Pet Hen passed this a.m. What to tell 3 year old daughter?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by EDM Mike, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. EDM Mike

    EDM Mike In the Brooder

    Feb 26, 2012
    I rescued 3 hens a month ago and one had VERY bad, infected bite wounds. After seeing a vet and getting her on antibiotics ahe responded very well, so well that she laid the first egg since I got her on Friday. I noticed last night that she was acting as if she was egg bound. I checked and could not feel an egg but I soaked her in warm water for 20 mins, used a hair dryer to dry her and covered her crate with a blanket. This morning when I checked on her she was panting and had drool on her beak, I stayed with her and was petting her softly, then she slid of her perch and passed away.... I have spent every night with her for a month and even had her at the vet for a folllow up last week and the vet couldn't believe how well she was doing... It was quite a shock

    What do I tell my 3 year old daughter happened to her pet Blackie?

  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger 10 Years

    I think honesty is the best way to deal with it, but in a child sensitive manner. I would say that she got very very sick, and dispute everything you did to save her she couldn't get better. That she tried really hard to get better, but just couldn't. Now she is in chicken heaven with everyone's else's special chickens to keep her company.
  3. Kids take cues from adults. If you play it down, like a fact of life and a normal thing, then she will be fine, but if you tear up and fall apart............
  4. EDM Mike

    EDM Mike In the Brooder

    Feb 26, 2012
    I am so bummed... she was doing so good, at least I was there with her when she passed.

    I know I am making a bigger deal out of it than my daughter will because she is so young, just breaks my heart because she talks about her chickens, especially Blackie, to everyone. Just one downside to having pets.

    I just want to make sure I say the right thing so she doesn't think blackie will be coming back.

  5. Symphony

    Symphony Vanilla, Little Airt Airt

    I agree with the first replyer
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    She may very well not understand and talk about the hen coming back. Death is a hard concept for three year olds, and they often thing the dead will be back later. It's a normal developmental thing, quite ordinary. Just tell her Blackie was hurt too badly to stay with you and had to go. Kids are quite resilliant, I think often the adults make a bigger deal of a pet passing than the child would. As stated, she will take her cues from you. Share your grief with her, It's okay to be sad and miss her and cry a little, but you don't get hysterical or stay in bed for days. Fact is, if you're gonna have animals, they're gonna die on you. She'll be better growing up understanding that and just having it a fact of life.
  7. Presidential

    Presidential In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2012
    Honesty is the best policy! Kids deal with death of a pet so much better than adults... Watch the Lion King and talk about the circle of life.

    When my son was that age, our labrador was attacked by coyote - we tried everything to save that beloved dog, but eventually he died. My son (age 3) told us that it was like his battery ran out of charge. He missed the dog very much - but, at that young age... He got it.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012

  8. " honey, your sweetie died, but she is with Jesus now!"

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