Rest in Peace Miss Ginger

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Miss Ginger (my favorite chicken) is no longer with us. Yep, if there is a heaven for chickens she is there.

Sigh. I hate posts like this one. Posts that have to share the disappointment and sadness me and some of my children are going through. I get a little uncomfortable sharing because I know many of you folks that have raised farm animals might be judging me and wondering why I even let this one chicken make me so sad. After all, it’s just a chicken right?  It sounds silly to even me that I would feel this loss.  But I do. I truly am sad. I really really loved Miss Ginger the most. She was like our pet. She totally came up to all of us when we called for her. I could literally just reach my hand down and she would let me pet her without running away. Chickens just don’t usually do that, they are usually nervous around people. Ginger was a special bird.

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My daughter Grace is devastated of course. Ginger was her chicken. The reason why Ginger was so friendly was because of the work and love Grace gave her everyday from when she was a chick.  Even up until now everyday she still said hello to Ginger and picked her up to talk to her. We wanted to bring her to the fair this summer as she was such a great bird.  We wanted to see her raise some baby chicks of her own someday when we moved to my future dream-farm. But those things will not happen now with Ginger.

Miss Ginger lived almost one whole year with us. One awesome year.

How it Happened

My family and I went to Boise this past week over spring break. I hired a nice girl I know to feed and water my dogs and chickens for 4 days while we were away.  I told her to just keep my chickens alive, that they didn’t have to be let out of the coop even. But that if she did have time for a few hours she could let them out of the coop so they could get some grass and take dust baths. It was optional.

Apparently all was perfect and well until the last day of her feeding. She came over, didn’t let the chickens out and just fed them. Then went home. Miss Ginger was alive then she said when she left. Later that day her little brother came over and jumped my fence to say hello to my dog. He says he noticed Miss Ginger was dead. But didn’t tell anyone which was odd.

My husband got home and found Miss Ginger dead. Broken neck inside the coop. No blood, no pecking. Laying right next to the door opening. So we know that what most likely happened is that someone opened up the coop door (to which my chickens always want to get out right away) and then accidently shut the door back up on Miss Ginger and broke her neck. We found her lying by the door of the coop.  We don’t know who did it, all we know is that she is gone.  And we are so sad.

Dad saved my daughter a few feathers before burying her.

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Here is a letter my daughter wrote up for Miss Ginger that pretty much sums up her heart-break.

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As for me… I am just feeling a bit sad and disappointed. Wondering if I really should have left to go out of town for spring break. I go out to see the other three chickens, knowing none of them are as friendly as Ginger was and I seem to see just see plain ole’ boring chickens.

So that is what is happening right now.

Please try not to mock me for making a whole post just for one chicken. We loved Miss Ginger. We really did. And were planning on letting her grow to a nice old age with us.

But I am still grateful to the Lord for all my blessings. And for the chance we got to experience such a sweet nice chicken.

Buff Orpington one week two week and three weeks old

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Rest in Peace Miss Ginger was last modified: July 12th, 2014 by Karrie

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Comments

  1. trish_y says:

    Poor little one. So very sorry for your loss.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss, we had a Rhode Island Red that was very much the same way. We called her Big Red. She had 3 beautiful years with us. Last fall she refused to go in the coupe one night, I left the window open to the barn hoping she would go in for safety (as she had so many times in the past) but to no avail we found her the next morning. I believe she was sick and knew it was her time. My kiddos were very upset as that was the only one from our original first flock that we had left. shortly after she passed we gave away the rest of the flock and have now started fresh with young chicks who are now just starting to lay. I hope your little girl finds some peace.

