Well, it had to happen sooner or later, but I had no idea it would happen not even a month after we brought our chickens home. We had our first loss of a “farm” animal. Out of all the chickens, the most docile & friendly one was Fannie, one of the little Dominiques. Anytime you’d go into the coop, she would hop up on your foot, hand, or arm wanting to be cuddled. Lauren had pretty much claimed her from day one. Because Fannie was so sweet, Lauren would always choose her to take out of the brooder. When I caught her one day rocking her and singing to her, I told her she was going to spoil her rotten and that she needed to spend more time with the other chickens, too. She tried, but she always went back to Fannie. That’s how special this chicken was.
We noticed a couple of days ago that she just wasn’t acting right. She would be sleeping when all the others were running around, scratching in the sand, etc. She was still eating and drinking and looked healthy other than sleepy. Unfortunately, being new to chickens, I didn’t take it too seriously but decided to just watch her for the next day or so.
When I woke up yesterday morning, she was even worse…could barely walk. I took her out of the coop and put her on a towel in a box in the house, and we began giving her antibiotic water with a syringe. We did this every hour for most of the day, but she was progressively getting more lethargic and would no longer stand up. Then, she finally took her last breath. It was a sad, sad day…especially for Lauren. She was such a good nurse/mother to that little chick.
Barry made a casket and a cross, and Lauren painted the cross to read “God Loves Fannie.” We had her burial at dusk, down the hill from the coop, right next to the compost bin.
Although we feel fairly sure our pets don’t go to heaven, there did end up being a teaching moment in our loss. Later that evening we read Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 – there is a time for everything. This little chicken’s death just proves once again that we are not promised tomorrow…or the next hour, for that matter. God is sovereign, and his timing is perfect in everything. We just have to trust him, take up our crosses, and follow him on a daily basis.
Help us, Lord, to be more faithful and keep our eyes focused on you every day…even when we don’t feel like it. We want to glorify you in everything we do. Change us, God. Thank you for your comfort in our loss, and thank you for grace.