One of the hardest parts of being a backyard farmer is saying goodbye to one of your own gorgeous animals. But, being an avid chicken keeper, you will have gone into this knowing this was eventually going to happen as it’s an inevitable part of life.
But, just because you were prepared for it doesn’t make it any easier. To celebrate the life of your feathery friend there are several things you can do to say goodbye to your chicken and prepare for the final send-off.
How to Say Goodbye To Your Chicken
A pet chicken is more than just a backyard companion, you really do form bonds, learn your chicken’s personality, and legitimately enjoy their company. When one of your chooks gets sick or you can tell they are getting to their last days, there comes a time where you will have to say goodbye.
Believe me, I’ve been there multiple times. Recently my hen Laurie fell ill and was refusing to leave the coop, even for food or water. I knew it was time to prepare for the worst. It’s never easy, but here are some ways you can say goodbye to your chicken in the most comforting and soothing way.
Give Your Chicken A Day To Remember
There’s only so much you can do to try to heal your chickens or prolong their life once they get various health conditions, whether it’s from old age, or from an accident.
When your chickens do enter the final stage of their lives, they can often still move around a bit and they may still try to eat and drink. Depending on your chicken’s ability to move and eat, you’ll want to set them up for a final day to remember.
Break out the mealworms or other chicken treats and make sure your chicken gets their fill! Sit them in their favorite spot in the yard and simply spend some time with them. You might even notice some of your other chickens joining in too, as they have a sense for these things just like we do.
Spend More Time With Your Chicken
During the stressful time when your beloved feathered companion is battling with their final hours, a good way to cope with the situation is to make your chicken feel at ease.
Like many birds, chickens prefer to isolate themselves when they’re sick or dying, so it’s always better to keep them separated from the rest of the flock so they aren’t stressing themselves out. Chickens are social and affectionate, and even have friends in the flock, so this should make it easier for other chickens to cope with the loss too.
Even though it’s hard, you’ll need to keep your beloved chicken comfortable in isolation. The spot needs to be dry and clean because the chicken will spend a lot of time dormant or sleeping.
Spend as much time as you can with your chicken, as it will comfort them to know someone is nearby. Keep your voice and touch as gentle as possible. You can tickle their neck feathers or use some warm water to clean their eyes and make them more comfortable.
It should also be a good time to administer any medications that are recommended by the vet to soothe their pain, as it will make things much nicer for the chicken in the last parts of their life.
Try to Make Your Chicken As Comfortable As Possible
In the area where your chicken is isolating, try to adjust all conditions to make sure that they’re as comfortable as possible.
For instance, you should adjust the temperature of the area to be anywhere between 75°F and 82°F as chickens prefer warmth due to their high internal temperature.
You should also try to reduce external stimuli, such as noise and excessive light. Yet, don’t make the spot too dark either. A nice blue color will help the chicken feel calm.
Make sure that your chicken has easy access to food and clean water. It’s highly unlikely for them to eat during their final days, but having food available will keep them calm, and give them a last meal if they still have their appetite. You can also deliver a few drops of water throughout the day to keep their membranes and mouth moist.
Prepare For The Day
The day your feathered friend passes will be a difficult one, believe me. Prepare yourself mentally for it, and move forward in the solace that they had a brilliant, happy life. After all, this is the circle of life.
Speak to a vet or professional about the best way for your chicken to go, which will vary depending on what condition they have. Make proper arrangements, and always favor the most harmless way for your chicken.
Tell Your Family And Children
Saying goodbye is an important part of any relationship. It brings closure and allows you to really value the life of your feathered friends. Therefore, it’s vitally important to tell your children of all ages of your chicken’s passing.
Even at a young age, saying goodbye to their chickens, although it will be a very sad and stressful time, will be good in the long run for your child’s emotional growth.
Finally, you’ll have to make necessary arrangements for your pet’s final resting place. Whether it will be a physical burial or cremation, or proper disposal with a mental burial, it’s an important part of valuing the life of your companions.
Losing your beloved chicken is never easy and can be one of the hardest experiences a backyard farmer has to go through. But remember, it’s an important part of life, and you can’t let it set you back as you are in charge of the rest of the flock and farm!
Be strong and move forward wiser than the last day. If you’re finding it hard to accept, you’ll just simply have to take some time to cope with the loss of your chicken.
However, being thankful for all the good times you’ve spent together and making the final days of your chicken easier and more memorable should always be the best way to bid them farewell.