  3. So sorry for your lose. Prayers to you and your sweet family.

  4. I am so sorry for the loss of Miss Ginger. The special place animals hold in our hearts is truly remarkable. Fur or feathers it doesn’t matter.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss.I teared up reading this! I don’t judge you at all,we raised chickens for several years,and always had 1 favorite that ended up as more of a pet. Our absolute favorite was a tiny Japanese Bantam we named Dovey.He didn’t know he was a chicken! He would ride on our shoulders,and “knock”on the door to come in the house(yes..we let him in,and he never went potty in the house).He would sneak into vehicles when the windows were down,and sometimes ended up going for a ride.He once went deer hunting with my husband!(Dovey was in the back of our suburban and was so quiet my hubby didn’t know until the ride home).Visitors learned to always check their vehicles before they left! We loved Dovey very much and we were devastated when a haw showed up and snatched him,we saw it happen,but could do nothing to save him.We cried for many days,and still miss him 3 years later.

    • Oh my goodness, that is so awesome! I love it. A chicken that went hunting! Oh that would be so horrible to have a hawk grab him when you are watching. That would be so painful. Hopefully Dovey and Ginger are hanging out together in heaven. 🙂

  6. I’m sorry for your loss. One of our three Buff’s died this weekend. We don’t know how…she was just laying in the grass. 🙁 She made it through the worst MN winter ever…and died on a day when it was over 50°. I get it. Our small flock are pets as well.

  7. Kathryn says:

    I am so sorry. We just went through this a few weeks ago and it was traumatic to say the least. My daughter and I just finished planting plants in our new pet cemetery. She and I both found the flowers made a small bright spot in such an awful event.

    Perhaps our Berry and Ginger will keep each other company.

  8. Your Ginger was your pet/baby and that is it. You shouldnt have to ask people not to say anything. Your daughter is so precious! Ahh this post broke my heart. Don’t stop loving God’s creatures! May Ginger rest in peace!

  9. Even though we don’t see them regularly, your little flock feels like “ours” just because we can hear them once in a while. It makes us smile. Remind Grace that Heaven has chickens 🙂

  10. So sorry for your loss.

  11. Karrie, Well CRAP! I am crying right along with you and I didn’t even know Ginger. 🙁 I don’t own chickens, have never been around them, I know those that do and they LOVE their little chickchicks!! They do get attached, have a favorite. My heart is with your daughter right now. I felt exactly the same way about my first dog Pedro. So very sorry to hear of your loss. Sending gogo Gadget Hugs to all. Cheryl

    • Thanks Cheryl. It is strange to think we loved this chicken so much. Funny thing is that I was scared of chickens before this experience. Now I love them so much I would cry over them. Love does that I guess!

  12. Sharon Younts says:

    I hate to hear about Miss Ginger. It breaks my heart too. When it comes to our fur or feather children there is a special bond and love that knows no boundries. There really is a special place in Heaven for them and I am sure Miss Ginger is seeing how much she is loved and missed.

  13. Maria Welker says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    I do understand about your families love for one chicken. I grew up with my pet chicken and her name was Sally. She was white with beautiful flat silky tail feathers. She was my chicken, and though her life wasn’t long, she was mine.
    I am now 45 years old, and I have never forgotten her and still think of her often.
    I do know what your little girl is going through.
    I’m sad for you all and am happy you had Miss Ginger for the time you did.

  14. sandrine says:

    So sad for miss ginger, surely she is in heaven with my beloved beagle merlin.

  15. Barbara says:

    Oh Karrie, my heart just broke when I first read the headline, I’m so sorry to you and little daughter Grace. I’ve adored following along with you and your chickens and have known how Miss Ginger was dear to your heart. I’m truly sorry for your loss.

  16. I am so sad to read this. I understand your feeling of loss, I love my chickens so much too. My Edith is the light of our flock and I would be heartbroken if she left us. I hope Ginger is off to the free fields, running in the sun and pecking the ground forever.

  17. I am so sorry to hear about this. I would be devastated as well, especially since something obviously happened to her that was someone’s fault/mistake. I hope you don’t beat yourself up too much about being out of town. 🙁 RIP Ginger

  18. Sorry to hear of Miss Ginger’s death- how sad for your family. The best way to bring Grace out of mourning is to go get another chick! We saw the cutest ones at Tractor Supply on Sunday.

