Sunday, May 16, 2021

Goodbye to Mini


My husband and I recently decided, after some thought, to have a few backyard chickens.  As a young child in Florida, we lived next door to a man who raised chickens for a living and at times he would gift us some Silkies that we raised as pets. I loved having chickens in our yard, scratching for bugs and worms and often snuggling with 4 year old me.

Fast forward to now and we decided to take the plunge, especially after our son and daughter-in-law picked up a small flock.  We went to the feed store in town when the chicks arrived (they were delayed in the mail which probably didn't help this situation) and began perusing the Barred Rock chicks, the Red Sex Link chicks and a couple of other breeds that I have already forgotten (we got the breeds I mentioned).

One little chick caught my eye--her legs were stuck down under the cage wires!  She also looked so tiny compared to the other approx. week old chicks.  I told an employee about her being stuck and the employee said, "Gosh, this is like the 5th time in 30 minutes that this has happened to her".  I felt sad and the poor baby didn't look like she felt well.  You know how you can tell by someone's eyes?  That's how this little chick looked.  We decided to get 2 Barred Rock chicks and 2 Red Sex Link chicks.  The employee put them in a box for us and also got feed, feeder, water container, etc. for us.  I then said something about the little chick and the employee said, "If you want to take her and see if you can help her, I will just give her to you".  Of course, my husband and I said yes.  

So Mini came home with us.  Mini seemed to be an appropriate name for such a tiny tot.

We kept her separate from the other chicks after I discovered one was pecking her.  We placed Mini in her own box with a warming light and since she didn't seem able to eat on her own, I got a small syringe and mixed up electrolyte water for her (bought at the feed store).  I offered her a bit often and she seemed to be taking it in.  We also made some sugar water--I belong to a Backyard Chicken group on Facebook and the experienced owners were very helpful with advice.  Some did tell me that sometimes everything you do isn't going to help.


Mini seemed to perk up and she even would peep when she wanted attention or water.  We felt that we could help her to overcome her slight size and rough start in life.

Sadly, it wasn't meant to be.  I got up several times during the night to offer her the mixtures we had made (I had placed her box and heat lamp in our bathroom so I would hear her if needed).  When I woke at 0330-ish, she was stretched out in the box--not a normal chicken pose as far as I have seen.  I thought she was dead but when I picked her up I heard the slightest peep.  I woke my son up and together we offered her hydration and comfort for the next hour or so.  She would turn her beak away, wouldn't open her eyes and then her breathing pattern changed and being a nurse, I knew that was a sign of the dying process.  We held for a bit longer and then I decided it might be more comfortable to place her back on the straw in her box.  I then sat near her until her breaths were no more.

I only knew this sweet girl for a few hours but I cried.  I told myself that we had tried and at least she wasn't dying in a feed store cage, basically alone and unnoticed.  I felt that we had given her something to ease her way to the Rainbow Bridge.  

I wrapped her later that morning in a nice fabric and placed her in a small box with a lid, which we secured with tape.  My husband buried her under our lawn, next to our wooden fence, in the backyard so she wouldn't be disturbed.  I wanted a memorial for her brief life and found the perfect one on Etsy from ModernExpression and it was perfect.  **We were not compensated for that link or mention--just sharing what we ordered.


When the sign arrived, my husband placed it on the wooden fence, right above Mini.  

I hope Mini knows that we consider her part of our family.  I hope she knows that we tried to save her.  and most of all, I hope she knows that we love her and will see her again one day.  

 

Mini 
April 2021


14 comments:

  1. Ours were delayed as well. It was heart wrenching to see them TRY and recover, only to fail. We will not get chicks anywhere except our own flick, hatching is not hard. I buried 6...

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    1. So sorry to read about Mini, Donna! Your story was heartbreaking for me. Mini looks adorable in the photos. You and your hubby are very compassionate and did the very best to save her. I'm sure Mini knew.

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    2. Thank you, Gail. Mini was so cute and tiny and we sure wish she was still here. I sure appreciate your comment ❤❤❤

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    3. I'm finding out chicks have a hard start when they get shipped through the mail.....if we get more I will buy locally.

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  2. THANK YOU FOR HOSTING THE PARTY. WHAT A SWEET STORY. I LOVE THE COMPASSION THAT YOU SHOWED TO THIS LITTE CHICK, AND AM SORRY THAT YOU LOST HER. BUT YOU ARE RIGHT, YOU MADE HER LAST HOURS BETTER. OUR LINK THIS WEEK IS: #81. HAVE A GREAT WEEK.

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    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Amy, and for visiting. I do hope Mini felt our love.

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  3. Donna,

    How heart wrenching! So happy to read one of God's small creatures was tended to so lovingly but I know this experience touched you deeply. God's blessings to you!

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    1. Thank you so much, Cathy, I appreciate your taking the time to visit and comment.

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  4. oh no! Sorry to hear about mini :( Such and adorable and lovely pet!

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  6. Awe, it was so sweet of you to try and help this poor little thing. It's sad that she didn't make it, but so nice to know that her final hours were filled with love and compassion. ❤️ Take care, Suzanne.

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