Sorry But Chickens Die

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by woodmort, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,168
    31
    201
    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    I've published thoughts regarding the loss of chickens which may be of interest to those starting out with them on my blog. http://jimmortensen.com/ rather than put the whole thing here. You're welcome to make comments here.
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,787
    38
    213
    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I read your well written blog and you make some good points. I might not have gotten chicks had I been aware of how much could go wrong in the beginning (boy, what an education BYC has offered in that realm!). But, I did, and I named them, and they are pets and luckily they are fine so far.
    A friend of mine called chickens "the new Chia Pet", which, I think is a pretty funny and pretty accurate description. So, there will be a lot of people who get them because they are so cute and will be totally unprepared and will be crushed when they die. Even though I take very good care of my birds, I understand that they likely won't have very long lives, and yet I'm glad to have them anyway...and I will be sad when they die, there's no way to avoid it and I wouldn't want to, anyway.
    I imagine, also, that the degree of suffering one goes through at the death of any animal that one cares for is apropos to the make up of the person, their philosophy about the relative value of animal life and/or their general coping skills...etc.
    Be all that as it may, it is helpful to start out with some good info.
     
  3. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    5,312
    212
    311
    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    Well said. I do not have a large flock but my birds are somewhere between pets and livestock. Not all of them have names but I don't just look at them as egg laying machines. They are amusing and keep me company when they are out freeranging and I am doing my barn chores. I have lost two so far. One to my own dogs (it figures and it was the bird's fault) and one chick I had to cull due to cross beak. I will do what I can to help one of my chickens if they are sick, but I won't take them to the vet. It is sad to lose one but to me it is not devastating. I know that it is different for each and every person, so I do not judge. If I were to lose one of my horses it would be a totally different matter, so I can understand how it can totally upset someone when they lose them. I figure if I am a good animal steward, then the animals do not suffer no matter how hard it might be to let one go.
     
  4. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your post is thoughtful and well written. I was just thinking that losing 3 chickens is much worse in a flock of seven than in a flock of 30.
     
  5. bokboklady

    bokboklady Out Of The Brooder

    79
    0
    39
    Sep 8, 2010
    hello from england, i enjoyed your article , i also relate to the 'junk drawer ' it was spot on, and i have found loads of similar items in our junk drawer, its a definate human thing to chuck things in a drawer just in case. best wishes chrissie
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,840
    1,516
    366
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Dying is part of life, all life, none of us get out of it. Yes, there is regret that there is not one more day, but life needs to go on. I think that many children are protected from dealing with death, and do not learn how to do so and then are crushed when it happens to them.

    I have learned to enjoy today, look back fondly, but look forward hopefully.

    It is a very good article, a very good point. I see many posts were blame is put somewhere. Mistakes happen, and death is just a part of life, no need to blame your self, fix what went wrong, and try again.

    MrsK

    ps, I do hate it when the coons win!
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    'Tis true, they are not long-lived animals, though there are exceptions.

    You said:
    If a hen lives to 5 years of age—at which point it will have probably stopped laying—it is a ancient bird.

    I have three very ancient birds, over five years old, but two of them still lay and have no health issues. Then, there are some only slightly less elderly in the flock and they are all laying. Even with the best of care, you lose them. It's the nature of the hobby. I think the folks who are most upset when a chicken dies are the ones who have really seen what they can be like in personality, even showing affection like a dog does. I've seen what they are really like and I love these birds, though I know it's just a fact of life that you will lose them if you have them. The alternative to experiencing the pain of loss is not having them at all, and to me, that's not a good alternative, so I take the bad with the good. [​IMG]
     
  8. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    742
    0
    119
    Jun 25, 2010
    Minnesota
    I think anyone with a smaller flock/ livestock herd runs the risk of becoming attached to the animal. As you can see I have a slightly bigger flock of chickens and ducks and the kids and I have gotten attached but.... I keep reminding them and I that they will become food. Some of ours do have names and it will be hard come butchering day but they will lead a great chicken/duck life while they have it.

    I am sure that if I had gotten a beef cow I would still name it for the time it was with us. As for my kids I hope they take something from learning about the cycle of life. We also have barn yard kitties that always seem to have one die each year- it is a HARD lesson for adults and Hard on kids alike but death is a part of life.
     
  9. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,109
    144
    226
    Apr 13, 2010
    Nicely written woodmort. Death is a part of life and that includes our chickens. Mine all have names and I know each ones personality but I know at some point I will either lose one to predators or we will be processing them for the freezer. Growing up on a farm teaches you that. I figure if I have done my job right in providing them with the food, lodging and freeranging they need, then their death as food is paying me back for my efforts. My chickens are not an afterthought but a part of my day that I enjoy. Nature will take its course and so the cycle of life and death will continue, despite our best efforts to manipulate it.
     
  10. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,080
    11
    151
    Jan 30, 2011
    Tulsa, Ok
    Thank you, that was well written.

    We are just starting and will have a small flock. We have discussed loss and know it can happen. We are also hatching out eggs and know that this could be, rather will be a reality that many will not survive.

    We name them, and even painted their names on the coop, but have decided as the die, we will name the new ones that replace them, the same name. I am sure the children will have a harder time with it, but it will teach them about life.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by