Lesson 635 – We’ve lost two members of the flock

It’s time to get this news out of the way.

We’ve lost two very prominent members of our flock.

First Simon, my beautiful painting chicken, Simon died last week. We had noticed throughout the summer that at times she seemed to be gasping for air but then every time I’d pick her up to check her out she’d be fine. At other times, she’d be lethargic one moment and then in another, she’d be up and about. She ate fine, drank water, and was active with the flock.

It’s just that something was a bit off about her.

The other morning we went to the hen house to let the chickens out and there was poor little Simon – she had died during the night.

Simon, if you recall, was our artist chicken. One day in a fit of boredom, my kids decided to use a chicken to paint a picture. Of course they chose Simon who was by far, the sweetest and most docile member of our flock. It was not unusual to find Simon in my lap when I was reading a book outside.

Feathered Fireworks

For the painting project, the kids held Simon, dipped her feet in paint and then created a work of art that was entitled “Feathered Fireworks.” The piece sold at auction for 300 dollars with the money going toward a local playground renovation fund. So basically because of Simon, kids get to continue playing.

How many chickens leave a legacy like that?

Good bye my little friend

Our other lost flock member is Vivian, our cute as can be bunny. Vivian was the little bunny that Addy had to have. She was also the purchase that cemented my position as “best mom ever” (Not only did I say yes, but I went out and bought all the trappings any rabbit would ever need.)

Vivian didn’t appear to be sick, in fact the day before she died  I gave her some fresh lettuce along with her food. And petted her incredibly soft fur.  And quietly told her that she was a pretty baby.

Who knows why these flock members have died? It could be because they had an underlying illness and the cold weather (and yes it’s gotten COLD here in New Hampshire) has stressed their bodies to the literal breaking point, or it just might be that it’s their time. Some chickens and rabbits live for many years, others don’t.

It makes me not want to get any more flock members. It’s just too painful when we lose them.

But then I remember the joy and the memories we’ve had because we were fortunate enough to share in each other’s lives.

And in between the heavy sighs, I smile.

17 Comments

Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Chicken art, Death in the henhouse, Life Lessons, members of the flock, Points to ponder, Rabbits

17 responses to “Lesson 635 – We’ve lost two members of the flock

  1. Hey sis: So sorry for your losses–two in one week has to be tough. It’s a bit like having an urban farm. Living so close to animals brings you into the circle of life and death. Thanks for the post. Simon was beautiful indeed.

  2. Margo Campsey

    So sorry to hear about Simon & Vivian. Hugs to the human flock.

  3. Wendy, I am so sorry for your losses. So painful to lose them when we’ve given them so much love. But all the joy they bring us makes it totally worth it. I’m sad for you.

    • Wendy Thomas

      Lauren,

      Spoken like one who also loves her chickens. Wishing little fern continued strength in her battle back to health.

      Wendy

  4. Oh this is the part of our critters I have such a hard time with but know it is part of being here. So sorry for your loss.
    I have a hen that is a bit off too. Since the rooster is long gone I have gotten to know the 9 girls pretty well. A month ago when I put the coop to bed I noticed one hen off by herself. The others sleep in a pile keeping warm even though they have access to a roost. She is off in the corner by her little old self. When I go in to gather eggs she is the first one to hang out with the big human. If I sit on the feed bucket she stays close while the others do their chicken things elsewhere in the coop. Have checked her over and have just resolved myself to the fact that she is low chicken on the totem pole of the chicken pecking order……… and so it is with life. I am now putting extra straw where she beds down every night……… I am slowly becoming a flock mistress myself…….

    • Wendy Thomas

      Nothing wrong with being a flock mistress. Take care of your “off” girl and give her an extra handful of feed from me🙂

      Wendy

  5. Sadness! So sorry about Simon and Vivian :((((

  6. I am sorry to hear about your loss. We have lost chickens in the past. Each day I let the chickens out, I remind myself that they will die. I also remind myself that one day I will no longer be here.

  7. If no mishaps occur, in about a week we will be heading your way — cross-country rail trip across Canada — dropping down to see relatives — stopping in Portland, Maine — then down to Boston to begin Amtrak train ride back across United States.

    • Wendy Thomas

      What a grand adventure you have in front of you. Bring warm clothing (although I imagine where you are is just as nippy as it is here) and be prepared for pancakes with *real* maple syrup, apples, and some of our glorious fall-dressed mountainsides – in short, I’m sure our area of the country will put on a fine display for both of you.

      Safe travels and let me know how it goes.

      Wendy

  8. Karen W

    Ohhh Wendy do sorry for your losses. Hugs from FL.

  9. cinnamon chaisson

    so sorry for your loss, wendy. we lost a hamster this week, he lived for almost 3 years, long time for a hamster. and of course was part of the family, it is hard not to look for his funny face when one walks into the room, he was always at the side of the cage looking for treats. hugs

  10. So sorry for your losses recently Wendy. It is never easy to say goodbye. Yet, it is always better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. ((hugs))

  11. diane foss

    A wise Vulcan once told me (and millions of other fans) that how you face death is at least as important as how you face life. I have always remembered that saying, especially when we had to say goodbye to Brady Patrick, my first ever dog. I am very sorry for your losses, but grateful for the love and memories you experienced with them.

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