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Chicken Love – Birdie’s Story

Today marks the day of Birdie’s death. Her story comes late, but I hope it can represent as a celebration of her life and the love that she brought to our lives. Although she has been a great loss, I will try not to dwell in it. I want to remember all the great moments. Not only did she and I experience a special bond, she taught me chicken love and many lessons about life.

Coming in four months behind the original chicks, Birdie’s life was very different from any chicken. No one told me you should always get more than one chick at a time, and even four months apart is too far. She imprinted on me and I on her – she and I became a flock. The three older girls would not accept Birdie at start. She would ask to sleep with them, but would end up sleeping on the latter outside the coop. I brought Birdie indoors with me for six months to sleep in our home office. She also spent many hours with me while I worked during the day. She was accustomed to wearing a chicken diaper and used an office chair for a perch. She even did a little typing during her stay.

When all the girls went in for the night, Birdie stayed up well into to the night with us on the back porch. She sampled wine and cocktails: her favorite being red wine. (Don’t worry she was only allowed a sip.) If you weren’t sharing, she was begging. “Bok bok bok bok bok!” We would sometimes forget her thirst for alcohol and would step inside for a moment. We would come out to Birdie neck-deep in a glass.

Once Birdie was accepted into the flock, she moved outside. Being the end of the authority chain, she was picked on quite a bit. One day she became a very large fluffy bird, bigger than any in the flock, and the picking stopped. After some changes to the flock, two passings and three additions, she became the flock’s enforcer. She was the flocks security, mostly stopping unnecessary picking amongst each other. Butters, the leader of the flock, her biggest bully, no longer picked on her, and they would spend time cleaning one another.

If you were in the backyard, Birdie would be at your side begging for earthy treats. She would get excited when she saw a shovel or dish soap – cleaning with dish soap brings the bugs to the surface. She has been the only one in the flock to pick up on these things. If she wasn’t begging, she was chit chatting to us. She was also very friendly with kids and would follow them around to keep their shoes clean.

In Birdie’s later years, she learned how to get my attention even when I was indoors. She started to crow like a rooster! I was so impressed with her new skill, if she crowed, the flock got treats.

What I will miss most is our naps and snuggles. As soon as I would pick her up, she wrapped her neck around me. Countless times she would sit in my lap and fall asleep, and I would fall asleep too. For old times sake, I would invite her into the house for naps, sips of water, and strolls in the halls of our house.

Birdie taught me chicken love. Backyard flock owners are crazy about their chickens, and usually there is the one that stands out from the rest – Birdie was my one. The way she would look at me with her sweet eyes melted ymy heart. She also taught me animals belong out and free. Although I could have kept her indoors for the length of her life, she needed to be out in the yard pecking with her sisters. She needed to have that chance to be a real chicken and not a house pet.

I will miss our snuggles, especially when I have had a bad day. I will miss sharing my wine with her. Gardening will not be the same without her by my side. I hope to hold my Baby Bird again in heaven some day.


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