    We have (6) Buffs and (6) reds. I raised the reds from chicks and they love me like a mom – none as affectionate as Ginger but they follow me around the yard and let me pet them some.

  19. This breaks my heart, I’m so sorry for your loss. Ginger was a beautiful chicken. We are just starting our adventure in raising chickens. My daughter and I have been handling them and talking to them. At three weeks, they already come up to the side of their cage when they see us. We are already very attached. Your poor sweet little girl….:( Prayers going up for you and your family
    Diane

  20. Tammy Bass-Bishell says:

    so very sorry for your loss
    animals are like our children part of the family
    The pictures are absolutely beautiful and priceless and it was good thing for your husband to keep feathers from miss ginger for your daughter that was so sweet

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Animals are a part of your family and it is tough to say goodbye. Those feathers are priceless!

  21. Karrie – Three years ago we lost our sweet pony and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. The loss was devastating to my two kids whom he “taught” to ride. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.

  22. Penny Grant says:

    So sorry for your families loss:( – also, what a great job you are doing with your children. Your daughter has compassion and love and it is a learning experience for her to lose a family member, as death is a part of life. You & your husband are awesome parents for letting them grieve for theyr’e sweet ginger. Blessings to you all!

  23. Thank you so much for sharing the precious Grace story, and her pictures. She was quite a lovely ‘chick!’ I’m so sorry for you and your family’s heartache over her loss. Animals…what a testimony to the love and care the great creator God puts into all He has done, and the joy and blessing they bring! So glad you had a wonderful year with her! I hope the truth will be told about this accident…for the sake of the conscience of said party. They must be feeling badly…truth can be scary for kids…but it is healing for the soul.

  24. Lynnette says:

    We just lost 3 chickens to a couple raccoons, and we were pretty devastated, too. They were our pets-we knew their personalities, and they loved seeing us. Le sigh. I am sorry for your loss!

  25. I’m so sorry -it’s so tough to lose a precious chicken! 🙁 Even at the point when we had 60+ chickens, there has always been a special one or two who would come up when we called.

    I thought your daughter might like this poem that I found a few months ago.

    The Rainbow Bridge…

    Just this side of heaven is a place called The Rainbow ridge.

    When a beloved pet dies who has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to The Rainbow Bridge.

    It is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.
    There is always plenty of food and water and sunshine; our friends are warm and comfortable. Those old and frail animals are young again, restored to health and vigor. Those who have been hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again.
    The animals play all day;
    they are happy and content with each other.

    But, there is only one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on earth; the one who had to be left behind. Then the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. The bright eyes are intent;
    the eager body quivers. Suddenly he breaks away from the group,
    flying over the green grass; his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been seen.

    And when you and your special friend meet, you take him in your arms and embrace. The happy kisses rain upon your face.
    Your hands again caress the beloved head.
    You look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet.

    And then, together, you cross The Rainbow Bridge.
    Never to be separated.

    ~ Author Unknown

  26. Sarah Auzina says:

    So very sorry for your loss! All animals are friends, it hurts to lose one no matter who they are.

  27. I’m so sorry to hear about poor Ginger… and my heart just broke when I saw the picture of your daughter with the feathers in her hand :o(

  28. I’m so sorry to hear about poor Ginger… and my heart just broke when I saw the picture of your daughter with the feathers in her hand :o(

    Tania

  29. I am so sorry for what happened to Ginger! She was such a beautiful chicken, and it breaks my heart that she died the way she did. Also, I am sorry for your daughter, it sounds like she was a very good Mommy to Ginger. Sending lots of love!

  30. I love your sweet daughter’s heart and compassion! A hard lesson from life, but one well learned and one that will prepare her for even bigger losses down the road… and one that allows her to one day help others experiencing loss. As we call it, “beauty from ashes”!! Hugs to you both!!

  31. A pet is family. Doesn’t matter what kind of animal.

    Your post made me tear up. I’m sorry for what happened. Thank you for sharing with us. A good reminder to give some extra love to our non-human family and friends.

  32. Christine B says:

    I’m so sad to read this news. RIP Ginger.

