Some are going to read this and say, what’s the big deal? She’s just a chicken.
Violet quietly died last night around 7:30pm. There had been signs of hope throughout the day but when she stopped eating, when fluids started coming out of her beak, when she went the entire day without pooping, I knew that things were not good.
Fortunately I had time yesterday to hold her, swaddled in my sweatshirt, in the sunshine.
I had time to apologize, to tell her that I had thought a week in the cage was enough for the flock, that I thought she was old enough to be introduced to the others.
And that I never thought she’d be able to duck into a cinder block and then be stuck exposing her entire raw backside to the rest of the flock.
Who acted like sharks around bait.
For all that, I apologized to my sweet little Violet, who just the day before had run to hide between my legs because she knew I would protect her. Who just the day before, had caused a gruff-older neighbor to comment on how nice she was and who got him to get down on the ground to play with her.
As chicken owners, we all have our favorites, the ones with the personality, the ones who jump into our laps or come running to us when they see us enter the backyard. These are the ones that sneak into our hearts.
Violet was a favorite. She was my baby. She was as much a member of our indoor flock as she was our outdoor one.
And I have to tell you, this one hurts. Who knew a chicken could rip a hole right through that very same heart she had managed to sneak into?
Violet died a horrible death and I am partly to blame.
And so I apologized over and over, while I stroked her back. My sweet, little Violet.
Her injuries were too severe, insurmountable. Her entire backside was literally ripped open and while I tried antibiotics and electrolytes, while I tried putting water on her beak to get her interested in drinking, and warm washings, in the end, she could not overcome such a serious insult. Violet took her last breath wrapped up in a cozy towel nest, surrounded by the kids who loved her just as much as I did.
This morning, Violet is gone. We’ve buried her in the woods facing our property. The kids went to school and life goes on, but man, I’m going to miss that little one.
Some are going to say, what’s the big deal, she’s just a chicken.
But oh, what a chicken our Violet was.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.