by laura janning

Explaining "Chicken Heaven" to Your Child

April 2, 2014

The first day of our Spring break started off with my own first..... explaining Chicken Heaven to my son.

If you follow me on Facebook here you saw that we got 6 little chicks on Friday. Now we have 5. This adds to the clan of 2 donkeys, 3 dogs, 3 kids, 2 cats, 7 fish, 4 deer that broke my fencing the other day while jumping, 1 husband and a pack of screaming coyotes that kept me up the other night.

My children were ready to experience chickens, ready to care for them, ready to collect the eggs....just not ready for the demise of them.

If you don't live on a country dirt road, surrounded by the sweet smell of chicken farms being cleaned out ( not really it's a nasty stench) or have raised chickens in the past, you may not know that the mortality rate of baby chickens is very high. Reasons can include pre-existing sickness, or living conditions such as lighting and heat, which is one of the main reasons for early death.

Reasons we can understand....... but not my little guy. 

Have you ever raised chickens or had the "chicken heaven" conversation...... how did it go?

Grateful for~
the comforting hug and love from daddy

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  1. Oh I feel for you! We never had chickens but we had so many other wonderful pets. I will tell you what dies regularly....goldfish! We had lots of goldfish funerals with tears in our back yard.

  2. As a kid, we had an incubator and hatched chicks regularly...I would say that about half of them didn't make it. It is incredibly difficult when you aren't aware of it. (After awhile, you get 'used to it,' as crass as that sounds. Farm kids learn early.) Let me know when you have a calf to pull--I have my own gloves. And give your little man a hug for me.

  3. My daughter has chickens in Atlanta. The babies don't always make it and predators, such as owls, have killed some. It is hard on the kids, but a good way to learn about life. xo Laura

  4. Oh yes, when my son was 4 he was given baby chicks to raise. He was so excited but after two weeks we left on vacation and left my father in law in charge of the chicks care. When we returned he had to give us the bad news that something got in with the chicks and they were all killed. I really think it was harder on my father in law than my son. Hard life lessons indeed.

  5. Oh, your son's face touched my heart Laura :(. I'm so sorry. That's hard to deal with.

    I've never had chickens but when any animal dies (except snakes!) it bothers me immensely. Children are resilient, but he will always remember this moment of his childhood and it's a good lesson about mortality and life.

  6. Oh, poor thing! Last spring when we got our chicks we had one that didn't make it. I tried so hard to do something... but then realized I couldn't do anything... I was near tears, and my daughter actually put her arm around me and said, "It's okay, Mommy!".

  7. Bless his sweet heart! It's so hard on children to understand things like this. My husband grew up on a farm and has told lots of things that happens during his upbringing. Your son will remember as he gets grown about life on the farm. It's a hard but rewarding life.

  8. Oh, poor baby his heart is broken.

  9. Yes, we had baby chicks once. We used to live in Missouri at the time when our oldest daughter was in the second grade and the class did their annual hatching baby chicks as part of their Science Class lesson. Two of them were not doing well and the teacher told the class that they could not go on to the "farm". Of course, my daughter was so upset about it and the teacher told her she could have them. What??????!!!!! So, we took them. And one of them was not doing well at all and the other had a broken leg! OMG -- we took care of them for a few weeks, but these chicks were bred to gain weight fast for market and their legs couldn't support their bodies, so we ended up finding a rural farm vet and taking them to him. He was great with our kids and said he would help them. We ended up leaving them there. Of course, we knew the outcome. It was fun having them for awhile though. It's hard though, isn't it?

  10. Awww Laura. This is such a hard lesson for kids to learn. I grew up in a farm and my grandparents told me everything I needed to know about life and death on the farm, but when a piglet died shortly after birth, my heart just broke in two. I bawled and bawled because I felt it so unfair that this sweetheart had to die. She was to be mine. My girl. My pet. As kids, the experience is a hard one to go through, but I went into nursing when I was big enough and tried to make a difference in the world. I tried to turn it around. Big hugs to your little guy. Just love him up girl. Life experiences are important. They mold us into who we are. Hugs to you too xo


  11. Oh! Poor little guy! Perhaps starting with something easier might be just the thing. I know chicks are very delicate but it still doesn't make it easier. Hopefully the next experience will turn out better. God, I'm certain, is taking care of the little chicks.

  12. Poor baby. These types of things are still hard for me to understand...so sad they are. Nothing better than the arms of daddy when your heart is broken.

    I've never had this talk with our son over *chicken heaven* but with* puppy heaven* when he was 5 and *fish heaven* that he finally noticed wasn't the same as the one he left when he left for school one morning when he was 7. But I noticed the heart breaks the same. :( He did talk about it for days and worried about the burial of the fish. *I saved them in the just in case he did notice* We even went to the Library to read about the proper way to bury fish. Not as much info. there as you would think.

    Hope your little's heart mends quickly.

  13. Oh how very sad...I remember that we had many "hamster funerals"...when the kiddos are young they certainly take the passing of their little pets and creatures so hard...I remember having to take off work and let my son stay home from school the day his beloved favorite hamster died...yes, he went to hamster heaven and was buried in the hamster graveyard in our backyard...so hard when your little one's heart is broken.

  14. Oh the poor little guy. His face says it all and made me sad. WOW yo u sure have a herd there of animals to tend to, LOL!! They are lucky to have a great home and good people to take care of them. Hugs to your son!!!


  15. Awe, poor kid! We've lost a hermit crab and a beta fish so I feel for you!


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