  33. Dear Karrie. Please do not ever apologize for loving one of God’s sweet creatures. I had to wait for tears to dry before I could reply to Miss Ginger’s story. The love you and your daughter gave her is so special. I am sure she is sitting on God’ s shoulder right now. Please hug your baby girl for me. She will learn to love another special pet.

  34. So sad 🙁
    My smiley had a pair of pet turkeys when I was in high school. Tom and Tilly. Tim died of a heart attack- a condition that is apparently common, but was such a shock. We were all so sad about it, even Tilly, who mourned him in their coop for a littleore than a week, she just stayed on her perch cooing and rocking. It was heartbreaking to see such pain in an animal that most people don’t associate with emotions. A few years later, I was in college, and a weasel got into Tillys pen and took her from us, which was such a deviating loss, because we (my mom especially) felt that it should have been preventable.

    Animals are amazing, all of them. And when we are lucky enough to incorporate them into our everyday lives, we see sides of them that are relatively unknown, and even a chicken can stir love in our hearts. I’m so sorry for you loss, but so happy that you were able to have this wonderful experience with something most people only see as dinner…

  35. I’m really sorry to hear, I was enjoying your stories about your special chicken. I was a little heart retched reading it. RIP Ginger.

  36. That’s awful! I am so sad for you and your sweet little Grace 🙁

    I have 4 girls and my Buff Orpington is my fav too! Buffy AKA Dorothy. Mine are the Golden girls. Blanche, (Easter Egger) Dorothy (Buff), Rose ( Gold laced Wyndotte) Sophia, (Silver laced wynadotte)

  37. My heart is broken, I am so sorry! I cant put it into words. Our chickens are having a party together.

  38. So so about your chicken. My eyes filled with tears reading your daughter’s letter. Very sad. How lucky for your chicken he was so loved and now missed. Every animal I feel is so special to us. I sincerely hope you find another special chicken that can uplift your hearts. Thank you for sharing the news about your chicken passing, and please don’t feel weird about loving a chicken. What ever happened to the person that was suppose to take of him? I hope that person has regrets. Sending condolences to your family.

  39. I’m sorry, I for to say…So so sorry about your chicken.

  40. Oh Karrie,
    My heart aches for you and Grace ! I love your posts about “the girls” because it makes me think of my own childhood & teenage years with chickens & ducks !! The personalities are what kept my family hooked on our ever growing flocks – even after we girls left home, my Mom kept them.
    We had a smoking rooster (he flew the coop & went for our neighbor who sat on the back porch in the evenings smoking….snatched the cigarettes & flew off until chased down by screaming children) and my circus performing mallard (who I hatched in an incubator) …he balanced on 5# coffee cans & roll/walked across the yard. Lucky the duck lived 7 lucky years.
    My love to you & your family – please keep your beautiful heart warming stories coming !
    Grace’s note made me tear up – special prayers for that sweet girl !

  41. awww,the poor thing.I have had a buff orpington and named her miss ginger too.chickens are soo sweet, I love them very much and can’t even imagine what it would be like loosing one, they are my little girls. Karrie, I don’t think it ridiculous at all of you to make a whole post of miss Ginger, if there is an animal heaven, I know she is smiling down at you:)

  42. sorry, I have had her for two months (she didn’t pass away)

  43. I found this as a pin on pinterest and came over to read your story because it sounded as though I was reading my own. I live just a bit away in mountain home. We live in town but started raising backyard chickens about four months ago. I have an 8 year old son and a six year old daughter who have loved having chickens to care for. We got our girls as grown hens but they too had great personalities. We got two together and one a bit later on who was from my daughters preschool teacher. We have never had issues with our dogs and the chickens before other than curiosity. Well just four days ago that all changed and our hearts are broken. We treat our girls as pets they are spoiled as much as my dogs and children 🙂 they talk to us and eat from our hands. A horrible tragedy happened Friday the girls had gotten out of their pin and my dogs attacked one hurting her too badly to make her continue on suffering. My children and I cried for hours and many do not understand it however I feel blessed knowing the caring hearts my kids have. I wish it were an easy process but we just try to remember the fond times and ignore the snide comments. I never imagined I would get so attached to a chicken but each of my girls have their own individual personalities but none quite like miss sparkle. We honored her by getting a solar light up chicken from d&b that now sits out by their coop. RiP miss Sparkle and Miss Ginger and i hope your hearts heal

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Oh, that story breaks my heart! It seems you understand what we are going through! Big hugs for you!

