Remembering the birds we lost in 2010, and hoping 2011 will be better!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SilverPhoenix, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    3,105
    12
    201
    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    While this has been a great year for my flock in some ways, it's also been riddled with lots and lots of tragedies--a completely abnormal amount for me. It's heartbreaking looking back on all of them, really. Some were partly my fault (though certainly not intentional), others were beyond my control. I get deeply attached to my birds and try hard to keep them healthy and happy, so losing any one is always sad, but it's particularly sad when they're young and it's just an accident or mistake that causes their death...which is what kept being my issue this year.

    - Lost one hen to guinea bullying.
    - Lost one cockerel and two pullets to I don't even know what (mysterious circumstances).
    - Lost four newly hatched serama chicks because the hen rejected and killed them while I was on vacation.
    - Lost a several week old duckling to my other birds because I thought he and his mother would be okay in a pen in the coop (the duckling went through the pen into the general coop area, even though the spacing on the bars was seemingly too small for him to get through, and was killed).
    - My favorite old hen got herself basically scalped by one of my roosters. I thought I'd have to put her down, but she showed a will to live. In fact, she recovered almost entirely over several weeks...and then a predator got her. (She was twelve years old so she lived a good, long life, but I still feel bad...).
    - I put some of my chicks together for a few hours, and my beloved little cockerel pecked two of the Icelandic chicks to death and then my mom put that cockerel in a pen he could escape from because she didn't know better, and he left and never came back. It seems like he killed the two Icelandic pullets, and now I'm left with two cockerels. [​IMG]
    - Lost a cochin chick I bought at the feed store to cocci just a few days after I bought the chick because it was apparently already in bad shape when I bought it, despite looking healthy.
    - Lost several chicks that I hatched at several weeks old. One chick had a leg issue and was doing all right but then died, one was runty and died just when I was starting to think it would make it, and one for some unknown reason.
    - Had a large number of heartbreakingly unsuccessful hatching experiences, mostly because of badly timed power outages. [​IMG]
    - Randomly found one of my coturnix dead.
    - Just found two of my older serama chicks dead today... Not sure what from. They may have gotten too wet and then died from the cold, but they have shelter and have been doing fine in the wet/cold for weeks, so it's strange that this would happen all of the sudden?

    This doesn't even include deaths from old age, less upsetting chick deaths (ie, just natural/normal chick deaths), or other animals.

    My point is partly that I wanted to vent about how rough this year has been on me as far as losing birds, but also partly to say that I'm hoping next year will be filled more with successes and happiness, and less with heartbreaking accidents. There have been a number of wonderful things about this year as well, don't get me wrong, but I hope next year has less sadness for my flock. Honestly, I look back on these incidents and they still hurt, even nearly a year later for some of them, but as I head into the new year, I want to try and let go of those sadnesses and continue on forward. I've done enough mourning, and allowing these things to stay with me and wound me forever doesn't help the birds that died nor does it help me. All I can do is learn and hope that things don't happen, and do my best to prevent accidents by being more careful.

    Has anyone else had a rough year in their flock? Feel free to share or vent. I'll be sending you all good wishes and hope that we all have a good year next year with our birds. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I was just thinking I should do a memorial for the birds who have passed this year - with pictures of course.


    We lost two of our founding ducks this year - Aflack who was 6 years old, taken off her 2nd clutch of the year by a predator. Her mother Henry who was 10 years old, passed away a couple weeks after Aflack - I think her heart was broken - every day she would search the sagebrush for Aflack.


    Ravens attacked and killed a number of my Bantams this year and had a cochin pass away just hours after being let out of the coop.



    Here is hoping for a better 2011 [​IMG]
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
    132
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    So sorry for your losses.

    Here's hoping for a better year coming up.
     
  4. mychookschick

    mychookschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    Maine
    I lost a number of chickens this year too....

    -multiple to foxes (lost count)
    - rooster to accident
    -6 to recent weasel in the barn (being taken care of as we speak!)

    So, yes this has been a bad year.... But, we are going to get a more secure coop so that I don't have to worry about finding more dead chickas in the mornings.... We caught one weasel and "got rid of it".... And now we know there is at least one more if not, a few.... But, the keep evading the traps... They can trip them without getting caught! Little BRATS!!

    The chickens are currently living in a temporary weasel-proof coop!
     
  5. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    3,105
    12
    201
    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    [​IMG] to everyone else who tragically lost birds this year, too. It's always so hard saying goodbye! And yes, this should definitely be a memorial thread for the birds we've lost this year. Get some of that sorrow out, remember them fondly, and hope for a better 2011.

    EDIT: Changed the title to be a memorial thread for all the birds we've lost this year. Feel free to post pics and stories!
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    127
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    What a great thread! [​IMG]

    I lost my Lil Bit this year. Still miss the little booger.
     
  7. ourlittleflock

    ourlittleflock Chillin' With My Peeps

    777
    10
    131
    May 28, 2009
    North Carolina
    I lost and MISS my Grandma Bella this year - not sure why she was only a 18 months old but she had the cutest waddle when she walked - hinced Grandma added to name

    [​IMG]
     
  8. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,623
    42
    181
    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    i lost my hen stormpuff this year. she was always so sweet. a few years ago, she had broken her leg and for a while she wasn't getting better, and we thought we'd have to put her down, but after about 3 months living in the house she recovered. the next year, we lost her sister bumble for unknown reasons, then this year, storm contracted sour crop and stayed in the house again. after a couple weeks, her crop drained and she was better... or so we thought. we went on vacation to maine a while after,and when we came back, she was lying, stiff and dead in a box in the barn. thankfully, that was the only loss we suffered this year, if if we're upset, i can't even imagine your grief, silverpheonix. i am so, so sorry for your loss....

    here's a picture of storm (left) and bumble (right)

    [​IMG]
     
  9. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    3,105
    12
    201
    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    I'm feeling a little better today. Still sad that I lost yet another two seramas, who were previously doing so well, for a stupid reason, but at least I still have many other healthy birds. I'm trying not to let it impact my holiday spirit, after all the holidays are only once a year. (Granted, they seem to take up a good quarter of the year, but that's not the point! [​IMG])

    Thank you to those who posted their birds and goodbyes. It's nice to know I'm not alone in mourning birds that I loved and lost this year. [​IMG] to everyone!
     
  10. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
    132
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    I didn't want to hijack by telling my story, but here it is:

    I joined BYC after I had a hawk attack on one of my hens. I initially thought it was a fatal attack because I found...ahem...parts of the bird attached to a bunch of feathers. We were saddened and the rest of the girls went into lock down. Imagine my surprise the next day when I went out to the coop and found the (presumed dead) hen wandering around the yard. She was in horrible shape. I got onto the computer and joined this site. I had been lurking for a while, so I knew I would get the info I needed to save her. It took 2 months of her being in the house to finally get her healed. She acquired the name of Princess because she was so pampered. But when I tried to return her to her flock after all the time inside, the flock refused to accept her back. No amount of integration techniques would work to get them to take her back. She was much changed in appearance. I ended up re-homing her for her safety. She went to live with some friends who had a bunch of very young pullets. Princess became the queen of their flock, and they've had her ever since.

    I just got the news this weekend that Princess and her flock were all killed by a neighbor's marauding dog. I feel really bad about this. More so than I should considering she was no longer my bird. She deserved to have a better life than she did. She was the one that brought me here. And she helped me want to learn all there is to learn about chickens. She sparked the chicken fascination in my young daughter. And she even won my husband over- the guy who wanted nothing to do with chickens. She started it all.

    R.I.P Princess. I can't thank you enough. I wish you had had an easier life.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by