't think they ever would, but... it stays in the back of my head. I'll ask myself, "Am I spending enough time with them?". I want to make sure I'm with them as much as possible before they pass. Blacky was a freak accident. There was no way for me to know that she'd randomly hop the fence.

I love my girls and rooster. I just don't know how to calm my nerves and let my chickens be chickens, and how to let me live my life without being constantly stressed. Has anyone else felt this before? Have you experienced this after a chicken passed away? I'd like to hear what you guys have to share. I just feel really alone in this.
 

CapricornFarm

Waiting for spring
Premium member
Feb 1, 2010
58,316
188,772
1,727
Southern Virginia
I've dubbed myself with something I like to call chicken anxiety. Now I'm not scared of chickens or anything like that. But I noticed something. Ever since Blacky (my prairie bluebell) passed away back in September, I've felt very nervous not spending a lot of time with my chickens. To the point where it's affecting my mental health (stress levels and nerves.) If I don't spend a certain amount of time with them daily, I get antsy, filled with anxiety and have to check on them.
I guess it makes sense, because Blacky passed away in my neighbor's yard. She flew over the fence and their dogs got her. But that's the thing, there's almost no chance of my other chickens flying the fence. Almost. They're aware of how Blacky passed and what happened, so they know not to. But my two hens are still very capable of flying the fence. I don't think they ever would, but... it stays in the back of my head. I'll ask myself, "Am I spending enough time with them?". I want to make sure I'm with them as much as possible before they pass. Blacky was a freak accident. There was no way for me to know that she'd randomly hop the fence.

I love my girls and rooster. I just don't know how to calm my nerves and let my chickens be chickens, and how to let me live my life without being constantly stressed. Has anyone else felt this before? Have you experienced this after a chicken passed away? I'd like to hear what you guys have to share. I just feel really alone in this.
Do yourself a favor and build a covered run. The chickens may still fly next door.
 

thecarmiearmy

Chirping
Sep 17, 2019
39
173
80
Twin Peaks
Do yourself a favor and build a covered run. The chickens may still fly next door.
That sounds like a good, safe idea. I think I'd just be sad not letting them have freedom of our whole yard. Maybe I could extend the top of the fence. Like out and over facing our side, so maybe they'd have a harder time flying on top?? I'm still not sure though...
 

SoftSilkie

Crowing
Sep 4, 2019
831
4,550
372
Idaho
Consider clipping their wings.

Every time after one of my chickens passes I feel bad, and almost always cry. But after one or maybe two good cries I am done mourning. I still miss the lost chicken, but I don't break out crying at every thought of them.

I'm sorry you lost one. Hopefully you'll feel better soon:hugs
 

BGcoop

Songster
Aug 5, 2018
409
1,199
196
While it is perfectly ok to be sad at the loss of a pet for a while, and to want to do things to prevent any further losses, that level of anxiety (months later, feeling antsy and HAVING to check on them/spend a certain amount of time with them) does not sound exactly “normal”:hugs. Do you find you have anxiety issues in other areas of your life as well? Have you talked to your health care provider about this issue?
I also agree that providing a secure run for them and only letting them out to roam when it suits YOU may alleviate some of your anxiety.
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium member
Aug 26, 2009
123,313
162,016
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Out to pasture
I agree with putting a cover on the run, if it is solid material it will also offer some protection from the elements as well as extremely motivated predators.

I think it is a lot like having cats. Some owners let them roam the neighborhood - not knowing if a car, predator or some cat hater got a hold of them. Other owners keep them as inside cats from the first day they have them. Cats get used to "what is," and adjust.
 

TwoCrows

Inuit Raven
Staff member
Premium member
Mar 21, 2011
38,629
43,661
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New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
So sorry for your loss @thecarmiearmy :hugs

When you become attached to living things and care about them on a very deep level, not only is the loss of 1 traumatic but just the idea of losing more becomes all the more stressful. I get it, you are worried about them! Each of us is wired up differently and some of us, myself included allow our worries to manifest as stress. :hugs

Just do your best to protect them and appreciate these times with your birds, one day you may look back and miss these days.

Best of luck to you! :)
 

silkiekeeper

Songster
May 16, 2018
1,205
1,902
236
SE Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I love my girls and rooster. I just don't know how to calm my nerves and let my chickens be chickens, and how to let me live my life without being constantly stressed. Has anyone else felt this before? Have you experienced this after a chicken passed away? I'd like to hear what you guys have to share. I just feel really alone in this.
What I've noticed in myself, and in some others with anxiety issues, is when my anxiety is high I tend to obsess about things. And when bad things happen to my chickens, my anxieties worsen and I obsess about them. Sounds silly, but my chickens have taught me a lot about myself and my insecurities. In the beginning, I worried about EVERYTHING to the point I was so stressed that I considered abandoning the hobby altogether. In reality, what I was doing was judging/punishing myself because I failed to save the ones that passed. I still get anxious about them sometimes, but not nearly as bad. Try to appreciate the time you have with them, and remember that bad things will inevitably happen and sometimes there is nothing we can do about it. It took quite a few losses to feel the way I do now. I still get sad when they die (even cry), but I'm able to move on a lot more quickly. You'll harden up over time. :) I'm sorry for your loss.
 

Abriana

Spicy Sugar Cookie
Apr 26, 2017
4,689
47,876
1,127
Midgard
You can use electronet fencing, it's pretty easy to move (fifty foot is much easier than hundred foot) so you can always give them fresh grass, and I've only had one hen ever over the course of my three years of chicken actually repeatedly get out (still don't know how she did it, I never actually saw her do it). I've never had a ground predator attack while using it. It is solar powered (occasionally you may have to manually charge, if it's been a cloudy few days). Either than, or you can use a run (harder to move, if you can move it at all, but more protection) or clip their wings. I'm sorry you lost your girl :hugs
 

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