Our homestead experienced the ending of an age; the age of Buttercup the chicken. I love my birds and all the other animals that grace our farm. But Buttercup…. She was a special gal. I teared up at her passing…
I found her yesterday hiding under a nest box. I pulled her out and immediately realized that she would part our company that night. She was old; very old. She had been experiencing quite a few spells of being egg-bound this last year. This time, she would not withstand its toll.
So, I bathed her in a warm water, Epsom salt bath. She cooed the entire time. I blew her dry with a hair dryer; she nuzzled my hand and fell asleep.
I gave her an electrolyte mix (molasses, honey, sea salt, water, apple cider vinegar and oregano oil) in her waterer and had her drink several times. She drank to appease me… She knew…
I gave her a warm place to rest in the laundry room and pet her until she fell asleep for the night. She died sometime during the night. I am in mourning.
I know it may seem bonkers that a gal that sells poultry meat and does her own slaughter and butchering could mourn the loss of a particular bird, but I do.
I have the advantage of seeing the full cycle of life on my farm; from birth to childhood to adulthood to death. My birds live a true birdie life. This may not seem an advantage to most, but it is the reason I am able to do what I do. I couldn’t be the person who raised hatchlings from a hatchery until they were 8 weeks old and then send them off to be slaughtered by someone else. I participate in the start and the end of all aspects of my farm and somehow, for some reason, it completes me.
Buttercup, you will be greatly missed.