  44. Becky E in Yakima says:

    I’m so sorry Karrie! We lost a chick last week-a meat bird yes- and the kids were devastated! I feel your pain:( Hope everyone gets through it! Grace’s note was so sweet!

  45. Melva Gilbert says:

    WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL THERE WAS A HATCHERY THAT WAS ON MY WAY TO SCHOOL. IF YOU STOPPED IN THERE AFTER SCHOOL YOU MIGHT BE LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE GIVEN A YOUNG CHICK WHICH HAD PROVEN TO BE A MALE. I RECEIVED ONE SUCH CHICKEN AND I NAMED HIM PETE. HE LIVED IN MY BACK YARD IN A SMALL TOWN IN INDIANA. HE WOULD COME WHEN I CALLED HIM BY NAME AND WOULD FOLLOW ME WHEREVER I WENT EVEN INTO THE HOUSE WHERE HE WOULD JUMP UP ON A CHAIR OR COUCH WHERE I WOULD BE SITTING. I SO LOVED HIM. ONE DAY I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUN TO TAKE HIM FOR A WALK AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD WITH HIM FOLLOWING ME. A NEIGHBOR’S DOG GOT HIM AND I WAS DEVASTATED. I NEVER GOT ANOTHER CHICKEN AND I STILL MOURN PETE. I AM 79 YEARS OLD.

  46. Even if it’s “just a chicken” it’s still a pet and a loved pet at that. *hugs*

  47. I know it’s been awhile since you lost your Ginger, I just found your site and want to send my condolences. I too love my chickens, and have my favorite among the 13 of them. My neighbor however, does not treat her chickens as pets like I do and she thinks I’m silly when I get emotional over them. Anyway, I wanted to say I’m sorry for your loss.

    I am really enjoying your blog! I’ve been blogging for years, but have just set up a new blog, so I’ve got nothing there yet. 🙂

  48. I love my chickens too. I know how you feel. I have 5 Australorps I raised from chicks and I love them all. They are my pets, my babies It’s tramatic to lose a pet. My heart goes out to you and your little girl…

  49. Thank you for your wonderful blog. I was looking at the DIY body cream recipe (brilliant btw) and then came across this. Miss Ginger sounded like a wonderful, amazing pet. It looks like a few months have passed, and though things may not ever be the same, I was still deeply saddened by your loss! Something was definitely fishy in the stories you were told, but your daughter wrote a beautiful letter and her picture said it all :'( I hope your family has come across other beloved pets who are special in their own way – Miss Ginger definitely sounded happy with your family, and the way she interacted with you guys was so special and priceless. What a beautiful animal :’) She has changed the way I’ve thought about chickens (forever!), and may her spirit continue to grace your family and your many readers. It was very rave of you to share, and I’m so thankful you did!! :)))

  50. Stephanie says:

    I can see this post is quite old, but I still wanted the share. A sudden loss is always devastating, especially when there may have been some sort of foul play or prevention. We recently started a small flock with two juvenile Chocolate Orpingtons. We live in an ag heavy area, but still in a city neighborhood and within 6 weeks we had a small fox jump our backyard fence, maneuver in through a weak spot in our coop, and take one of our girls. We just happened to be awake when we heard the commotion and saw him take off with her. It was heartbreaking- telling my daughter was devastating, but I was so upset over it. We ended up taking our other girl back to the little organic farm she came from where she healed from her traumatic event, and are in the process of rebuilding our coop to get a few of her chicks. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to reading through your articles 🙂

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