I loved her, so I had to Kill her


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 20, 2011
All this information about Sour Crops/ Squishy Crops/Impacted Crops, and nothing would work. Do this, do that, and no success? It's hard to take. I did everything I could and still, it came down to this: I loved her so much, she couldn't suffer any longer. I'm angry, I'm frustrated, I don't even know if I should continue. At first, I said I wouldn't give them a name so I shouldn't become attached...but I named her first anyway...Nosey Nelly. She was always the first to come running when I called, and was the first to show me that Chickens are so much more than many people give them credit for.
I look at the rest of my flock now, and it just feels so empty.


9 Years
Nov 10, 2010
NE Wisconsin
So sorry for your loss.

Just remember, you gave her the best life you could. Sometimes all we can do is not enough.
It takes a strong person to realize that an animal is suffering and that it is time to end that life.
You did it out of love, and she loved you for that.

Uniontown Poultry

9 Years
Sep 7, 2010
Southwestern Pennsylvania
I am so sorry for your loss.

When I lost my barred Rock rooster (Stars & Stripes II) to pneumonia, I was depressed for at least a week. I'd hatched him from a chick, raised him myself and watched him for 2 years, and one morning - he was dead. I cried so long, and it also occurred to me how silly some people would think I was, crying over a dead chicken. But there can be something exceptional about a chicken. They can become your pet when that was the furthest thing from your intention. They earn names that are very different from the ones we give them (I have a Nellie that for the past 7 years is known simply as "Greedyguts"), or else they earn names when we intend to keep them anonymous and at arm's length, like Nosey Nelly. I think some chickens have more personality than some people do. So it is no wonder that we would grow so close to them and mourn their passing.

At least Nosey Nelly got to have her life ended by the people who cared most about her, and not die painfully and slowly from her ailment, or violently from some predator. When you end your beloved bird's suffering, you can take heart in knowing that you really, really loved them. You honored their uniqueness, their special-ness, the thing that made them worm their way into your heart & not be "just a chicken."

The great sadness that we feel when losing a pet bird is a reflection of how much they meant to us, and by comparison, makes the good times and the memories more vivid. When you have to put your feathered friend down, you experience some of the worst feelings associated with keeping poultry; when you can see personalities emerge from your other birds, or from new birds, and watch them scrabble over treats (that running-with-food thing is one of my favorites), you can experience some of the best feelings.

Let yourself grieve, but don't give up on your dear girl's flockmates. There'll be a Nosey-Nelly-shaped hole in the chicken yard for awhile, to be sure. If she was a dominant chicken in the pecking order, one of her sisters may start showing more personality & emerge as another special chicken friend. It happens frequently that the friendly, outgoing hen is the dominant one, and the lower hens submerge their personalities somewhat out of deference. When I put my dominant hen in the fair for 10 days, I started seeing all sorts of new behaviors from the lower hens that were left at home, and even some aloof and shy girls became more outgoing and even gregarious (until dominant hen returned when the fair ended). You are totally not alone in this; most of us have been where you are. You are in our thoughts. This will get better.


Free Ranging
12 Years
Feb 14, 2008
This world is not my home.
Kudos to you for showing true love and compassion to your chicken. It never feels good nor does it get any easier, but next time you will know what to do much sooner if need be.


10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
Quote:Thank you so much for what you said. I'm crying. I know you said it for the OP, but it touches my heart so much right now. My 2-1/2 year little EE, Zsa Zsa, died last night. After 2 days of being very sick, late last night she slipped into a coma-like flacid state and her abdomen was an extremely high temperature. When I saw her I did the unthinkable and broke her neck, to end her suffering, all while crying my eyes out and telling her how much I love her. I'm still a mess today. It's eerily quiet without her. Early this a.m. we buried her under her favorite resting spot in the yard. I can't stop thinking about her.

Uniontown Poultry

9 Years
Sep 7, 2010
Southwestern Pennsylvania
Bless you, feathersnuggles. My heart is with you as well, and I am sorry for your loss of Zsa Zsa.

I know that when my Greedyguts dies (let that not be soon) I will probably need to miss work, I will be so upset. You'll see me posting on here looking for support.

Sometimes I think losing a pet chicken hurts even worse than losing a dog or cat. Everyone expects a dog or cat to be loving, interesting and endearing, but they look at a pet chicken as just livestock, like they are just things. Folks aren't as empathetic. But we "Chicken People", we are a lucky few who get to see what the others miss.


Lone Star Call Ducks
10 Years
Aug 3, 2009
You didn't kill her, you ended her suffering. Big difference.
I'm so sorry for your loss.

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