What provisions have you made for your flock in the event of your death?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by azygous, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I haven't seen this discussed at all. Has anyone given any thought to, and provided for, what should be done with your flock if you are badly injured and can't come home to tend to them, or what should be done with them should you die?

    I think most of us just assume that chickens live short lives and we live long ones, that this isn't some monumental concern. But what would people do about your chickens should you not be able to return home to care for them? What if there isn't anyone left at home who cares about keeping them?

    I know that one close friend of mine, misguided as she is about many things, would think she'd be adequately addressing the situation by turning my flock of fifteen out to fend for themselves in the forest. That idea, of course, is appalling on so many levels. So what should I do to assure that this doesn't happen?

    I live very remotely. I know just one other household that has a flock of twelve, and they live a considerable distance from me. They wouldn't have the room to double the size of their flock by taking in mine. No other household around me has chickens or would be equipped to take my chickens and care for them.

    My desire is that, if/when I die, someone would adopt my flock and care for them in the tender way I do. This is indeed a loose end I'd like to see to. What are your thoughts on this?
     
  2. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never thought of putting my chickens in my will but growing up in 4H and around chickens my parents would most definitely look after them. They have a nice flock of their own. I actually supply them the chickens.
     
  3. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I pondered this recently, I don't know. I have wondered if something did happen to me, what would my husband do with the flock. I think he would keep them, or find someone to gift them to that wanted them.

    However, in your situation, I would wonder about getting a simple piece of paper drawn up (not legally necessarily) but drawn up so that you could make your friend aware of what you want done with them. If possible maybe list a few names/numbers of people who you have planned with for an emergency (start planning, networking on the where am I, where are you page).

    Just a suggestion, good luck. Hopefully, none of this will be needed anytime soon, but I often think through things like this, so, you are not alone!
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I appreciate the considered responses.

    Coincidentally, the way I began my original flock was by adopting two hens around six years ago. My friend Connie had died suddenly in a freak highway accident, and her husband gave away her herd of goats and horses, llamas, and flock of chickens, all to one family, except for the two hens that he gave to me. I doubt very much that she had ever discussed with him what she would like to have done with her animals in the event of her death. She probably assumed, as most people do, that her spouse would continue to love and care for her animals. Obviously, Connie's husband didn't share her passion for farm animals. He wasted no time in packing off all but the dogs.

    I don't have a spouse. None of my close friends, while confessing fondness for my chickens, would be willing to adopt any of them. I'm sincerely stumped as to how to handle this.
     
  5. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I totally know what you mean as we assume our relatives and significant others are going to treasure our pets like we do. Death is just so difficult to talk about and you feel like you will drop dead the next day if you talk about "stuff". Possibly Connie's husband was depressed about her death and just couldn't manage looking after the livestock by himself, or he really had no interest in them and their better off without him... It would have been nice though for him to ask her friends and family if they would like them first. I must say though... If someone gave away my "Princess" bantam white rock I would probably rise from the dead.
     
  6. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Possibly you need to join a poultry club in your area and find others like you. I have a few chicken friends I have met at the club that I would happily help out if things were tragic for them and I know they would do the same for me.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Do you have a will made out? Who is the executer? If you don't have one, that's where you need to start. Then, that is the person you need to talk to about what you'd like done. At the very least have them posted on craigslist or something as a ready-made flock.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Some good ideas! Thanks!

    The problem I'm facing isn't lack of a will or someone to execute my final wishes, but the means to carry them out as far as disposition of my much loved and pampered chickens. I wouldn't be having this discussion if I had someone lined up who was agreeable to adopt my flock. The problem is that I don't know anybody.

    The idea of a club for chicken owners is a good one, but the closest thing to that in this rural area would be 4-H. I can ask my 4-H friend if she has any leads. Also, I didn't think about Craig's List. That's how I got my very first three Brahma chicks after adopting Connie's two hens and being infected with "chicken math".
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My point was, it will be your executer's job to disperse your flock, so you need to talk to that person about what you want done with them. I work with a lot of elderly who have pets and many of them just want the pet put down when they die becuase they don't think the pet will find a good home. You mentioned the friend who would just turn them loose. I'm just saying you need to make your executer aware of the options to rehome your flock. It won't be your job to do, you'll be gone!
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  10. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Well, that would be one option - to have the flock simply butchered. I'd love to be able to give my sister written instructions, with a phone number and address of a person who has promised to adopt the flock. This is my dilemma. I don't know of anyone to adopt my flock. Leaving instructions with my will so my executor (my sister) can follow them is the least of my problems. I just attach a codicil to the will and my sister, upon my death, makes a phone call and the people would come pick up the chickens and take them to their new home. Now, my problem is finding that mythical person to adopt my flock.

    This area is so remote, and no one I know, though I've lived here twenty years, has chickens, except for one person. I doubt he would be able to make this promise to me since he's facing making decisions about a wife with dementia problems, and his flock is much too large already for the space he has.

    When we make death decisions, we have to assume it could easily be tomorrow that we will die.

    Is there some kind of chicken rescue place that would take a shipment of chickens from the estate of someone who has died? I'm really reaching for a solution here.
     

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