Thursday, February 27, 2020

A day for goodbye.

I had a busy day today. NPIP testing, a interview on camera about my farm, a visit with a friend... I didn't really sit down until just now. And now I'm falling apart. Because between my NPIP visit and the interview, I had to let go of my darling Pet. And I work through grief by remembering, by writing.
 So here is Pet's brief wonderful life.

I had kept Pet, a mille fleur frizzle d'Uccle from this past summer's hatches, down with my laying flock since I loved her so dearly. But she missed her fellow d'Uccles and obviously was not happy. So I moved her up into the breeding pen with her friends. In a freak accident, an overfriendly rooster leapt on her at just the wrong angle.  I heard her squawk, and she ran, limping. And over the past week, the limp has gotten worse. Something broke, and broke badly. She could no longer lift her leg, hopping about, dragging her foot behind her. Her body sloped to the side. She couldn't get out of the coop, couldn't get away from bully older hens. She could barely make it to the feeder. I put her in her own cage with food and water close by. She ate well, and looked healthy, except that it became harder for her to move around. Last night I took her out into the yard. She had that set look that an animal in pain gets, and kept dragging herself towards her old coop. She was hurting, on automatic. I knew it was time.

But oh my heart, oh my dear sweet Pet. She was my extra special girl, the one chick from last year's hatching that I truly loved. I enjoyed the rest. I know them, named them. But Pet. Pet was that once in a lifetime girl.

One day when Pet was about four weeks old, I suddenly realized that every time I opened the cage to the young grow outs, one little frizzle would come streaking over. She would peck me ferociously, anywhere she could reach, until I put down my hand. Then she'd run right over and plop down on my hand. Heaven.

For this little chick, my hand was her safety, her favorite place. The other chicks would run around, but not Pet. She'd snuggle her chest onto my palm with her legs between my fingers, close her eyes, and take a pure happiness nap! 

This has continued to be a daily ritual. 

For six months, I have gone into the chicken run and been pecked by Pet until I bend down and put out my hand. Sometimes I would go in and sit - Pet knew her name, and was the only chicken that I've ever had that would always come when called. 
"Pet! Pet! Come here!" 
And Pet would come running, leap up on my lap, peck at me until I put my hand under her chest, and snuggle up with what I'm sure could only be described as a chicken smile of contentment.

 She loved me. And that was that. 

Nothing makes you feel more special than knowing that you are the most important thing in the world. 
Even more important than food. 

And I loved her. So so much. Pet was such a good good girl. Accidents happen, but oh my Pet... my Pet. I will miss you so much. I'm so thankful that I got to have you for your short time here on earth.
 Fly high baby girl. Fly high and wait for me.

And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens. So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. 
And God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1: 20-21

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, 
neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, 
for the former things have passed away.
 And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." 
Revelation 21:4-5


  1. Wow so sad, I'm so sorry for your loss. About 2 weeks ago we lost our 5 day old chick, Ollie. We had kept him indoors with us and he even slept in my hands at night. We are new to raising chicks and never expected to have him inside so we didn't have the proper equipment and during the few hours we left he passed away so I totally understand what you're going through. :( but I guess these things happen. Your Pet will always be in your heart!!

  2. 😢 No words. Just her name. Pet.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. It seems like it's always "the special ones" that something happens to. Like the Cuckoo Maran hen, "Gertrude", that followed me around the yard and even tried to get into the car with me, Or my beloved "Little Chica" Porcelain d'Uccle who would fly up into my lap whenever I sat outside. We are blessed to have had these special birds. We grieve their loss.

  4. My heart is broken for you. I need one of your chickens. I hope you can hatch me one like Pet.