a sad day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Today's a day I have never looked forward to. In fact, I've downright dreaded it...

I woke up yesterday to find a sickly chick in the coop. When I'd locked them up the night before, she'd been fine.

But yesterday, she definitely wasn't.

She was barely picking at the grass, somewhat wobbly on her feet, and not able to keep up with the rest of the chickens.

I was worried, so I did what any good Chicken Momma would do, of course - researched what her ailment could be and how we'd go about getting her to feeling better.

(And, as a side note, we are raising chickens as pets and pest eaters around the farm. One day, we'll eat the eggs and possibly sell some as well. But right now, they are sweet, lovey pets.)

After a little research, I'd found my first line of defense. I followed the directions and she seemed to perk up a bit.

Thank goodness, I thought. A couple more doses and she might be flying high.

I had thought about bringing her home with me last night, but since she seemed somewhat improved (and I couldn't stand the idea of stressing the poor thing out more!), so I left her there.

When I woke up this morning and went to let the chickens out of the coop, there she was; listless and pitiful.

My heart sank. I scooped her up and brought her home.

I'd read that it's a good thing to get them nice and warm, so I did what any good Chicken Momma also would do - I turned on the fireplace and we got warm together.

(Another note: Need I remind you that it's summertime? And the fireplace hasn't been on in forever? But on with the story...)

I gave her some good food and water and her own little place to rest.

I immediately felt a little relief, as she gently dipped her beak in the food-slurry-mixture and took a drink. She did that a few times, so I thought this may be the ticket to a healthy chicken.

I said a little prayer for her, then on with my day I went; checking on her every so often. I hated to leave her at all, but the blueberry field is opening this week and lots of prep work needs to be done...

Throughout the day, she seemed alright.

Then, tonight...I checked on her and she was sleeping. But not an I'm feeling so much better sleep. She was sleeping like it was almost time. Her time. To go.

I scooped her up in a towel and took her outside. I tried one more time to get her to drink. With a syringe of water in one hand and tears streaming down my face, she looked up at me one last time and passed away right in my arms.

I've never had anything like that happen before. It was so easy for her to just drift away, and so hard for me to process it all. And as I think about death being such a reality on a farm, I'm not sure it's something my heart is ready for. Just thinking about it gets those tears flowing all over again.

If only you could see my blubbering self right now...

So what? She's just a chicken. You might think. But she wasn't just a chicken. She was our chicken. And that makes her part of our family. Nobody want to lose a piece of their family.

So tonight I say:
Goodbye, Westerday! You were one cool chick. <3

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